CCIE rs equipment

Hi everyone,

First post here, apolagies if it's in the wrong section. I've decided to start my journey to become a CCIE. I've already done CCNA and CCNP, so this is of coarse the next logical step for me. I'm still just gathering information, and I guess looking at what resources I'll need.

Where I work, we have a small amount amount of Cisco equipment which is actually all at the high end of the scale and I'm trying to work out how much of the labs I can probably cover using this equipment. I used these to practice alot of my CCNP R&S config labs. I have access to the following:

2 x 7604 (4 x serial, 48 x 1G ethernet, 4 x 10G ethernet) IOS 12.2(18)SXF5 - I could probably use the serials on these and a bunch of the ethernet ports in a seperate vlan

2 x 7200 (4 x serial, 2 x ethernet) IOS 12.3(14)T - I could probably use a couple of the serials on these

1 x 4900M (24 x 1G ethernet, 2 x 10G ethernet) IOS 12.2(46)SG - Again I could probably a bunch of the ethernet ports in a seperate vlan.

2 x 3825 (A couple of serial and ethernet interfaces) IOS 12.4(2)XA1

I know the 3560 switches are some of the pricier components for putting together a lab, so I'm assuming if I can get the right IOS onto some of the above I should be able to setup the same labs.

Has anyone any ideas about what I would be missing and would need to get to be able to setup a lab topology to match those outlined in the course? Could I use this equipment in conjunction with dynamips to cover most lab setups?

Thank you in advance!



  • The first thing that you need to go is figure out what your study goals and time frames are (there are several good blogs on IE site... )

    Trust me it is a long way from CCNP to CCIE and if you don't have a map you will never get there.  Depending on your background/experience it is going to take 600 - 1000++++ hours of hardcore study. 

    As far as equipment, eventually you are going to be purchasing a vendor's workbooks (Internetwork Expert, et al) and if you want to use you're own lab gear then you are going to have to make it match that vendor's topology.  (For example it looks like you'll need to add more serials to one of your boxes to make a frame-relay switch.) The other thing that you can do is use Cisco feature navigator tool to compare your model/IOS with the CCIE R&S listed models/IOS ( to see if there are any features that you are missing.

    So hook up what ever you've got and start breaking routing protocols and of course the important part figuring out how to fix them.

    Lastly, don't plan on being successfully without spending significant time banging away on 3560s  (Ethernet switching/feature will likely end up being 20-30% of your exam.



  • Thanks for the reply, and the links! I am realistically giving myself 8-12 months to do this. I'll probably start off going through a few of the books and do some routing config/troubleshooting. I've also found that we have a 3560 in the lab, I just need to upgrade the image. So if I can get another 1 of these and a couple of 3550's that should cover the switching.

    Thanks again,



  • Make sure you practice with the same IOS which they will be using in the lab. Also plan on taking time off (Last 30 to 45 days before the lab exam). Those days you will have to study/practice 9-12 hours daily. Building speed and putting a lot of info into your short term memory. Last few days should be exclusively spent on documentation, knowing where everything is.


  • Thanks Ray, I'm planning on matching the IOS versions to my routers/switches in accordance with, I assume this is what wil be used in the lab test?

    Did you mean take 30-45 days off? Or maybe take some days off during the last month? I get nowhere near that many days off per annum ;)

    Thanks again for the advice, it's all appreciated!

  • What you could get in the lab? The outline is huge. You will get an idea if you look at the complete outline on the internetworkexperts web site. You have to practice a lot especially towards the end. You should be able to do 80-85% lab without looking the doc cd. I think it is not humanly possible to remember so much for long. As long as you can put at least 6 hours daily towards the last month. I have taken the lab twice and trust me the 30 days in between is hard as part of you think that you know this and will remember but unfortunately that's not the case. At least that is what I feel.

    It is harder now, not knowing how you did in the open ended questions. Part of you think hey I am spending this time doing this lab but I might have already failed because the proctor thought 2 of my questions were wrong. $1400 gone.



  • Gav,

    I was considering changing up some my home lab yesterday and ran accross IE's guide to seeting up a home lab...


  • So, quick update and a new question regarding the rack... so far I've just been studying books and the CoD videos and just doing what I can on Dynamips and work gear while trying to get my rack together.

    So far I have:

    3 3560 switches (got from work and thought I would have 4 but my budget got cut for the fourth)

    3 3825's (got from work)

    1 2821 (got from work)

    1 2610xm (got from work)

    1 2522 (sourced myself)

    1 2511 (sourced myself)

    and am currently trying to get an 1841 on ebay. (trying to source myself)


    So my question is whether I'll be able to get by with 3 3560's or would getting a 3550 (as it can be picked up cheap) as an extra be worthwhile?

    I'm not going to buy any more routers until I see the new lab rack blueprint being put together, I think so far INE has 1 2811 and 5 1841's....


    Thanks in advance, looking forward to getting the rack done and dusted so I can start getting into a proper labbing routine... although it is fun putting the rack together and researching the various pieces required, which in itself is good knowledge to have.


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