This part of the lab is no longer in use, but the equipment still functions fine. In fact, this was actually my original lab: My CCNA Routing and Switching training lab!
When I transitioned from my teaching career to IT, my formal training at Gwinnett Tech was in their Cisco Networking program. Before I sat for the ICND1 and 2 exams, I wanted to practice the concepts on actual equipment. Again, the idea was to be able to say truthfully that I’ve worked on and trained with actual networking equipment rather than just Cisco Packet Tracer. That being said Packet Tracer is a GREAT tool for learning.
My learning work flow was something like this:
- See some behavior on real switches / routers I thought was odd
- Replicate what I was doing in Packet Tracer.
- Use Packet Tracer’s tools to see exactly what’s going on and what caused said behavior.
The equipment I used for this lab consisted of two Cisco 1841 routers and one Cisco 2811 router. Also, I used two Cisco 2950C switches and one Cisco 2960 switch. I acquired all of this from CertificationKits. I could probably have got stuff cheaper from Ebay, but at the time, CertificationKits had the hardware I wanted including mounting brackets, etc. I just noticed the mainly still sell the same models of stuff I used for my CCNA tests from three years ago. Maybe the CCNA hasn’t been updated?
My current job now has a dedicated networking team, with me living within the server and systems administration team. I must say listening and watching the network folk do their thing has rekindled some of the love and enjoyment I had from learning networking with my GTC classes.