Home Lab

Over the last few years, I’ve been building a home lab for experiments, studying and playing around.

Currently I am using my lab for studying for the Cisco CCNP exams, but in the past I have used it to study for the RedHat Certified Engineer (RHCE) exam.

Here are some pictures and description of the equipment.

Full details of my lab expansion plans are listed below, but the main goal is to max out the RAM and Flash on all the routers, upgrade the 2500 series and 2600 series routers to ISRs, and get my lab up to the INE R&S specifications. I also want to replace some of my many, extremely loud 1U servers with fewer, quieter but more powerful, and much more power efficient servers.

Equipment List

42U Rack:

  1. 1x Cisco 2509 Access Server
  2. 1x Cisco 2621XM Router (256MB RAM / 32MB Flash / NM-8A/S)
  3. 3x Cisco 2611XM Router (256MB RAM / 32MB Flash / NM-4A/S)
  4. 1x Cisco 2691XM Router (128MB RAM / 32MB Flash / NM-8A/S)
  5. 1x Cisco 1841 Integrated Services Router (ISR) (384MB RAM / 256MB CompactFlash / 2x WIC-1T)
  6. 1x Cisco 2821 Integrated Services Router (ISR) (1GB RAM / 256MB CompactFlash)
  7. 1x Cisco 7204 VXR Router
  8. 2x Cisco Catalyst WS-C3550-24 Switch
  9. 2x Cisco Catalyst WS-C3550-24-PWR Switch (PoE) (Thank you @ Michael Wheeler! :P)
  10. 1x Custom Built Storage Server (10TB)
  11. 2x Dell PowerEdge 1950 Server
  12. 8x Tyan Transport GT24 (B2891)
  13. 1x NetGear ReadyNAS 1000S NAS Server
  14. 2x APC Smart-UPS 2200 RM UPS

12U Rack

  1. 2x Linksys WRT54G (OpenWRT)
  2. 2x Cisco ASA 5505 (Both have been upgraded to 1GB CF/1GB RAM – which is higher than the Cisco supported values!)
  3. 3x Cisco Catalyst WS-C2950-12 Switch
  4. Cisco VPN 3005 Concentrator

Not in pictures, but in the same room

  1. Cisco AIR-WLC2006-K9 Wireless LAN Controller
  2. Cisco Aironet AIR-AP1231G-A-K9 Wireless Access Point
  3. HP ProLiant Turion II N40L MicroServer (6TB)
  4. HP ProLiant Turion II N54L MicroServer (2TB)
  5. HP ProLiant Turion II N54L MicroServer (2TB)
  6. 1x Cisco 1841 Integrated Services Router (ISR) (384MB RAM / 256MB CompactFlash / 1x WIC-1T)
  7. 1x Cisco 2851 Integrated Services Router (ISR) (256MB RAM / 256MB CompactFlash)

I’m always looking to expand and improve my lab, so if you work for a company that gets rid of equipment often, my lab would provide a happy home for them. 😉

Recommended Books

  1. Cisco CCNA 640-802 Official Cert Library
  2. Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching Official Certification Library
  3. O’Reilly Network Warrior
  4. The Practice of System and Network Administration
  5. Cisco IOS Cookbook
  6. Cisco End-to-End QoS Network Design

Lab Expansion Plans

  1. Get two more Cisco 7204 VXRs (Done)
  2. Upgrade all 7204 VXRs to C7200-I/O-2FE/E (Done – 10th December 2013)
  3. Upgrade all 7204 VXRs to either NPE-300 or NPE-400  (Done – 17th July 2013 – Upgraded to NPE-400)
  4. Max out the RAM on 2611XMs and 2621XMs (Done – 5th March 2013)
  5. Max out Flash on 2611XMs and 2621XMs
  6. Max out the RAM on the NPE-400s
  7. Obtain a second rack
  8. Looking to get obtain the following:
  9. More cable management!
  10. Obtain another terminal server with more ports
  11. Obtain some Juniper equipment
Home Server Lab
Home Server Lab
My Home Lab
My Home Lab
Home Server Lab
Home Server Lab
Cisco Routers
Cisco Routers
Cisco Routers
Cisco Routers
Cisco Routers and Switches
Cisco Routers and Switches
Cisco Switches and Servers
Cisco Switches and Servers
Servers
Servers
Servers and UPS
Servers and UPS
Cisco ASAs, Switches, and WRT54G
Cisco ASAs, Switches, and WRT54G

4 thoughts on “Home Lab”

  1. Very nice , from across the pond. You truly are a hands on user. I just upgraded my 5505, which what I think may had been relabeled cheap ram off ebay to a Cisco label, I was going for the 512 as I have no speed issues. I seen yours and others with the gig option, I keep a smartnet on mine since I had it so I only use what is supported. But I may buy the gig, and use it when the stop renewing.

    Lab looks great, I have my CCSP, they retired, so I am working on a firewall exam soon to take I hope.

    Good Luck on CCNP.

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