My CCNP Route lab setup was designed based off the specs found in the CCNP Route Lab manual by Cisco Press.  Most lab topologies require 3 routers with 12.4T IOS and occasionally a switch with basic switching functionality.  A few topologies require either a 4th router or frame relay switch.  For this reason, I opted to purchase an additional router that would have a standard router or frame relay config depending on the requirements of the lab.  I have opted to use the 12.4 Advanced Enterprise Services IOS and not the 12.4T Advanced IP Services suggested by the lab manual.  From my experience so far, the only feature missing in 12.4 Advanced Enterprise Services is EIGRP over IPv6.  There is a single lab which requires this feature, so I have not deemed it important enough to spend the extra money on RAM and Flash which is required by the 12.4T image.

The final config for my CCNP Route Lab:

  • 4) Cisco 2621XM 128MB RAM, 32MB Flash running 12.4 Advanced Enterprise Services IOS
    R1, R2, and R4 have WIC-2T modules
    R3, has 2 WIC-2T modules, which are needed in lab topologies where R3 serves as a Frame Relay switch for R1, R2, and R4
  • (1) Cisco Catalyst 2950G-48 12.1(20)EA1a IOS

The original lab configuration included a 2511 Terminal Server, but I was not able to spare the cost of the additional equipment.  Instead, I opted to connect all of the equipment via console cable to my pc.  Not wanting to purchase PCI serial cards in order to accommodate  the 5 serial connections required for complete connectivity, I purchased several serial-to-USB converters and a 10-port USB hub.  Each device’s console cable connects to a serial converter which connects to the USB hub that is mounted on the back side of the rack.  From the USB hub runs a single USB cord that connects to my pc.  Like other serial devices in Windows, you’re able to change the COM port that each converter is associated with.  To make things simple, serial converter 1 is COM1 and connects to R1.  Converter 2 is COM2 and connects to R2, and so on…  Windows remembers each serial converter’s configuration after disconnecting and reconnecting the hub.  This is an extremely cheap and effective configuration that suits my needs.

CCNP Route Lab CCNP ROUTE Lab Closeup


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