CCIE Lab Rack - Real Gear vs GNS3/Switch Hybrid
I'm looking at buying a full rack of gear to start my CCIE R&S prep. I already have some of the routers from earlier CCNA/CCNP training, but I'm going to have to make a significant investment to get the rest of it built. So, I'm wondering, is it worth it to build out a real rack knowing it'll create a lot of noise/heat, cost money to power it, and possibly lose almost all value when the blueprint is updated to 5.0?
Alternatively, I could do GNS3 for the routers on a singly high powered desktop and then just invest in the switches. (Has anyone done this and have a good write up on the process?)
I'd appreciate everyone's insights. Also, I'm not opposed to renting rack time, but I'd prefer to have a rack at my disposal for any amount of training at any time. I don't want to have to schedule rack time especially for quick practice sessions.
I have been working on the CCNP. One excellent place to look for GNS3 labs is GNS3VAULT by Molenar. He's from Sweden, I think. He has CCNA-CCIE labs. REALLY good, though Jeremy can be more entertaining, these labs are tops, he is continuing to add labs, responds to discussion. Really good. He has switching labs, but as you said it--buy the gear. That's what I did.
I hope to hit that CCIE in about 3 years!! Good luck.
You can use GNS3 for routing labs and real switches (4x3560) for switching learning.
I have had my IE lab setup for quite a while now. I can tell you from experience it's not too noisy for me, too warm, or too costly to power. I'd say max $50/mo in power. I have it running 24/7 though. You could get a remote power UPS to turn it off/on depending on your needs and schedule. I have it built to INE spec's outside of a few pieces (which in my eyes are cheaper and better). It can be seen here: http://kribob.com/?p=83
There are plenty of people who have good write ups out there on how to setup a GNS 3 Lab, but then again you kind of lose some of the portability. I like to be able to SSH/Telnet in from anywhere in the world whenever I want. :)