CCNA Routing and Switching lab part 7: choosing the right switch models

Certification: Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching - Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching


Every candidate are recommended to either buy a CCNA Routing and Switching lab or make one for yourself at home. Many people might think that building a CCNA lab at home seems to be very expensive that not everyone can afford. But, that is a stereotypic view because by choosing right kind of second hand equipments people can build a working lab at home without spending a lot of money. They should know which right model of routers and switches they should buy because routers and switches are the two devices where most of their moneys will be spent. Other than the routers and switches they will also have to buy cables to connect all the devices. Before starting to build the lab, the candidates must think about which model of Cisco routers and switches they should buy. Only after deciding on the model they should go and buy that model. Here we will be discussing about the various types of switches models that are available in the market and the right switch models that the candidates can buy to build the CCNA Routing and Switching lab.

2900 XL is to be considered

One of the switch models that can be considered to be right is the 2900 XL. These switches could be compared to the IOS as they were first access switches. They were almost similar to the IOS CLI. The most similar features were the navigation of the in and out configuration mode, help features and the storing of the configuration with almost the same rules. Due to these features, the 2900 XL switches were almost similar to the IOS CLI and is preferable while building the routing and switching lab. This switch was very close to the so called “normal” router IOS.

The one thing that the candidates have to keep in their mind is the software that they should use with this switch model. They must make sure that they buy the Enterprise Edition software which ends with the “-EN” in the model number. Due to all the above mentioned features, the 2900 XL switch model is one of the preferred models for the building of the CCNA Routing and Switching lab.

2950 is another option

The 2950 switch model is considered to be one of the best possible Cisco switches that can be used for the building of the CCNA Routing and Switching lab. Some of the Cisco courses consider this model to be the best access switches that are made available by the Cisco. The difference between the 2900 XL and 2950 is minor but still there is still some difference between them. So, this model is more preferred than the 2900 XL one. However, Cisco has introduced a 2960 switch model as well. But, the thing is that there is very insignificant difference between the 2950 and 2960 switch model. So, the candidates can use the 2950 or the 2960 model. There are almost no differences between these two models. However, there is a difference in price. The 2960 model is bound to be more expensive than the 2950 one because it came out later than the 2950 model.  So, that is why 2950 model is more efficient and effective purchase than the 2960 model. The 2950 switch model has two types of software. The first one is the standard image and the second one is the enhanced image. Of course, they will have to buy the right kind of switch for this because if they buy the 2950 standard image switch and try to install the enhanced image software then it won’t work.

To build a working CCNA Routing and Switching lab the candidates can simply buy the Cisco 2950 standard image switch because the standard image model will also work well.

Say “No” to the 1900s model

Cisco’s 1900 switch model is a very old model that the Cisco used to sell long time ago. Since the technology has changed at rapid rate using an old switch model for the current CCNA certification does not seem to be very feasible. Yes, once upon a time Cisco 1900 model was considered to be great and high class, but now time has changed and it is recommended that the candidates stir away from this model because it won’t be fruitful to them while preparing for the certification exam.

There is a vast difference between 1900s and the other Cisco models. The 1900s model differs in how they store the configuration files, command syntax, command output and so on. So, even though the 1900s model is much cheaper than other Cisco switch models, it is still not worth it.

The Linksys switch is not the right one

Back in the past, Cisco bought a consumer networking product selling company called Linksys. The product line of these two companies then were grown together and as a result the products were almost molded together. Some candidates might actually have a Cisco switches lying around their houses as a result of this acquisition. But, beware those Cisco switches that are lying around the houses are not the right model to build the CCNA Routing and Switching lab. These models only support the web interfaces. They do not have the CLI and they do not run the IOS as well. So, in simple words these models are not very optimal while preparing the CCNA Routing and Switching lab.

The choosing of the right switch models is very important while building the CCNA Routing and Switching lab. If the candidates choose the wrong model then they won’t be able to build a good working lab which will help them to practice well for the certification exam.


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