The coupon code you entered is expired or invalid, but the course is still available! When you complete this course you should be well prepared to take your certification exam and begin to join the professional world of Cisco. Not only will this be a mile stone in your IT career but it is also sought after by companies around the world that require a higher level of routing; the Professional Level. You will learn how to filter routes, create prefix lists and so much more.

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However, as you climb the networking ladder, resources get scarcer. This is completely normal: if few people have a certification, even fewer will write about it. You will learn CCNP most by practicing, but you need to start with the right foot. Of course, practice means lab, and what is the best way to starting with the right foot, if not with the best CCNP lab setup?

In this article, we will explain how to connect routers and switches to maximize the results in terms of learning. Then check out our complete CCNA guide , it is online and free! So, we designed our CCNP lab setup to allow you to get the most out of each area. Then, we connected them in a very special way. The best CCNP lab setup The topology Our topology is simple is connected to the two other routers and to a multi-layer switch. The switches are connected together in a full-mesh topology.

The result is something like this. The CCNP lab setup physical topology. This might seem simple, and it is. However, it has a lot of potential in many different areas. Well, think again, because while we have 4 physical routers, we can easily turn them to 8, 12 or even For the ones of you new to it, VRF is a routing virtualization and abstraction technology.

You take a router and associate each interface to a given VRF name. Then, all interfaces with the same VRF name will be part of the same virtual router. Each virtual router has its own routing table, and is independent from the other or from the physical router itself. Article continues below the advertisement Of course, VRF alone is not enough.

But the concept we are going to use to increase separation is even simpler: VLANs. Boom, we have endless routing possibilities. What about switching? CCNP switching topics can be replicated in a lab with very few switches. To enhance your possibilities, however, we reccomend using multilayer switches.

CCNP lab setup use cases In this part of the article, we will show what you can do with such a lab. Specifically, we will explain how to divide the lab into different VRFs and VLANs to create a logical topology that best meets a given scenario. As you can see, we have two systems composed by four routers each which are exactly specular.

This is probably one of the best things you can do with this CCNP lab setup. Less algorithms running means less resources, which is always great. As in the picture, a great lab you could do is create a lot of VLANs, then associate them to the blue and green instance.

This way, you can play and block some links for an instance or for some other. As in this example, you should create two MST instances, the blue and the green. Each instance will block some links instead of some others. All areas must be connected to the Area 0, however, otherwise we have problems.

CCNP teaches you a way to make it work even if the Area 0 is split in two parts. Remember that this is a temporary solution when migrating networks, and should not be used in production. In fact, you can use the external links that connect directly routers to create this chain. Then, you can shut down the link between R1 and R4. Conclusion Now that we understand the possibility of this lab, you can learn CCNP and practice it with this powerful tool.

What do you think about this lab? What technologies will you try in it? Would you like to improve something? Just let me know in the comments! Share your knowledge!


[Day#1] GNS3 lab – CCNA/CCNP Switching


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