Lab Network

I am starting an ongoing series involving a semi-static set of devices.  These will involve different tutorials on things such as OSPF, cambium configuration, vlans, and other topics.  Below is the general topology I will use for this lab network.  As things progress I will be able to swap different manufacturers and device models into this scenario without changing the overall topology.  We may add a device or two here and there, but overall this basic setup will remain the same.  This will allow you to see how different things are configured in the same environment without changing the overall scheme too much.

We will start with very basic steps.  How to login to the router, how to set an IP address, then we will move to setting up a wireless bridge between the two routers.  Once we have that done we will move onto setting up OSPF to enable dynamic routing.  After that the topics are open.  I have things like BGP planned, and some other things. If there is anything you would like to see please let me know.

My Home Lab/Testing ground

A few days ago, my buddy, Greg Sowell posted his Mobile Home Lab. I figured I would show off the rack in my home office.

This is a mixture of gear that powers the basic network for the network in my home and for testing, blog posts, support, and videos\. Each floor of our 3 story home currently has a Unifi Access point on it powered by a toughswitch POE.  My top level, which is where my office is has a unifi pro that does both 2.4 and 5GHZ.  The other levels just do 2.4ghz.  This will change once I get a POE switch that does 48volt to power the UNIFI pro.  I have stuck with UNIFI because of the bar in our house.  Any self-respecting geek needs a guest wifi network.  WPA keys are too hard to dish out for those late arriving guests after some rounds of crown and coke.  So a Cloudkey makes guest access an easy venture.

As stated before the UNIFIs are powered by a Toughswitch, and the PRO has a 48VOLT POE and is linked into a port on the tough switch.  This switch is then uplinked into one of the gig links of the active 2950 switch.  Various other devices, some not plugged in at the moment due to need to get to a cubby hole for a roof project, are plugged into the 100 meg ports on this 2950.  Things such as the DVR for the security system, network printers, ethernet to my desk for testing, network drives, etc.  The other gig port is uplinked to our internet router.

Our internet is handled by a workhorse Mikrotik 493AH. This has a Comcast cable and a local WISP connection, which is a backup.  From this router, I am initiating several VPN, EOIP, and other tunnels to various clients and remote networks.  If you notice, this router also has a little rubber duck antenna.  Inside is a r52 card that is usually disabled by default.  This is a backup network for testing if I suspect an issue on the internal wireless network. I can log in, enable the card, and associate to the SSID and see if things are okay, at least as okay for 802.11b/g speeds.


Most everything else is for Cisco certification testing and keeping up on those certs as well as labbing up scenarios. As you guys will hear on our latest podcast, GNS3 and packet tracer are great, but sometimes you can’t beat actual hardware.

I too have a console server for turning my devices on and off. I do not have fancy remote access turned on, but I can remote to 6 devices at a time without getting up and moving the 4 feet to move a cable.  Welcome to the future!

Run down of some equipment
Cisco 2950 (one production and one lab)
2x Cisco 3750
Cisco 3640
Cisco 3560-X
Cisco 1841
Various Mikrotik routers
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Pro
Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 16
(The infinity is going into production soon at a data center)

The Cisco 2541 at the top is a shelf for the monitor for the DVR.  Make a great shelf!  In the future, I hope to add a Juniper router and some more gear.  As always, if you are a manufacturer I would be glad to review some of your gear and even do some configuration videos on it.

On a side notes, you don’t see much wireless gear.  That is a separate spot in my office.

Cisco Rolled Cable

I was recently talking to a gentleman who came by and purchased some excess Cisco gear for his CCNA/CCNP studies.  I got on the topic of he didn’t need the special cisco cable if he had serial to ethernet adaptors.  Basically a Cisco rolled cable is just a cable with the ends flipped.
As you can see the order is just reversed on one side.