Cisco 2811 Router

The Cisco 2811 router is a good choice for CCIE study- you can usually pick them up for few hundred dollars, much less than the 3825 router, which can go for thousands of dollars used. The most common configuration has a couple of Fast Ethernet and a couple of Serial ports to allow you to mock up frame relay as well as typical LAN scenarios.

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Cisco has a pretty cool interactive model of the 2811 on their website, so you can get an idea of the form factor. The 2811 supports MPLS, as well as IPV6. You can see a full listing of what is available in 12.4T Advanced IP Services. A number of the CCIE R&S topics can be practiced on the 2811- things like IPv6 Multicast, QOS and OER (formally known as Performance Based Routing. Don't you love how the marketing folks keep changing the names of the functions? It would be nice if the command line programming folks kept up two- now we're stuck trying to learn a set of commands that references function that is called that anymore...)

If you're really looking for a mental workout, it also supports the Zone Based Firewall. Here's a study tip- work through all the CBAC stuff before you touch the ZBF, and it will make it a little easier to digest. As you can see, the 2811 router has quite a bit of functionality bundled in, and it makes a good investment in a home CCIE R&S lab. Depending on the version of the software you get, it can also make a decent addition if you are working on your CCIE Voice, which usually requires a pretty different setup than what the Routing and Switching lab candidates are putting together in the basement...or attic. Just try to keep them out of the bedroom- the fan noise on networking gear, as well as the heat output can make it hard to sleep. You should be up studying for the exam anyway, but still a little down time (for you, not your networks) is not a bad thing.