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Author Topic: CCVP and CCIE home lab equipment advice
radioman2006
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posted June 07, 2007 11:31 AM      Profile for radioman2006     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi,
First of all I am sorry to post this long message.

I am seeking help of experts and more experienced people at this forum to help me out deciding the voice lab that is me and group of my friends planning to put at home. The group will be sharing the cost. Most of us almost through the CCVP but with very minimum hands on experience due to lack of having lab equipment and also doing everything on our own and not joining any training institute. We decided now is the time to have the lab. We decided to build the lab in parts that will help us currently have hands on experience at the CCVP level. Once landed in suitable VoIP jobs, we will continue to add more equipment for the CCIE certification. I know the equipment list below is far more for CCIE then CCVP but this is the whole idea to have at least full CCVP and Partial CCIE level lab.

It’s an old question everyone asks now and then and I searched these forums to find the answers before posting my request but still need some help. Most of the time when people reply to this kind of request that what type of a Voice lab can be put at home, the list ends up on certain number of routers, switches and software in a general sense. Often the rest of the components list is missing. That sometime difficult for a new person who is designing the lab first time to visualize what exactly are the other components, cards, interfaces etc. etc. required.

For a new person lot of misunderstanding is that if he purchases a certain model of the router, everything is built in. Experience people know its not the case and you have option of selecting from 70 different cards and interfaces to design a router.

I’ve gone through extensive research reading the technical documentation from the Cisco website. I downloaded often the PDF documentation of different routers, switches, NMs, VWICs, VICs, and anything you can imagine needed in the lab. I tried to make sure that I won’t miss something because I did not knew if the card or any module will fit or supported by a particular router etc. etc. People with the experience know the voice lab at CCVP or CCIE level can be built with different cost. It could be cheaper or expensive, depend what kind of equipment one is trying to put together.

I am providing the detail list of the equipment we thought suppose to be in the lab for the time being.

I had mentioned also the equipment we think will be needed for the next phase that is CCIE. We would like to make the safe investment that will help us grow the lab without any issues in the future.

My group goal is not only to use this lab for CCVP and CCIE but have it latter for other kind of testing that one cannot do in the office on live environment. We can play the scenarios at home whenever we like.

One fo the major issue we have is that all of us in the group are family people that mean it is not possible to access the lab physically sitting next to equipment at some one's palce. You cannot disturbed someone family environment by having 5 or 6 people (one at a time) visiting that place. We decided to give remote access to all members. Someone told me that with the voice lab it is difficult as one need to access all the phones to test. We are deciding to have most of the phones as a soft IP phones. We can put one or more PCs with the lab that is already attached to system with the soft phones. This PC’s desktop will be easily accessible using the free service called ‘www.logmein.com’. I already tested the service with the free account. I was able to access my other computer remotely within 10 minutes of creating the account. There was no issue with the speed to access the desktop of your remote PC. No issue with the security as it is secure access. You can have your PC left logged in to their system and then access it from remote. For the sound of the IP phone I’ll stream the audio from another free service as logmein.com service do not streams the audio.

This way group members can access the IP phones remotely with the sound and we can have more than one IP phone for Head Office, Branch 1 and Branch 2. I have no idea how the commercial PODs are doing it. When people rent the pod and they can access the phone too.

Having said all above I am looking for the following help please.

1. Need someone to review the equipment list and verifying that I am not missing anything even any small component.

2. Someone can provide more information on accessing the lab remotely.

3. One of the most important things related to CCIE phase is that we need to have the lab setup as close to the real environment as one can face on the big day. I know the list Cisco has on their website for the voice lab and that is very expensive. We are trying to do the setup within our available financial resources. Do you think we are meeting at least 80 to 90 % comparing to what Cisco is recommending? As you notice they are using all the 3725 series routers and we are using only at one site the 3725.

4. Is there anything someone can suggest with the less expensive lab than what I’ve listed and still can do all the labs? I was told when people use non standard approach e.g. use the ordinary Pentium 3 or 4 computers, hack the registry and install the CallManager, there are certain feature may not work. One can spend hours and hours troubleshooting without knowing that although their configuration is Ok but because they he do not have standard equipment it’s not going to work. Or another example that I knew how to run 2600XM IOS image on 2600 non-XM hardware even though the Non-XM models do not have enough Flash RAM. Our approach is to have standard setup for the CCIE as much as possible with the budget.

Appreciate any help from the group. I believe the way I had put the detail list will answers for many people need to know what exactly they need to build the lab. Also your answers will make this thread to answer many others. Here is the list of the lab equipment.

Head Office
====================
Routers
-------
Cisco Router 2611XM for Head Office.

Switch
------
3550 24 PWR switch

IP phones and interfaces
------------------------
VIC-2FXO
VIC-2FXS
PVDM / DSP
NM-2V (FXS and FXO inserted in this Network Module)
IP phone 7960 connected directly to Router 2611XM

Connection to Frame-Relay / WAN.
---------------------------------
WIC-1T (Serial WAN Interface for Frame-Relay)

CallManager publisher, Subscriber and Unity.
--------------------------------------------
1 server - MCS-7835-1000 (CallManager publisher, Subscriber)

1 server - MCS-7835-1000 (Unity)

Or

1 server - Compaq Proliant server DL360 G2 2x PIII 1.40Ghz 1GB RAM 2x36GB Disk (CallManager publisher, Subscriber)

1 server - Compaq Proliant server DL360 G2 2x PIII 1.40Ghz 1GB RAM 2x36GB Disk (Unity).

Windows 2000
SQL Database

Will add in future or will rent the pod.
----------------------------------------
6503 switch Chasse with power supply and fan (Main chaise)
WS-X6K-SUP2-2GE MSFC2 & PFC2 (Supervisor Engine)
WS-6348 module for Catalyst 6503 (48 port Ethernet module)
WS-6608-T1 module for Catalyst 6503 (T1 Blade)

Will definitely add in future
-----------------------------
VG248 Analog Phone Gateway
Analog phone
Analog fax

Branch 1
=================

Router
--------
Cisco Router 3725 for Branch 1

Switch
------
NM-16ESW-PWR for 3725 router

Connection to Frame-Relay / WAN.
---------------------------------
WIC-1T Serial WAN Interface for Frame-Relay, 60 Pin connector

IP Phones and interfaces
------------------------
1 IP 7960 (only one) connected directly to NM-16ESW-PWR in 3725 router
1 IP soft phone (may be more than one)
4 X PVDM 48
1 Analog phone
ATA-188 / ATA-186 by Knowledge

Will definitely add in future (Connection to PSTN using T1)
---------------------------------------------
VWIC-2MFT-T1
(Note: The VWIC-2MFT-T1 will be inserted in the 2nd WIC slot of 2611XM)

Branch 2
=================

Router
------
Cisco Router 2611XM for Branch 2

Switch
------
3550 24 PWR switch

IP Phones and interfaces
------------------------
VIC-2FXS
NM-2V
4 X PVDM 48

IP phone 7960 (only one) connected directly to Router 2611XM
Soft IP Phone (may be more than one)

Connection to Frame-Relay / WAN
========================================
WIC-1T Serial WAN Interface for Frame-Relay, 60 Pin connector

Cisco CallManager Express and Cisco Unity Express
============================================================
CME & NM-CUE with minimum 2.1.2 version (installed in Branch 2 router 2611XM)

or

AIM-CUE - Cisco Unity Express module

Will definitely add in future (Connection to PSTN using E1)
====================================================================
VWIC2–2MFT-G703 (2 ports E1 card with drop in insert feature)

(Note :The VWIC2-2MFT-G703 will be inserted in the 2nd WIC slot of 2611XM)
NM-HDV for E1 card

Access Router
=====================
Cisco Router 2511 for Access Server

Frame-Relay / WAN
=========================
Cisco Router 4000 for WAN / Frame-Relay
NP-4T, it is 4 ports Network Processor Module, with 60-pin D-type connectors for Router 4000.
IP phone 7960 ( The IP phone will be part of the VLAN on Branch 2 switch i.e. 3550 PWR, thus do not require NM-2V, VIC-2FXS or PVDM)

PSTN setup, Will definitely add in future
=====================================================
VWIC2 –2MFT- G703 (2 ports E1 card with drop in insert feature)

Cables & other items (Help me, I know I might be missing other type of cables
==========================================================================================
4 cables DB60 ~ DB60 serial cable for back to back Frame-Relay simulation.
Ethernet cable
Rollover cable
Multiple RJ48 straight patch cables (why I need these and how many)

KVM switch
Keyboard
Monitor
Mouse
KVM Switch -4Ports for switching between sub and pub

Communication Rack
==========================
19" Communication Rack

T1/E1 ISDN simulator will definitely add in the future
===============================================================
Vconsole T1/E1 PCI, internal
or
Vconsole T1/E1 external

After you have read this message please scroll up the page and see if you can answer my 4 questions.

Please view this link. My lab design based on the following diagram. Please replace 'xx'in the link with the 'tt' [Smile]

"hxxp://www.ccbootcamp.com/racks/vrack1.pdf"

Thank you for reading.

Posts: 19 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
boysnake
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posted June 07, 2007 01:46 PM      Profile for boysnake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi

A comment on the 2611 router.
You nead a NM-HDV card or a AIM-30 card to use the DSP modules.
I vil recomend 2811 routers in all the sites.

6503/vg248:
rent rack time, not many thing to configure on this, as i understand.

Server/Softphone:
Buy a server with at least 4 GB ram, and use WMvare and run the servers and client/softphones on it.

why use 4x48 PVDM in each site? I think one is more than enough.

remote access:
2511/2509 router or nm-16A

Boysnake

Posts: 43 | From: Norway | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
serg1
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posted June 07, 2007 09:07 PM      Profile for serg1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
You nead a NM-HDV card or a AIM-30 card to use the DSP modules.
I think Aim-voice-30 doesn't work as conference/transcoder resources.
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boonchin.ng
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posted June 09, 2007 06:21 AM      Profile for boonchin.ng     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm,

Any advice for below hardware [Home Voice Lab for VoIP and PSTN testing]

HQ & BR1:
2611XM w/NM-HDV,PVDM-12,VWIC-1MFT-T1

BR2:
2611XM w/NM-HDV,PVDM-12,WWIC-1MFT-E1: BR2

PSTN/WAN:
2611XM w/NM-HDV,PVDM-12,VWIC-2MFT-T1,VWIC-1MFT-E1

The reason I use 2611XM is I can get those routers much cheaper than 2811.

Thanks and best regards.

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boonchin.ng
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posted June 09, 2007 06:38 AM      Profile for boonchin.ng     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Also, not to forget

WIC-1T for HQ, BR1 and BR2

2x WIC-2T for PSTN/WAN.

Thanks and best regards.

Posts: 183 | From: Singapore | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
serg1
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posted June 09, 2007 11:28 PM      Profile for serg1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I got 3 MC3810 for PSTN/WAN emulation ~ $200.
I connected with VOIP all of them - it is working fine.

But fu$#%^$ing WAN/V35 don't want to work.

2 routers connected with T1 and have 4 V.35 ports.
I am getting interface up/down every 30 seconds.

Posts: 732 | From: Sweden | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
radioman2006
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posted June 11, 2007 07:36 AM      Profile for radioman2006     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi,

Thanks for every one's input. I am working on few things said in the reponose of my query. I was busy finding some answers by gooing through another round of Cisco documentation. I'll be coming back soon to update / ask more questions (may be) soon.

Thanks.
radioman2006.

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John Mistichelli
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posted June 18, 2007 08:16 AM      Profile for John Mistichelli     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Serg1,
Just a stupid question, what cable are you using between the T1 interface? I have a few MC3810s and was able to cross-connect the MFT T1 ports with a T1 cross-over cable.

John
7536

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serg1
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posted June 18, 2007 12:00 PM      Profile for serg1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The same as for voice ports.
Voice one are working fine.
I tryed db60 dte/dce cable to Wic-1t.

I got T1-T1 router connections bw routers now.
Newermind. Thanks.

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teru11569
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posted July 22, 2007 09:07 PM      Profile for teru11569     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi,

I am new for PSTN voice connection... so if I want to test voice running over T1, I can just connect two VWIC-1MFT-T1 directly?

Thank you!

Best Regards,
Teru Lei

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serg1
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posted July 27, 2007 11:24 AM      Profile for serg1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
... on router with accessible DSP resources ...
Posts: 732 | From: Sweden | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
whosjohnny
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posted August 15, 2007 01:56 AM           Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Question for Boonchin:

Although 2611XM is cheaper but with 2811 you don't need NM-HDV which cost around $500 without PVDM-12's or VWIC-2MFT-T1/E1. Also, with 2611XM using NM-HDV, you cannot use the newer and more feature rich
PVDM2-16/32/48/64 DSPs.

Also, 2811 has a much faster processor on-board but that's besides the point.

Just thought I throw that in.

My home voice lab:

2511 terminal server
2811-pstn wic-2t, wic-2t, 2mft-t1, 2mft-e1, pvdm2-16, pvdm2-32
2811-hqr w/ 3550-24-pwr w/emi,pvdm2-32
2811-br1 w/ nm-16esw, ac-2811-ip, pvdm2-16, pvdm2-16
3725-br2 w/ aim-cue v2.3.4 w/1GB, 3550-24-pwr w/emi, nm-hdv/2mft-e1,pvdm-12x4Qty

2x cisco ata186 and 8 cisco 7960 ip-phones
2 ibm thinkpad w/ 56k modem for modem tests.

extras:
cisco 831 router
cisco 1601 router
cisco 2501 router
cisco 2502 router
cisco 2507 router
cisco 2650 router

I know the DSPs are overkill, thought about selling them and put them each with just 16-Channel G.711. =D

John

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radioman2006
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posted August 15, 2007 08:03 AM      Profile for radioman2006     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi,

I started this thread earlier. I was working with my group for the home lab and we are half the way throuh the setup.

Just to update the group that I am also usig VMware virtualization software to run the number of machines in the environment.

My lab is almost 100% CCVP but may be 60~70 % CCIE level. This includes 2 of 2611xm, 2520 for frame-relay. This will be replaced with Cisco 4000 latter. So I can use not only serial interfaces but to upgrade to T1 and E1 cards too. I've 2511 for access router for the group to access the lab from remote.

There are vic-2fxs in each 2611xm routers i.e in Head offic and Branch. Headoffice also has vic-2fxo-m1. The routers are loaded with 48Mb Flash and 256Mb DRAM. Serial cards are WIC-1T in each router for the Frame-Relay.

In HO and Branch have 2 of catalyst 3550-pwr switches.

Have one physical MCS-7835-1000 Cisco Publisher CallManager server and have one same as virtual machine in the VMware too. Subsriber is also in Virtual environment. I'll be running the Unity and IPCC Express again in the Virtual environment in the Head Office.

Branch router (2611xm) is loaded with AIM-CUE also.

There is ATA-186 in the branch for fax and analog phone.

Got two 7960 phones each for head office and branch. Reset of the IP phones I have loaded in the VMware. There are XP machines running each for HO and Branch in the virtual environment that has ip softphone and ip communicator loaded on them.

All Cisco equipment is used but but the 19" communication rack and Virtual server are both brand new.

I designed the server my self. Here is the specs for the virtual server. It has Asus Server board DSBF-DE/SAS with two Intel Xeon E5320 Quad Core processors on the motherboard. Each one has 8Mb cache running at 1.8GHz speed. There is 4Gb RAM on the motherboard. 250Gb SATA Hard disk, Floppy, DVD, Dual LAN port for 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 ports. The mother board has 2 mini-SAS connectors support a total of 8 scsi devices apart of other connectors are available for IDE devices. Have special ANTEC case for the SERVER TOWER with 650WATT power supply and front USB ports on the case. This is a brand new server and I provided the part numbers and asked the vendor to build for me.

I'll be running at least one Publisher in virtual environment beside I have one phyicall. Just to do some experiments. The Publisher, Unity, IPCC Express, Most of the PCs with soft phone for branck and head office will be all running in Virtual environment. I have saved lot of space in my 19" rack, noice, cost of all these machines running 7/24 [Smile] .

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radioman2006
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posted September 09, 2007 10:35 PM      Profile for radioman2006     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi,

Just a quick update where my lab is standing now. I've done most of the software installation i.e. Cisco CallManager, Unity, Frame-relay setup, Router basic setup. In regards to physicall equipment installation we have completed all the eqpuipemnt isntallation in the rack. Most of the equipment is grounded with 6AWG bare copper ground wires. The load of the rack was distributed among different power outlets. Few things are left and then rack will be up and ready to use.

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Kan000k
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posted September 20, 2007 01:50 AM      Profile for Kan000k     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is anyone looking to get a cheap(ish) 6509? I got one I no longer need, no modules - just the power and fan. It cost me over $2500 - yours for $1500 (plus shipping).

Cheers
kan000k

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marrum
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posted May 26, 2008 11:56 PM      Profile for marrum        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Guys, one question please. Can I use 26xx routers or do I need a min of 26xxXM
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ccie6746
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posted July 08, 2008 05:47 PM      Profile for ccie6746     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by marrum:
Guys, one question please. Can I use 26xx routers or do I need a min of 26xxXM

You dont need the XM in a lab, they dont have the same CPU but only to worry in production environment.
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Shawliejoe
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posted July 08, 2008 05:55 PM      Profile for Shawliejoe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I installed AIM-VOICE-30 and NM-HDV in a 2621xm but only the NM-HDV is up in SHOW DIAG - the AIM is not. Would it not show up in SHOW DIAG until I insert a VWIC?
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Gene
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posted July 29, 2008 10:54 AM      Profile for Gene     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just curious, how much have you spent so far?
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radioman2006
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posted July 29, 2008 12:13 PM      Profile for radioman2006     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi Gene,

I'll post the info. after I look at my spreadsheet where I have kept all the accounting. Also some of the equipment and the cards are little bit chnaged then what I have posted in my first message in this thread. I know this question always come that how much I really have to spend. I'll be back and update the info.

Posts: 19 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged


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