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THIS DOES NOT EXIST. October 7 (P6)

On a side note, I saw a "Missing Persons" poster on campus for "Rachel Amber" a pretty Blackwell student who vanished. It's so sad to see her smiling face and think about the awful things that could happen. If there was a way for me to rewind back six months, I totally would.   I had to go back to the dorm to get Warren's flash drive and yes, Victoria and her Vortex Vixens blocked me from getting in, and even took my picture... It was so "high school movie" I can't believe she did it.
She actually told me to "Go fuck your selfie" though, it was funny. I don't know why she has to act that way. She already has everything she wants, doesn't she? And she forced me to use my rewind until I finally came up with a way to get her out of my way. I don't want to use this power for trivial bullshit, especially if I have been given an actual "gift" from the universe, but it did give me a chance to test it out.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

THIS DOES NOT EXIST. October 7 (P5)

Everything feels so surreal right now. I can't talk to anybody about this, well... The only person I could, I haven't seen in five years. I could confide in Warren, he's smart and knows science, so maybe he could even think of an explanation. Though I have no idea what that could be.   Until I can figure this out, I better stay on the down low with this stuff and focus on my classes. Warren sent me a text asking for his flash drive back, even though I haven't had a chance to check out all the cool shows and films on there.   I watched a few episodes of Doctor Who and X-Files; binged on Fullmetal Alchemist; then Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (all kinds of Amazon women black and white badassery); Tetsuo (a total cyberpunk trip with amazing visuals); and Scott Pilgrim (for about the millionth time).

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

THIS DOES NOT EXIST. October 7 (P4)

Then I made the possibly fatal decision to inform Principal Wells that I saw Nathan waving a gun in the bathroom. I didn’t think I should mention the girl, or my new rewind abilities, for obvious reasons.   He didn’t want to believe me and almost made me feel like shit for telling him that Blackwell’s most big fucking deal student would carry a firearm to class. I couldn’t tell him that he actually killed a girl in a previous timeline...   So my school day started with an apocalyptic dream then ended with saving a life and discovering I have some kind of power to rewind time. I don’t know how to top that.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

THIS DOES NOT EXIST. October 7 (P3)

I knew the only way to find out if I was having a breakdown was to go back to the bathroom and see if I could save that girl from Nathan this time. I had no idea how either. I just knew I couldn’t live with myself if I let her die again. I escaped Jefferson this time by knowing exactly how to answer his questions and rushed to the bathroom.   I hid in the corner again and I couldn’t believe it when Nathan showed up, freaking out all over again.   Then the girl came into the bathroom, and before Nathan could shoot her, I smashed open the ancient fire alarm and scared both of them away. Victory!   …Until I got grilled by the security chief, David Madsen, who thinks he’s Chuck Norris: Blackwell Ranger. Nathan Prescott almost kills a girl in the bathroom but no, I’M THE PROBLEM. I was so glad when Principal Wells stepped in to shoo David away.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

THIS DOES NOT EXIST. October 7 (P2)

I felt so shitty. I just wanted to get to the bathroom to be alone and wash my face after that nightmare. Or daymare. Once I got to the bathroom, I saw this odd beautiful blue butterfly flutter in and right when I took a photo of it in the corner, Nathan Prescott came in freaking out, talking to himself. I hid in the corner and this punk girl came in and they started arguing about drugs and money. Then Nathan actually whipped out a gun and SHOT the girl.   This is where it gets strange.   When Nathan fired the gun I came around the corner and reached out for some dumb reason, as if I could stop the bullet. But suddenly I could feel the world twisting around me and this pressure in my head, everything seemed to rewind and I found myself right back in class at my desk!   I literally thought I had been dosed with some drug until I calmed myself down. I saw everything happen in class the way it did before. Major Groundhog Day-ja vue. Somehow I was able to actually rewind time.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

THIS DOES NOT EXIST. October 7 (P1)

This will be the weirdest journal entry I will ever make. So weird I don’t know how or where to start. But it started with the most vivid dream of my life. I was lost in a storm by the lighthouse until I came to the edge of the cliff.   Then I saw a giant tornado headed for Arcadia Bay. It was so real that I could feel the rain stinging my face. And I was scared shitless. Then a boat hit the lighthouse and I swear I actually felt like I was going to die.   But I woke up in Mr. Jefferson’s class and I wasn't even sleeping. I almost fell out of my chair. Jefferson called on me but I totally blew the answer. Of course Victoria pounced on me and made me look like a bigger idiot. She’s so awful. Then I didn’t have the guts to turn in a photo for the “Everyday Heroes” contest while Victoria did her usual suck-up to Jefferson. He’s so cool and he clearly wants me to succeed.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

October 1

October. My favorite month. The best weather of the year. I love watching the leaves change color, turning into tiny flames. But it’s still too damn hot (thanks global warming) and I can’t bust out the big coats and sweaters or scary movies yet. Soon. Kate let me borrow “The October Country” by Rad Bradbury.   I haven’t read much by him (which caused Warren to almost revoke my geek cred before I held up my copy of “Battle Royale”) but he nails the autumn atmosphere of small towns. The last time I wore a Halloween costume was with Chloe… I have pictures in one of my old albums…   I should find a real Halloween party to crash so I can experience some social mingling. It’s that or a Vortex Clubstrokefest swimming party. Or is that backstrokefest? You so punny, Max.   At least I’m trying to climb out of my cocoon. I shouldn’t expect my life to completely change after a few weeks of Blackwell Academy. As my parents love telling me on a loop, “You have all the time in the world”.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

tac_plus (TACACS+) - Filtering the accounting file to get user total login time

I am currently working on a personal project but so far, I've created a simple python script (with many comments to try and explain what is going on!) to pull data from the default tac_plus.acct (AAA Accounting file) that is created with tac_plus.   By default this file is saved in /var/log/tac_plus.acct and records user sessions (whether it is authenticated via TACACS+ or by the local database on our cisco router (10.0.100.1). The script takes an argument used to filter the specific 'username' for the total time they have accessed this device.   The script technically pulls total time accessed to ALL devices with that username, but in my case I have only a single router configured in GNS3 with the ubunutu VM as a docker. I am looking to improve this script so I can either filter by ALL devices/IPs or a single IP matching a username.   #!/usr/bin/env python import time import sys def getUserTime(username): #Default location for accounting file below. It won't be created if AAA accounting is not #configured on the device... accFile = open('/var/log/tac_plus.acct','r') splitFile = accFile.readlines() #2 lines should involve a session (Connect + Disconnect) sessions = len(splitFile) / 2 print 'Total Sessions in accounting file: {0}\n'.format(str(sessions)) #Variables for splitting the file + counters session_index = 0 session_list = [] count = 0 user_sessions = 0 user_time_index = 0 user_time = 0 #--------------------------------------# while session_index < sessions: #Check if username exist in accounting file if any(username in s for s in splitFile[count:count+2]): #Increment user sessions, since more than 1 connect/disconnect have been found user_sessions = user_sessions + 1 #Print below is for debugging/seeing output when running the script print 'Found session for user: {0} ({1})...'.format(username, user_sessions) #Append connect/disconnect session from splitFile list to a new list of lists... if any("elapsed_time=" in t for t in splitFile[count:count+2]): session_list.append(splitFile[count:count+2]) #Counter is incremented by 2 because of session is made from: connect and disconnect count = count + 2 #Session_index tells us what session we are on in the file...Stops the while loop session_index = session_index + 1 print '\nTotal sessions for user **{0}** = {1}'.format(username, user_sessions) #Reset incase I use count again... count = 0 #For each 'session' (which we have filtered 'elapsed_time=' to a username for session in session_list: user_time_index = session[1].split() #Split all variables in disconnect session #Index 14 SHOULD be 'elapsed_time=', replace it so now we have the variable in 'user_time' user_time = user_time + int(user_time_index[14].replace('elapsed_time=','')) #using 'time' module, to output the format user_time = time.strftime('%H:%M:%S', time.gmtime(user_time)) print 'Total time logged in: ' + str(user_time) #Write to temp_time so a PHP script in /var/html/www can pull the total time for the user... new_file = open('/var/www/html/temp_time.txt','w') new_file.write(user_time) new_file.close() getUserTime(sys.argv[1]) The purpose of this was to rent out a lab (where the customer needs to log in via an access server) and be able to gather/display information regarding the total time they have spent on the lab.   So the access server can be configured with AAA (and accounting exec command) to authenticate with this linux VM. Then the customer will be able to somehow view a webpage that gathers the time he has logged in until the password is reset (and he needs to book another 24hr frame to get access again)... The basic PHP script to access this time value in the text file is: <html> <div class="lab-remain-time"> <p>User netdbackup - Total used LAB time </p> <hr> <?php $myfile = fopen("temp_time.txt", "r") or die("Unable to open: temp_time.txt"); echo fread($myfile, filesize("temp_time.txt")); ?> </div> </html   Here is an example of all of this in action:   The script can filter total sessions + total time on a username:   The best css formatting you'll ever see (php script reading the time)

BSpendlove

BSpendlove

 

September 30

I don’t know whether I love it or hate it here. I’m trying to keep up with my science class of all things. Like I give a shit or even understand it. Good thing I know Warren. Too bad I can’t clone him to take my place in class.   Ms. Grant is much cooler than the class. She explains particle physics so even boneheads like me can kinda understand. I love how she relates society to science and vice versa. I can tell she’s committed and passionate about life. Unlike some of us in her class, but I’m trying to engage more, even if it means asking actual questions in class instead of hiding in the back. I’m just glad I’m not the only social misfit here.   Now how much homework are you avoiding?

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

September 23

Finally had a chance to take some actual shots around campus today. A perfect blue sky day. I always forget how great I feel after I take pictures when I’ve been slacking off. Speaking of pictures, Mr. Jefferson told us about the national “Everyday Heroes” photo contest he wants us all to enter.   The winner gets a trip to San Francisco and lots of publicity. He wants just one photograph from each student. This is exactly why I wanted to come to Blackwell and of course I’m scared shitless to enter. At least I have a couple weeks before the deadline in October. So I have plenty of time to stress and procrastinate. Sigh.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

September 15

Homework is kicking my ass. I bet the teachers grade harder just to stop you from feeling special. But Victoria Chase and her snob minions still front like they’re honored guests of Blackwell. The bros here aren’t that different. Nathan Prescott is Victoria’s male clone, with way more money and attitude, if that’s possible.   His family is the oldest in Arcadia Bay and I heard stories about them when I was a kid. The Prescotts give a shitload of bank to Blackwell, so Nathan acts like he literally owns the school. Yesterday during class, he put his feet on the desk, started texting and the teacher didn’t say jack!   I’d get suspended. But him and Victoria are part of this silly elite “Vortex Club” that puts on popular parties and so they get their way. It’s good be the king and queen.   I don’t want to slam everybody. I do like Kate Marsh, she’s down the hall and in one of my classes. She’s so pretty AND sweet and friendly. It makes her more beautiful than the beeatches here like Victoria who think beauty is just your face and outfit. See? I’m already playing their drama games. No more!

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

September 4

I have an assload of homework already. So much bullshit. At least give us noobs a day to acclimate. But, to prove I’m not a total loser, I made a new friend in my science class. His name is Warren Graham and he’s a serious geek, plus he’s dark and witty.   He comes across as kind of a know-it-all, but it turns out he does kind of know a lot. We talked about photographers, and he actually named a few I'd never heard of. We traded numbers and he’ll be a good study partner (or a good friend). I’ll need at least one based on the clique action here. I thought being 18 meant I didn’t have to deal with this teenage drama anymore. I THOUGHT.   At least I get to research famous photographers for some of my homework. Mr. Jefferson assigned us a ton of reading, but this is exactly what I want to study. Jefferson is supercool and superchill.   He doesn’t try to be too hip, just says what he thinks and expects us to as well. I think he’s a genius. OMG I WANT TO MARRY HIM. Just joking. This class is worth all the social dysfunction.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

September 3, 2013

Blackwell sucks ass! I told myself not to whine so soon, but damn… The day started like Christmas morning. I barely had any dreams because I was so pumped to start my first official day of my new life. Like a dork I couldn’t figure out what to wear, so I chose what was on the floor. I’m no good with names and faces right away, but I picked up some names like KateBrookeTaylorAlyssa…   And how could I forget Victoria Chase? Rich, stylish, entitled. I could feel INSTANT JUDGEMENT when she looked at my raggedy ass clothes. As if I’m at Blackwell to strike fashion poses… Maybe I'm being extra crispy sensitive, but I think Victoria wants life here to be like her own reality show. Ugh…   So that wasn’t fun along with my general social unease… I thought it would be easier being back. Call the waaahmbulance! I don’t want this day to end all “Woe is Max”. It was incredible to walk across the green campus in the morning mist. I love the stone steps and brick walls of Blackwell. Everything is a picture waiting to be taken… Speaking of, at least one great thing did happen today: Mr. Jefferson’s photography class. Sigh…   There’s more to tell but journal, forgive me, I’m truly wiped out.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

September 2, 2013, 12:07AM

My first entry from my new dorm room the night before my first day at Blackwell. Whew! I haven’t had any time to write or even take pictures since I got here. My shit is in boxes all over the room, which is small, but mine, and I never want to leave. I can’t wait to decorate! I plan a whole wall o’ photos. I did meet some of my dorm mates, tho I suck at remembering names so I won’t bother right now. But I think I can already see who’s going to be cool to me and who’s not. It’s a bitch trying to get settled into a new school and social scene after I finally found good friends in Seattle.   But I’m here now and this is the start of my new life. Sweet dreams.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

August 25, 2013

Shit is krazy here. I didn’t realize how much crap I had to pack until I had to pack all my crap. Mom and Dad are gettin’ a little too excited I’m clearing out my room. Tho I caught mom crying when she was packing my shirts.   That made me want to cry like a little girl. And never leave Seattle. So instead of packing, I feel like burning all my clothes, then just raiding a thrift store to build up a new Max wardrobe over my junior year. Not that I even have an old Max wardrobe.   Nobody will know me except for Chloe and who knows how different we are now. So I can cut my hair, get a tat and some piercings. Maybe date a cute foreign exchange artiste from Paris or Rome. I can do anything. Unless I get busted.   And there will be so many supercool chances for my photography to get exposed! Thinking about that is when I get scared, but excited. And then I don’t feel like crying at all. I get tingles down my arms, sensing the universe opening up for me. I can’t wait to leave.   I just want things to be… different at Blackwell.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

August 18, 2013

So this is it. I’m leaving Seattle to go back to Arcadia Bay. Usually people go to the High School closest to home. I suppose I am too, it’s just I haven’t lived there for 5 years. Out of all the best photography programs in the world, I choose to go to the smallest, back in a town I was excited about leaving.   Maybe I wanted to come back all along, just to see if Chloe and I are still even friends. But I do wish Chloe could have moved with us to Seattle… That city was made for her. When we would play pirates in our rooms and in the woods, it seemed like Seattle was that fabled faraway island of treasure and adventure that we were always seeking. With coffee shops.   But Seattle wasn’t like a fable. Au contraire. Now Blackwell Academy seems more exotic to me than any other place in the world. To study photography under Mark Jefferson... SIGH. Insert hearts and flowers. Plus there will be cool diverse students from everywhere. It won’t be like my high school now… I never really found a groove with my classmates. (Or boys…) I’m lucky I have a couple great friends here. But it’s time to ship out.   So maybe Arcadia Bay will actually turn out to be the island of treasure and adventure I’ve been looking for...

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

July 10, 2013

I GOT ACCEPTED INTO BLACKWELL ACADEMY.   If words could dance this would be a rave. Even though I’ve never been to one. But who cares because I GOT INTO BLACKWELL ACADEMY, a unique and famous private school for seniors! NO KIDS ALLOWED! I didn’t think I would be so excited since it's not like I didn’t used to live in the same town. But when I saw the text from the Blackwell scholarship office, I could literally feel my pulse speed up.   I thought it was going to say, “Sorry! Thanks for playing!” It took me a few seconds before I read the whole thing. I guess I wanted to enjoy that last moment of blissful ignorance. And when I saw the first word, “Congratulations...” I think I screamed.   My mom cried, and my dad laughed. They’re so weird. But they’re happy and this means extra financial support because they don’t have to pay anything to Blackwell. This means new clothes and if I can work it, a new laptop.   Oh, and I have to keep telling myself in caps that I AM GOING TO BLACKWELL ACADEMY.

Max Caulfield

Max Caulfield

 

Pre-Build Blog of Reptar β: Reasons for Not Going for R7 and Looking into the Future

I guess I gotta talk about the current state of Reptar, or rather, I'm kinda inclined to.   If you want TL;DR, me planning on what I wanted to spend my money on is why I didn't go for the R7.   Now that the TL;DR is out of the way, I amassed $220USD in total the night before my birthday, September 20th. I then started weighing my options. "Should I bust my load right here right now or should I have some money to spend then save for R7 around Christmas?" I am getting money from a test soon enough, and I'm getting $300USD out of it. This would've easily put me in the green for getting an R7 1700, but something in my head was like "should I really spend all that money right now?" I then convinced myself that a temporary CPU would suffice for me.   "Why did you get yourself an Athlon and not an R3?" Simple: I don't want to disappoint myself. I won't go much further than that but that's the explanation I decided on.   Without further ado, this is what I ordered:   PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant CPU: AMD - Athlon X4 950 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($59.99 @ Newegg) 
Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($59.99 @ Newegg) 
Memory: Patriot - Viper 4 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory  ($69.99 @ Newegg) 
Case: Cooler Master - N200 MicroATX Mini Tower Case  ($49.12 @ Amazon) 
Total: $239.09
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-09-23 01:18 EDT-0400   I guess my future plans with my rig will be getting the aforementioned R7 1700, going for a new power supply and hopefully getting a new GPU and putting my 7850 to rest. There's really not much I need to say here.

handymanshandle

handymanshandle

 

League Of Legend's PCP Build

PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/FLRp6X
Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/FLRp6X/by_merchant/ CPU: AMD - Athlon X4 860K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($59.99 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: MSI - A68HM-GRENADE Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard  ($46.49 @ Amazon) 
Memory: Crucial - Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($52.54 @ Amazon) 
Storage: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($16.99 @ Amazon) 
Video Card: Asus - GeForce GT 1030 2GB Phoenix Fan OC Video Card  ($76.99 @ Amazon) 
Case: Fractal Design - Core 1100 MicroATX Mini Tower Case  ($44.99 @ NCIX US) 
Power Supply: Corsair - CXM 550W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($36.99 @ Newegg) 
Total: $334.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-09-19 19:53 EDT-0400

Being Delirious

Being Delirious

 

GNS3 and Ubunutu VM for TACACS+

I was just testing around and finding a simple way to have a look at TACACS+ without getting a friend to obtain Cisco ACS for me. I have an Ubunutu VM that I was testing on so I thought I'd find a TACACS+ package or somewhat, many are available but I found one which is based off the original cisco TACACS+ code (doesn't provide LDAP integration but they have examples how to 'almost' fully integrate it haha)...   So this is more or less a quick post so I can look back when I need to review all the studies and such. Assuming currently we have the VM installed and updated (currently using Ubunutu Server 17.04.   sudo apt-get install tacacs+   We need to do a tiny bit of configuration for the shared secret, user/groups and then finally the device configuration to get the basics up and running. Once the package is installed, we will mainly be working in: /etc/tacacs+/tac_plus.conf.   I normally copy this file and rename it .old so I can refer back to it if needed, and clear the config file since there is many comments and I like a tidy file...  The main changes we will make is:   key = mynewsecretkey123   and then creating users/groups. We can do quite a bit (some examples in the .old conf file I mentioned to copy) but to get the bare basic configuration all up and running I'll create a user and a group (which will allow by default to permit all commands, we can define specific commands to permit/deny which is the advantage of TACACS+ compared to RADIUS.. RADIUS we can define the privilege level but I believe we can't limit specific commands...) key = oioi123 user = netdbackup { member = backup_operators } group = backup_operators { default service = permit login = file /etc/passwd enable = file /etc/passwd } A lot of people recommend to use the authentication in linux (create the user also in linux) since we can use either clear text passwords in our configuration file, or DES encryption which isn't the best...   Once we have made a change to the configuration file we'll issue:  sudo /etc/init.d/tacacs_plus restart If any errors might occur, configuration file may have a typo in.   That is practically the basic setup, we just need to create a quick user in linux. I've created the user 'netdbackup' with a password of oioi456...   Now the configuration is extremely easy on our devices, I've come across a ton of post that just tell you what to put and doesn't explain it. My VM is assigned 10.0.100.10 and the topology looks like this:   Firstly, we'll start with our basics of a local user to roll back on in the event of the tacacs+ server going offline: R1(config)#username cisco priv 15 password cisco R1(config)#enable secret cisco   Lets begin with the configuration for TACACS+ and AAA. R1(config)#tacacs-server host 10.0.100.10 !Defines our host, even when we create our AAA group, we still need to define this R1(config)#tacacs-server key oioi123 !Our key in the configuration file on the TACACS+ server R1(config)#tacacs-server directed-request !This allows users to choose which TACACS+ server to authenticate with if we have multiple R1(config)#aaa new-model !Enable AAA and give us more commands R1(config)#aaa group server tacacs+ TAC_SERVERS !We are creating a TACACS+ group and called it TAC_SERVERS R1(config-sg-tacacs+)#server 10.0.100.10 !Adding our TACACS+ server to our group to authenticate with R1(config)#aaa authentication login default group TAC_SERVERS local !Use our TACACS+ group, then fall back to local authentication R1(config)#aaa authorization exec default group TAC_SERVERS local if-authenticated !Practically allows us to authenticate with our user so we shouldn't need to enable secret/password to get into priv mode. Although beware since a few bugs exsisted in IOS 12.4 where an error message would prompt 'Authentication failed'. This command practically uses TACACS+ first, then local and finally falls back onto if we are already authenticated with the device !!!output omitted User Access Verification Username: netdbackup Password: R1#conf t Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z. R1(config)#  

BSpendlove

BSpendlove

 

A guide to a Cisco R&S lab: Equipment

I've always wanted to do a post but felt like this is more appropriate for a blog post instead of on the networking forum. I've had a few people ask me on instagram + other social sites about building a lab and decided to create this so I can point them to it. Let us begin!     So, you're studying for a Cisco exam or want to get some 'real' hands on experience with Cisco equipment because either:   1) People are telling you real hardware experience is better than emulation/simulation 2) You are generally interested in learning on real hardware   Let us clear up one thing before we start talking about building a lab. There are many alternatives that can provide almost all the functionality for the R&S path (if not, everything for CCNA/CCNP) which are either free or cost a tiny investment, a bit like the money you will invest into this lab of yours!     Why would I want to build a lab?   The first thing I want to talk about is electric. Running this hardware cost money and can vary depending on the type of models of routers/switches etc you use. My personal experience is that I use my lab when I know I am going to be spending a long time on a concept, otherwise I'll just use GNS3 or a mix of GNS3 and real hardware. My equipment is off when I'm not using it and it doesn't affect my electric bill to the point that I'm considering if I should not use hardware.   Noise... Buying the most up to date models for a lab doesn't seem a good investment if you're just building a lab. While you can get routers/switches for £15 each, they can produce a LOT of noise when you populate your lab with many devices. You're probably going to go for 2nd hand equipment which could have faulty fans (still working, but they might rattle or make high pitched noises)   "I want to get real hardware because I want to plug things in..."... If you are planning on getting a lab purely for the practical feeling of actually using physical cables, you will feel different about that half-way during your studies. Sure, it doesn't take a long time to plug things in but a few factors come into play: Have you got a sufficient amount of cables for your different topologies? Are you going to make a network diagram inc. labelling the interfaces incase you want to recreate your topology with config files you already have? Can you keep up with using 40+ cables in your lab and knowing what connects to what logically? (Maybe you're not doing direct connections between devices...) A fine addition to crafting your ultimate lab from my point of view is, can you obtain IOS images for the devices you buy?   During my first few days of obtaining real hardware, I would normally check out the IOS version, figure out if I need any module cards, maybe do password recoveries (urghhh!).. My first experience before even configuring my first ever interface on a router is that I had to obtain an IOS image because someone had deleted it from the flash! (I was threatened because I didn't have a clue what I was dealing with)   Ok, I still want to build a lab but don't have a clue what to buy and how many?   You can buy sufficient equipment for your beginning CCENT/CCNA studies then invest more when you start to branch out into other areas to carry on to your CCNP. You can also be smart and buy equipment to still be used in your CCNP studies. For now, lets look at a few options   CCENT/CCNA studies (2 routers, 2 switches) 2 routers can provide: Basic routing protocol concepts You could always use other technologies to logically further split the routers so it looks like you have more Integrate with GNS3 for more routers Provide more functionality with static/dynamic routing 2 switches can provide: Basic switching concepts 802.1Q labs spanning multiple switches Personally, I think you can take a better look at slicing up unicast vs multicast vs broadcast with more flexibility... You can always substitute hardware routers with GNS3 (which will allow you to emulate IOS but also provide connectivity between emulation and hardware devices). Another option is that you can also chuck in another router since you can really find some good deals on ebay for job lots etc..   Enough with the boring stuff, lets look into models for routers and switches. Wait.... I NEED DEVICES that can run IOS 15!!! Some of the older models don't run IOS 15 (like computers and operating systems), sometimes the models are too old to either store the IOS version or don't have the hardware requirements. Now lets look...   Routers Cisco 1841: I started with these during my CCNA studies, they are very quite, have a little bit of room for expansion since they have 2 modules. Most of these on ebay come with a single WIC-1T with allows you bang out serial into your labs. This router does support IOS 15 (15.1) and depending on the IOS image you can experiment with a few other features. I use these quite a lot when I need routers for customer sites in my lab.   1760 Quite an old one so you should be able to get this for cheap on ebay! They take quite awhile to boot up, although they provide 2x WIC cards and the other 2 support VIC voice modules. Not 100% certain but I know this runs 12.3 and not 15.   2610/2612/2621/XM   Depending on your preference, the XM series replaces the 10mbps with 100mbps fast ethernet (only a single port)... I mentioned this because you can get them on ebay for about £10-15 if you look carefully and hunt down through the listings. The XM series supports a few more features and you can upgrade it (dram etc..). Using a single ethernet port, you can use subinterfaces trunked to a switch to logically have more connections. The 2610 supports up to IOS 12.3 I believe which is still ok for almost all the concepts at the CCENT/CCNA level.   2801 If you're lucky, you can find these between £25 - £40 a piece. They support more WIC modules than your 1841/2610 etc.. and allow 4x modules, although SLOT 0 only accepts VICS, 2 slots support HWIC modules and others, and SLOT 2 only accepts WICS (not HWICS)... I like that everything is at the front of the chassis so when I rack mount these, it is easy to get to inc. the console port etc.. These also support IOS 15.1   2811 Almost looks like the 2801 with modules around the back, not going into detail with this router because you can sometimes find them cheap... I mention this model because they normally are sold with a few modules preinstalled.   Switches 2950 These are extremely dirt cheap, come in many different variants (eg. just 24 x 100mbps port, 2 x gigbit uplinks, 2 x FX or SX uplinks, 12 x 100mbps port... just loads!) People literally throw these away on ebay for cheap but they can get loud! A few people recommended normally to swap these out for 2960's because they can run IOS 15 and obviously support other features. I've found 2950's on ebay with 2x gigabit links for around £12 each... or a job lot of 4x 2950's for £40-50!   2960  Lets take this opportunity to have a look at PoE. We can buy devices which support PoE that can provide power to a range of devices (most common would be IP phones). Again like the 2950, we have different variants which include 2 x gigabit ports for uplinks between switches etc.. A lot of people normally list these on ebay for around £20   3550 Now we are getting into devices known as 'Layer 3' or 'Multi-layer' switches. Unlike our 2950/2960, multilayer switches provide functionality between layer 2 and layer 3. A multilayer switch can act as a standard boring ol' switch but we can enable IP routing to practically act similar to a router. I use many multilayer switches in routing topologies to populate labs when I practiced routing protocols etc.. One key protocol that isn't support by this and another multilayer switch I'll mention is the ability to perform NAT (oh! also IPv6 & a few QoS features  ) . I believe these don't support IOS 15 but can be found on ebay between £15 - 20 a piece   3560 Practically looks like the 3550 and supports more features + higher speeds (around £15-35 a piece)   3750 The 3750 is a bit more expensive, more or less a 3560 with a few more features including stackwise. Stackwise isn't really something practical you need to learn for the exam but may be good for the real world. Again, depending on the IOS image you are limited to protocols etc.. eg. the IPBASE image doesn't support BGP..) I managed to buy 4 of these (2x PoE) for around £50 which was an absolute bargin and have taken me through CCNP studies. They are capable of even bringing you to the CCIE R&S.   There are plenty more other choices and combinations (eg. fully GNS3 and a few 3550/3560/3750's) but this is the gear that I've managed to use out in my own lab without breaking the bank. Another option is to also by a dedicated server to run GNS3 to allow more devices to run which is a valid option (or even looking at Cisco's virl... OR just using packet tracer for your CCENT/CCNA studies which many people have succeeded with)     This post will be edited some time in the future and reviewed  

BSpendlove

BSpendlove

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