Its been a while, and for that im sorry.
I have been very busy watching VOD (Video On Demand) classes from IPexpert. Scott Morris has done these videos, and he is pretty good at it in my opinion. There are alot of new stuff as well. Things such as Multilink Frame-relay (FRF.16) and PPP over frame-relay. IRB (Integrated Routing and Bridging) was also new for me. Basically you can extend your L2 over a L3 ip routed network. All very interesting stuff.
I have also spent quite some time picking up my physical exercise plans. I am beginning to notice a difference in my attention span and general tiredness. Attention span going up while tiredness going down. This is good 🙂
Last time, i wrote about putting together a home lab compared to renting lab time, and what options you would have. I would like to give some more information on this here.
As far as i see it, first of all you need to figure out what sort of budget you are working on. Using rack-rental is more flexible budget wise, in that you can purchase the time you need, and nothing more. This will probably save you in the long run. The big drawback of this solution is that you can only use your allotted time on the rack. That means that if you have a slot for 8 in the evening until midnight, thats when you will practice your technologies. If you dont feel like it, or are not prepared to do it at that time, you waste the slot you paid for. You cant study something, and then wanting to test it out quickly, right there and then. As mentioned, this is a big drawback, at least for me.
The other option is to build your own home lab, where you can practice everything, and physically touch it! (at least some of it). This option is far more expensive no matter how good you are at finding the right stuff and the right price.
On a side note, if Cisco really wanted to help students out, they should have a rental plan in place. You would be able to rent the physical gear from them for a period of time, and return it after you are done with it. Ofcourse there are some costs involved in this, but it would mean you could get physical access to the exact gear thats being tested on the lab exam.
I chose to build my own lab. The main reason for this, is that i like to have gear available to me when i need it, and not go about selecting when i think i might need it. The last piece of this puzzle should arrive any day now. Will elaborate more when i get everything running.
After this, I need to relocate the lab to a different location, since my internet connection at home will be down for a while. I will then have access to the entire rack remotely at any time.
Right now… back to VOD.