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Little help with plans and kit choice please

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Due to several issues, like being diagnosed with autism, I am having to completely restart/redirect my career. So, I'm planning on taking the CCNA, and more (CCNP?) after that if everything goes OK. I would ask for any comments about how I am thinking of going about this, as follows.


I plan on following the new 100-101 etc official cert guides. Is there any benefit to sitting the CCENT first rather than just the full CCNA exam? Is there any physical testing in the exam (with real hardware) or is it all PC/sim based?


My funds are extremely limited and I'm selling off some stuff to fund Cisco kit. I can probably manage a few hundred pounds at the moment. I would rather buy what I need up front though, than waste money on kit that becomes redundant. I'm planning on using GNS3 for routers, although if I can afford it I would like of a couple of 2651XM routers to play with because I feel much better about doing things 'for real'.


Anyway... Switches: I'm considering a c3750-24TS as a breakout switch for GNS3. That will take all the money I have until I sell something since they seem to go for around £180 to £200. Then two or three 3550 or 2950, depending on what I can pick them up for. Does that sound reasonable? Would I need 3550 (or higher) switches rather than 2950 for CCNP, or anything I'm likely to do immediately after CCNA?


Routers: Would the 2651XM be redundant for anything more than CCNA, given that IOS 15 won't run on it? That's if I can afford them anyway after I've bought switches.


Any advice would be gratefully received.


By the way, although my only physical experience with Cisco kit is plugging it in, I'm not a complete newbie having designed and installed basic switching infrastructures with HP and 3Com kit and I have a (now defunct) 3Com Wireless Expert certificate.




Edit: Oops, great start - I should probably have posted this in the Certification area, not the Technical area. D'oh!

Edited by foxyrick

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