CCNA Labs – I am studying for my CCNA certification and was asked about lab equipment – absolutely the way to go. I configure EVERYTHING from the books and videos in my class on my own equipment. Makes it real and easier to retain the massive amount of information it takes to pass the CCNA.
I bought a kit, but you can buy the individual stuff – be sure to watch the CBT Nugget about lab equipment. you will need several crossover cables and regular cat cables to make all the connections.
These switches are cheap and work great:
These routers are cheap and will work great – get them with a wic 1 dsu/csu t1 module in it and you can string the serial interfaces together for frame relay in ICND2.
I bought this kit – had absolutely everything you need. Was very happy with it and the vendor. Buy the rack if you can afford it. This stuff is LOUD and hot – you will need a place to put it – mine all went into a closet in my den and I ran a 25 ft. cat cable into my desk area. You also need a serial connector for the console – with a usb adapter if your computer does not have a serial port. do the initial config next to your working computer and then transfer each switch/router to the rack.