certificationkits

This topic contains 26 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  rattis 4 years ago.

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  • #7596
     Darktaurus 
    Participant

    Has anyone ever ordered/used equipment from http://www.certificationkits.com/?  Any good/bad experiences with their equipment?  I would like to get a better networking lab together so I wants to order cisco switches/routers/etc.  I just didn’t want to get robbed. 🙂

  • #47410
     lorddicranius 
    Participant

    I saw in another thread around here that Grendal used them to setup the Hacking Dojo lab.  I went ahead and used them to setup a small lab myself too.  It’s used equipment so there’s some wear on them, but I haven’t had any problems with functionality.

  • #47411
     Darktaurus 
    Participant

    Thank you.  There were people that said they just went to ebay.  They just had to order things separately on ebay. But I can deal with wear as long as it works.  Thanks again. I guess I can get this lab together finally.

  • #47412
     sil 
    Participant

    Before you fork over a lot of money, you should try and use GNS simulators. (http://www.gns3-labs.com/) Haven’t ordered from the place you mentioned but haven enough hardware in my closet and basement to know it can become pricey. Simulators can do pretty much all that the hardware can do and its not uncommon that some CCNPs, CCIPs and even some CCIEs have used nothing but simulators.

  • #47413
     nicklauscombs 
    Participant

    GNS3 is an excellent option if it will suit your needs. if you really want a full hands on lab going through one of these companies is definitely the “easy way” but if you go the ebay route you will save yourself a TON of money. and i mean a TON of money.

  • #47414
     Darktaurus 
    Participant

    @sil wrote:

    Before you fork over a lot of money, you should try and use GNS simulators. (http://www.gns3-labs.com/) Haven’t ordered from the place you mentioned but haven enough hardware in my closet and basement to know it can become pricey. Simulators can do pretty much all that the hardware can do and its not uncommon that some CCNPs, CCIPs and even some CCIEs have used nothing but simulators.

    Thanks sil, I started with the simulators and every image known to mankind.  I think I really need the hardware in front of me.  Probably just an excuse to get more hardware in my house, but either way, I will probably go the hardware route.  More blinking lights! FTW!

    @nicklauscombs wrote:

    GNS3 is an excellent option if it will suit your needs. if you really want a full hands on lab going through one of these companies is definitely the “easy way” but if you go the ebay route you will save yourself a TON of money. and i mean a TON of money.

    Thanks nicklauscombs.  Yeah I am looking at ebay now, and they have kits for half the price including a warranty.  I might have to try that.  Books are already expensive. Thanks everyone for the info. 

  • #47415
     rattis 
    Participant

    I looked at  http://www.certificationkits.com/ before. I found them to be over priced. Everything they were selling, I got off Ebay for less, so built the same “kit” and got a rack for what they were charging.

    My bigger issue, their kits seem to be a little outdated. 2500s, at least the ISO version I have, and from what is said in Todd Lammle’s study guide, you’ll need newer gear. It’s been about 4 years or so, but if I recall correctly the Router on a Stick was the only way to do VLANS with the kits they had, and even that required a 2600.

    Better bet would be to get some study guides (from the library, or scan them at the store), and see what they are using in the study guides for kits, and then either EBAY it, or use the GNS Simulator.

    My problem is, I don’t know where to find the iso images for GNS, any suggestions?

  • #47416
     sil 
    Participant

    If you have an account on Cisco you should be able to download any of the images you need. What devices do you have? E.g., 2600, 3600, and what set are you looking for e.g., IPServices, Security, yadda yadda

  • #47417
     rattis 
    Participant

    Thanks Sil, will getting the images from Cisco work for the GNS lab? The last time I remember pulling Cisco Images, I’m pretty sure I coudl only get immages for devices I had support contracts for.

    I haven’t even looked at my personal Cisco account in more years than I care to admit. Think 06 was the last time.

  • #47418
     Darktaurus 
    Participant

    I am pretty sure you are correct.  You only have access to the images you have support contracts for. 

  • #47419
     rattis 
    Participant

    @Agoonie wrote:

    I am pretty sure you are correct.  You only have access to the images you have support contracts for. 

    Yep, just tried to get an image from Cisco, figured what he heck. error says:

    Service Contract Required.

    To Download this software, you must have a valid service contract associated to your Cisco.com profile.

    But this is something I should shelve again for now. I have other stuff to work on.

  • #47420
     sil 
    Participant

    Ah yea, forgot about about the contract shenanigans. I have access to mostly everything on there as well as Juniper. I download and horde things to play with. Whether or not I have it

  • #47421
     nicklauscombs 
    Participant

    @Agoonie wrote:

    Thanks nicklauscombs.  Yeah I am looking at ebay now, and they have kits for half the price including a warranty.  I might have to try that.  Books are already expensive. Thanks everyone for the info. 

    i meant more for you to buy the “kit” piece by piece and stay away from the bundled packages as they are always overpriced and usually has extremely ancient hardware. you’ll also learn way more by having to research images, hardware, memory, etc….

  • #47422
     jason 
    Participant

    I’ve ordered from them a couple times. Not the best experience in the world due to a few problems:

    They sent me one of the wrong items and it was a hassle to get it replaced with the proper one.

    Some of the equipment was VERY used

    Two switches had bad roms (which they did replace), and it took quite a bit of troubleshooting on my end to figure out what the problem was. A little QA on their end would have kept these from going out the door in the first place.

    I had several switches arrive with broken faceplates (as in broken off entirely) due to bad packing. I had to argue with them to get them replaced.

    They sent out a CD with a gob of IOS versions on it for various equipment. Nice to have, but not kosher with Cisco’s licensing.

    Overall, a mediocre experience, particularly for the rather large amount of money involved. Would I buy from them again? Likely not.

  • #47423
     rattis 
    Participant

    @sil wrote:

    Ah yea, forgot about about the contract shenanigans. I have access to mostly everything on there as well as Juniper. I download and horde things to play with. Whether or not I have it

    Kind of hi-jacking the thread, but any recommendations on what and where to get Juniper firewalls to learn on? What about Checkpoint? Cisco PIX and ASA I feel pretty good on, but everyone around here wants the other two.

  • #47424
     nicklauscombs 
    Participant

    @chrisj wrote:

    Kind of hi-jacking the thread, but any recommendations on what and where to get Juniper firewalls to learn on?

    SRX100 is the cheapest you can pick up new they sit around 600 or 700 bucks.

  • #47425
     sil 
    Participant

    @nicklauscombs wrote:

    @chrisj wrote:

    Kind of hi-jacking the thread, but any recommendations on what and where to get Juniper firewalls to learn on?

    SRX100 is the cheapest you can pick up new they sit around 600 or 700 bucks.

    SRX is not the cheapest you can get, and the SRX is an altogether different platform from the SSG series. If you wanted to learn say ScreenOS on the Juniper side, you can pick up an older NS25 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-2-Juniper-Netscreen-NS25-big-brother-to-NS5-FW-VPN-Unlimited-Users-/221016001718?pt=US_Firewall_VPN_Devices&hash=item3375948cb6) which will run the latest versions of ScreenOS.

    SRX’ are more router gateways and run JunOS and if you haven’t dealt with JunOS before, will give you a headache. For more on the pros/cons see the following thread: http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/nsp/juniper/23125

    As for ASAs I try to avoid them. Checkpoint, same applies. However, since you want to tinker around, different story. VMWare had/has a checkpoint appliance you can fiddle with. It is not the same as say maintaining something like a Nokia IP series running checkpoint, but will get you familiar with it.

  • #47426
     knwminus 
    Participant

    Why don’t you like ASAs?

  • #47427
     sil 
    Participant

    ASAs mungle “non-Cisco” VoIP so horrible. They have their pluses but NAT isn’t one of them. I have seen them break their own Cisco Cube deployments as well. Overall they have been more of a headache then a lifesaver/help. Cisco does things really well when an entire infrastructure is Cisco down. They just don’t play well with others

  • #47428
     knwminus 
    Participant

    What is your favorite firewall brand or solution?

  • #47429
     sil 
    Participant

    It depends, for high availability, I love Stonegates. They have the ability to keep a VoIP call up and running even if one provider on an interface goes down. I favor Juniper over Cisco because overall they play better with most equipment outside of their own brand. I also like Palo Alto, but they can be pricey. End of the day though, in a managed security service arena, one gets used to them all. So I have no issue dealing with most. I do have my preference when I am the designer.

  • #47430
     Darktaurus 
    Participant

    @sil wrote:

    ASAs mungle “non-Cisco” VoIP so horrible. They have their pluses but NAT isn’t one of them. I have seen them break their own Cisco Cube deployments as well. Overall they have been more of a headache then a lifesaver/help. Cisco does things really well when an entire infrastructure is Cisco down. They just don’t play well with others

    It is funny you say that since I had a tough time with IPSEC tunnels with cisco/checkpoint and cisco/watchguard.  The phases were identical yet I still had to troubleshoot for ages.  I will eventually have to set up the same with some SSG’s but hopefully will have a better experience. 

    The last time I messed with Checkpoint, I learned with R60-R70 on servers.  I never messed with their appliances.  I think Sil is right, there are a lot of VMware appliance to learn from as far as firewalls too. 

  • #47431
     knwminus 
    Participant

    @sil

    @sil

    I am a shocked you didn’t mention iptables of pf. Do you not like open source firewalls in the enterprise?

  • #47432
     bbel121 
    Participant

    I have had experiences with CertificationKits and ebay.  It ended up costing me more to purchase all the pieces seperately on ebay when you factor in shipping and then i found i got units with wrong memory that would not support some of the features i needed and did not have ios to do some of the commands i needed either.  Luckily this was when I just started with a basic 2 router kit.  The other big difference I found with CertificationKits is you don’t have to spend hours trying to figure out all the little peices you need.  I don’t know about you, but for me my time is valuable and ordering things from 15 different ebayers and tracking them was a PIA.  CertificationKits also included lots of very valuable study materials like their lab workbook, a cram type sheet and a subnetting workbook that really helped me understand subnetting.  Those books had to be worth $30 to $40 each and the cram sheet I would guess $10.  So when I took all that into consideration CertificationKits was basically the same price as eBay and a lot less hassle.  BTW, they helped me upgrade the kit I already had and I probably shot them 5 or 6 questions on concepts that were not making sense to me and they answered all the questions within an hour or so.  So that also made me very happy.

  • #47433
     SephStorm 
    Participant

    welcome to the forums I guess?!  ::) Nothing suspicious here.

    ANyway, I just briefly saw the discussion above, I would love to see someone give a tutorial on playing around with a few firewalls, virtual appliances or not. Anyone up to the challenge?

  • #47434
     DraakusM 
    Participant

    Looks like there hasn’t been much activity in this forum for a bit… anyone have any recommendations on kit for CCNA security on a budget?

  • #47435
     rattis 
    Participant

    @draakusm wrote:

    Looks like there hasn’t been much activity in this forum for a bit… anyone have any recommendations on kit for CCNA security on a budget?

    Look at what the different sales site says they think you need. Like the before mentioned Certification Kit site. Then, after you get a list of devices they recommend search ebay. That’s how I do it, fits my budget pretty well.

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