To get things started, I thought it might be sensible to give an overview of my lab setup that I’ll probably be referencing in posts going forward.
While the topology changes depending on what I’m doing in that session the overall platforms remain the same. As a default gateway I’ve setup a Sophos UTM virtual machine, running within a VMWare ESXi virtual environment on a HP N54L micro server. The host has two NICs, one connected to the WAN and the other to the LAN.
For the live LAN, I’m running two TP-Link 8-port switches (TL-SG108E) which are 802.1q capable for a bargain price, allowing the Lab equipment and virtual machines to be isolated sufficiently.
The ESXi host also runs two Cisco CSR-1000v virtual router instances as part of the lab setup, although I’m more a fan of the GNS3 environment from a visual perspective, which leads me on nicely…
Within GNS3 I’m able to quickly deploy an environment and take that with me on my laptop to work on anywhere.
I also have some Cisco switch hardware which was more useful in the CCNP: Switch exam but now gathers dust barring the occasional fiddling.