Prior to attempting any labs in the CCNA Security Workbook it is crucial that you have access to the right hardware and software. Lack thereof may prevent you from completing labs or have inconsistencies in the labs such as different show information or non-existent commands.
The CCNA Security Workbook goes in depth regarding common security practices found in modern networks. These practices require some of the latest software which can only be executed on modern hardware.
Most individuals whom choose to build a CCNA Lab often times build a lab using cheap hardware such as Cisco 2500 Series routers, or Cisco 2600 Series however the problem with this is that these routers cannot run the latest 15.x IOS Software thus are missing critical features that you are required to learn to become CCNA Security Certified.
Many candidates will use GNS3 to study with due to the lack of funding however this application can be unstable and time consuming to work with. Also some of the Layer 2 features you are required to learn are not supported in GNS3 due to the limited platform support.
GNS3 supports the 7200 series routers which support the 15.x IOS but other platforms inside GNS3 do not. So you’re limited to using the 7200 Series routers.
The CCNA Security Workbook was created around the Stub Lab which is a freely available lab that anyone can sign up and reserve lab time on. This lab was built and made avaliable so people who cannot afford thousands of dollars in Cisco hardware can have the hardware experience.
Each of the labs found in the Security Workbook may contain initial configurations which may be loaded onto the device prior to attempting the lab. These configurations are provided to save time and can be copied and pasted right into the console of each respective device found in the Stub Lab.
If you are looking for a bare minimum to study for the CCNA Security Certification then the following will be needed; 2x Cisco ASA 5505’s with Security Plus licenses, 2x Cisco 2960’s and 2x Cisco ISR (1800, 2800 or 3800 Series routers).
If you currently have your own Stub Lab built using Cisco 1841’s then all you need to add is a pair of Cisco 5505 ASA’s with Sec+ Licenses which support failover and multiple vlan interfaces.
As with any piece of Cisco software, different versions contain different features, bug fixes and support for various hardware. As stated in the Hardware tab, the latest 15.x IOS software requires ISR’s or 7200 Series routers to execute on. In order to keep the software requirements to a minimum the following list has been complied;
If you have any questions regarding the hardware/software requirements for the CCNA Security Workbook please post them on the official support forums!