Best layer 3 switch for home lab

One of the goals when building up my home lab a few years ago was to emulate a simple production environment that would give me a good platform to learn and experiment with. But there are times when you need real hardware to interact with. This has come up even more than I expected, as recent trends with leveraging flash on the host have resulted in me stuffing more equipment back in the hosts for testing and product evaluations.

Yet the options for networking in a home lab have typically been limited for a variety of reasons. I wanted a fanless, full Layer 3 managed switch with a feature set similar to what you might find on an enterprise grade switch, but not at an enterprise grade price. I chose to go with a Cisco SG This is a 20 port, 1GbE, Layer 3 switch.

With no fans, the unit draws as little as 10 watts. Features There is no need to rattle off the complete set of features of the SG, but there are a few that have proven to be especially nice for use in a home lab. While it carries the Cisco brand, it does not use their operating system; IOS. But it does offer a CLI that feels similar to other units out there. Wiring diagram This is how the unit is currently arranged in my home lab. The second host is not shown for clarity, nor are the dozen or so VLANs used for segmenting traffic.

This keeps the airflow around the unit good a requirementand overall a pretty tidy look in a 2 host environment.

How to Build a Cisco CCNA lab

Although, I may have to figure out something slightly different if I add another host. The photo might make the entire setup look big, but in reality, it stands only 30" high. Room for improvement Taking an honest look at the unit, there are a few annoyances that bother me. I am in the beginning stages of setting up my lab. I went out and bought the same cisco switch. I have a asus wifi router as well. I currently have it setup to come out of the router into one of the cisco ports.

I have all my other wired devices throughout the house going to the cisco as well. My question is…. I ultimately want to setup separate vlans. Congratulations on your purchase, and on getting started on a home lab. Now, as for your question, the official answer is that it can be any way you want it to be.

One of the very first steps you should do it put it in layer 3 mode.

best layer 3 switch for home lab

That will allow you do build out your entire homelab, with multiple VLANs, and have the routing going through the Cisco instead up any uplink. Once you plan that out, you can then determine which networks need routing, then create the static routes on the Cisco. Next up is that you will need to decide on how you want the Cisco to uplink to your Asus. You want to configure your Cisco with a network that will interface with the Asus, then provide the routing information on the Cisco so that traffic knows what to use to get out e.

Purely optional though. Thanks for reading Nate! By the way, voting is open right now best virtualization blogs out at vSphere-land.In this article we will cover how to build an effective CCNA lab. Please do not skip any of this information, as it is all very important for you to understand so you get the most value for your money in purchasing your kit.

Dependent on what you do by mistake, you may see either the interface or protocol go down and based upon that it should give you a clue of where to start troubleshooting hint, what layer is the interface at and what layer is the protocol at?

Anyway, you will come to find quite quickly that mistakes you make on Router 1 are affecting Router 4 all because you did not screw in a cable properly.

best layer 3 switch for home lab

No simulator can simulate that, so real routers and switches are invaluable. Cisco wants to make sure you really know your stuff on this exam. So what does that mean to you? The days of having a high level understanding of what is happening and passing the exam are gone. You need to practice on more complex setups and really understand what is happening first hand.

That is why when we revised our lab workbook. We made it much more complex and explain the concepts in detail as you do each lab. Two routers are the bare minimum to see if anything works. If you have a very limited budget, you can still receive value from only purchasing a single router over working with a simulator.

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However, with a single router you will not be able to see the main thing we are trying to accomplish; the propagation of route tables and the routing of data! The only way you can see if your configurations really work is to have at least two routers.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that you purchase at least a dual router kit. But if you want the best experience, you will want to go with a three router kit. One router will give you the ability to run the commands on it and will allow you to memorize the correct syntax and context in which to run the commands. Two routers will allow you to be able to see route table information propagate, data propagation and path election.

In addition, you will see basic device elections. Three or more routers and you will get all of the above, more complex topologies and full device elections. Ok, so we say we suggest three routers and you see what we wrote above, but it just is not clicking why you need three routers as maybe you heard somewhere else two routers is all you need.

In this slide from our study guide, you see a topology with three routers. If we just have two routers, we can simply set the priority of R1 to zero which will make that router ineligible to be a DR. So then R2 would be the DR by default. More than likely most companies you will work at will have more than two routers, right? So now you can see that we are going to have to do multiple configurations to influence which router is the DR in the more complex topology.

So in this scenario, we need to increase the priority of R2 and leave R3 at its default priority to accomplish our goal. So hopefully now you can start to see why three routers are critical to really hammering home some of the CCNA concepts. You will see that the lab topology this is from our lab workbook on the top has two load balanced WAN links the two lighting boltsa subnet off of R1 and R3 where the computers are and from R2 we have multiple paths to get to any of the subnets at the top portion of the topology.

Now compare that to the simple two router lab below it and see that it does not have load balancing, no multiple paths, no ability to set different costs on the links and obviously the route tables are not as complex. So a quick scenario. You are at the computer off of R3 and you are communicating with a server off of R1. The super fast WAN link goes down. What will your path be to the server off R1? Will the data travel across two routers traversing a super slow WAN link or traverse 3 routers utilizing fast links?

Good question, huh?Updated September 28, by Christopher Thomas. This wiki has been updated 9 times since it was first published in August of Layer 3 switches utilize a smart management system that gives administrators increased control over network configuration and security.

Here are some of the most recommended by systems analysts and other IT professionals.


When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best layer 3 switch on Amazon. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. It's intended for rack mounting and has plenty of power-over-Ethernet capability.

It's especially useful for VLAN configurations, including private, guest, and dynamic profiles. It utilizes helpful features such as IGMP snooping, quality of service optimization, and effective port mirroring.

It's available with 10 to 52 ports with a variety of power over Ethernet and uplink options, and this connector version is a great size for an advanced home or small business network. It uses the company's proprietary ClearPass interface, which gives administrators straightforward control over security and customization.

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It spreads that bandwidth across 12 Ethernet jacks as needed and offers IP Base services with the optional right-to-use license.

For large-scale, high-bandwidth operations, it's hard to beat the Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 48 appx. It provides up to 70 gigabits of throughput and consumes a maximum of watts. In addition to its watt power over Ethernet output capacity, it can also be run using two PoE uplinks, rather than a DC transformer.

Each of its 24 gigabit-class connections is fully managed, allowing for extensive security customization and performance optimization. September 16, Layer 3 routing projects require considerable knowledge of certain IT subjects, and if you're this far, you know there are hundreds of different switches to choose from.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does focus on some of the most popular options in various networking circles. Ubiquiti's EdgeSwitch line offers fantastic choices for home users as well as professional systems analysts, while the lower-end Netgear and Cisco options are also great for streamlining and protecting the average household network.

Cisco, of course, is one of the most famous names in LAN hardware, and for good reason; their stuff is usually pretty expensive, but it's basically the standard in many parts of the industry.

One issue some people have with Ubiquiti is their penchant for proprietary features; some engineers feel their ecosystem is easy to get "locked into," essentially forcing you to continue using their products. This is also marginally true with HP's Aruba line, although the F series does get high praise from professionals all over.

Then there are two particularly interesting choices to point out. The TrendNet we highlighted offers 8 configurable gigabit portsso while it is very expensive for such a small unit, you can be certain that its bandwidth ceiling will never get in the way -- though you'll need some high-speed hardware for all the attached devices to take advantage of such high throughput. And the Mirotik is an interesting choice because its manufacturer isn't quite as well-known or pervasive within the commercial networking sector, but almost everyone who's worked with their equipment raves about how good it is.

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling.

After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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Ezvid Wiki Reviews Computer Accessories. The 10 Best Layer 3 Switches. Best High-End. Best Mid-Range.All, any recommendations on a layer 3 managed gigabit switch i can use for my home lab?

You can get the ubiquiti edge switch 8 or 16 port switch. Newegg and Ebay have many Cisco and TPlink layer 3 switches. IT Professionals of Florida, Inc.

Not sure what you exactly have in mind. I would see if you can find one at work too or some I. T connection may have something from their work. I have a 3com base SX switch. I knew some people there and they were tossing it now I have it. Now I work there and all the 3com stuff is going away getting replaced with Cisco. If you just want the hardware and don't care to learn the OS, etc 3com may do i'd expect a lot of places will be tossing their 3com gear since is nearing EOL.

UBNT, they have so many fun switches for so cheap. I'm having SM fiber run to my office and hooking up a 48 port POE switch just so I can be a lazy bastard and fiddle with stuff in chair scooting range. NetAdminWorld is an IT service provider.

What is the best Cisco CCNA 200-301 Lab Switch?

Check them out as well. Getting ready to start hunting for 10g stuff soon Otherwise go for any other brand with proper web administration. I am in the same situation and bought a Cisco L3 switch. It is too late to re-grate but for god sake I can not remember the commands.

To continue this discussion, please ask a new question. Get answers from your peers along with millions of IT pros who visit Spiceworks. Pure Capsaicin. General Networking expert. Budget or brand preference? Verify your account to enable IT peers to see that you are a professional. Mine isn't listed, but you can see pricing.Labporn Diagrams Tutorials News.

Please see the full rules page for details on the rules, but the jist of it is:. Post about your homelab, discussion of your homelab, questions you may have, or general discussion about transition your skill from the homelab to the workplace. Before posting please read the wiki, there is always content being added and it could save you a lot of time and hassle. Feel like helping out your fellow labber?

Contribute to the wiki! It's a great help for everybody, just remember to keep the formatting please. All experience levels. Try to be specific with your questions if possible.

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Might be able to find things useful for a lab. Solved L3 Switch Recommendations self. Hey guys, here's yet another recommendations post. I'm looking to add a 24 port layer 3 gigabit switch to my home setup, and would like some input.

Power consumption is a bit of a concern; I want to avoid power hogs. If throughput significantly drops once start applying ACLs, that might deter me as well. But navigating the maze of HP model options and features is a bit overwhelming. If anyone has any experience with the Mikrotik and Brocade switches, knows some HP switches I should look at, or has any other suggestions, I'd like to know what you think!

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Wiki Before posting please read the wiki, there is always content being added and it could save you a lot of time and hassle.That can be somewhat of a tricky question as there are a lot of variables that can come into play.

At the surface it seems like an easy, very straightforward question. But as you dig into it, there are a lot of factors that go into how you build your Cisco CCNA lab and what Cisco switches you will use in the lab. We will cover the major considerations which are price, features and then number of switches for your CCNA lab. So probably the biggest consideration on what type of Cisco switch es you will have in your CCNA lab is what your budget is.

We have since completely retired this model as everything has fully shifted over to IOS The cannot run anything past IOS 12, so it has pretty much become obsolete and has very limited capability for the new labs. I am glad you asked!


The problem here is that you are still stuck on IOS 12, completely stuck on an only layer 2 device and still not running IOS For this reason, we no longer even offer this switch. In numerical order the next Cisco lab switch we have is the Cisco series. It will cover pretty much all the commands on the CCNA exam. This switch is the base units for every single lab kit that we offer! So, no matter what kit you pick, you will start off with the exact IOS matched switch that the exam is written for.

best layer 3 switch for home lab

This switch is IOS 15 capable and can even so some limited static layer 3. The next switch we will talk about is the Cisco Layer 3 switch. Being it is a Layer 3 switch, you can do routing on your switch!

This is a super cool feature. It can do all the things the and a lot of what the switch can do and more at the layer 3 level. Again Standard Image or Enhanced Image. You will want to make sure you get one with the Enhanced Image for your Cisco certification lab studies, which is what we carry.Labporn Diagrams Tutorials News.

Please see the full rules page for details on the rules, but the jist of it is:. Post about your homelab, discussion of your homelab, questions you may have, or general discussion about transition your skill from the homelab to the workplace.

Before posting please read the wiki, there is always content being added and it could save you a lot of time and hassle. Feel like helping out your fellow labber? Contribute to the wiki! It's a great help for everybody, just remember to keep the formatting please. All experience levels.

best layer 3 switch for home lab

Try to be specific with your questions if possible. Might be able to find things useful for a lab. Help Layer-3 Switch self. And what I might be looking at cost wise for new or used. This community always seems pretty helpful so thank you in advance for your help!! There might also be some Sp switches 24 port POE available for a little less, but the extra cost of the 48 port version seems well worth it. These switches are fully featured and don't require any licenses to access the features.

So if you get the 48 port switch and really need full power POE to all of the ports, this switch will be underpowered.

But if you don't need all ports to run at full power, then you will probably be fine. I currently have 8 POE devices hooked up 2 cameras and 6 ip phones and I'm only using 25 watts of power. I just picked one up based on recommendations on a forum I look at and it works great.

I simply upgraded it to the latest firmware via a USB stick - no computer connection needed and access it through the web portal.

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