[vcf-midatlantic] OT: free Cisco managed router/switches

Systems Glitch systems.glitch at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 10:29:21 EDT 2016

> But it's still kind of fun having $2500-3000 worth of hardware/licenses
> running my home network.

Yup! It's a nice way to get into Cisco stuff, even if you're doing a Cisco program like the CCNA. Nothing beats real-world hands on experience, solving problems that aren't in textbooks. I've got a writeup coming soon on bludgeoning IOS into letting you use non-native, non-default VLANs for the management interface on some of the older IOS-based Aironet APs -- it works, but it's not in the manual, and no one online seems to really have it 100% right. Plus, IOS 15 lies to you about how the hardware is actually configured, sometimes.

Even with the switch to licensed-locked firmware features in IOS 15, the base image is usually covered under the device's permanent license, so you can get a lot of practical experience on hardware cheap enough to buy for fun without having a service agreement. I have no experience with the Meraki stuff, but in general I have no interest in cloud-managed anything.

I'm with Dave on IOS, it's not *that* difficult, and with the current Cisco open education initiatives, any motivated person can sit down and learn how to interact with IOS. I do highly recommend the CCNA if you're interested and have the time, I learned more practical networking from the CCNA at the vo-tech in high school than in college at Virginia Tech.


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