getting into networking

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getting into networking

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 5:03 pm

I start my first class in my basic networking CC in two days. I'm sure I will know soon enough, but I just wanted a heads up on what I will need in my arsenal to start off. All I have right now is my TF101, which I can't imagine is good for more than taking notes in class, and my mom's aging Dell desktop which isn't very pleasant to work on. So besides the obvious laptop, what should I expect to spend money on?
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 5:07 pm

I'd recommend a new desktop computer (a laptop would work too, though honestly I don't see the point in having one and a tablet too). Simulation software will take you far in to learning and by the time you need to buy gear you'll know what you need. Don't let someone trick you in to dropping coin on gear when you don't need to. If the Cisco certifications are a goal of your classes the Cisco Packet Tracer software is rather good in my opinion and far more useful in learning than purchasing switches or routers for awhile, GNS3 is also useful though not as easy to pick and requires some hunting for iOS images (though I'm sure you could get those from an instructor if you ask nicely). When you start looking towards a CCNP is when you'll need gear.
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 7:35 pm

ALiLPinkMonster wrote:I just wanted a heads up on what I will need in my arsenal to start off. So besides the obvious laptop, what should I expect to spend money on?


You should have a basic understanding of binary and hex to start off with, and some Linux skills might help because of the tools available on that platform.

Expect to spend money on notepads and pens. Diagramming stuff out is very helpful in understanding how the data flows, or what you want to do.

The important thing is getting the theory down. Knowing the theory will be much more helpful then any gear you can buy.
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 8:06 pm

At a basic level a virtual machine program (VirtualBox or VMware Player, or possibly VMware Workstation if you think the extra features worthwhile) will give you experience with networking multiple machines without the hardware. You'll want a decently fast computer to run it on.
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Mon May 07, 2012 8:18 pm

Washer wrote:I'd recommend a new desktop computer (a laptop would work too, though honestly I don't see the point in having one and a tablet too). Simulation software will take you far in to learning and by the time you need to buy gear you'll know what you need. Don't let someone trick you in to dropping coin on gear when you don't need to. If the Cisco certifications are a goal of your classes the Cisco Packet Tracer software is rather good in my opinion and far more useful in learning than purchasing switches or routers for awhile, GNS3 is also useful though not as easy to pick and requires some hunting for iOS images (though I'm sure you could get those from an instructor if you ask nicely). When you start looking towards a CCNP is when you'll need gear.

I do plan on building one ASAP. I have the keyboard dock for my tablet so I guess a laptop would be a bit extraneous. Good to know that I don't need to spend much more money than that.

Flatland_Spider wrote:You should have a basic understanding of binary and hex to start off with, and some Linux skills might help because of the tools available on that platform.

Expect to spend money on notepads and pens. Diagramming stuff out is very helpful in understanding how the data flows, or what you want to do.

The important thing is getting the theory down. Knowing the theory will be much more helpful then any gear you can buy.

Binary is simple. I know what hex is and what it's used for, but I never learned exactly how it works. I've never touched Linux but I have a friend who knows it like the back of his hand. I'm sure he can teach me what I need to know. I did (fail) a class of programming in high school, so idk if minimal C knowledge will help but I've got it rattling around somewhere up there.
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Tue May 08, 2012 8:00 am

bthylafh wrote:At a basic level a virtual machine program (VirtualBox or VMware Player, or possibly VMware Workstation if you think the extra features worthwhile) will give you experience with networking multiple machines without the hardware. You'll want a decently fast computer to run it on.

Will an i5 and 8 gigs of memory handle it?
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Tue May 08, 2012 8:05 am

i5 with 8gb will be fine for a few virtual machines.
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Tue May 08, 2012 8:37 am

ALiLPinkMonster wrote:
bthylafh wrote:At a basic level a virtual machine program (VirtualBox or VMware Player, or possibly VMware Workstation if you think the extra features worthwhile) will give you experience with networking multiple machines without the hardware. You'll want a decently fast computer to run it on.

Will an i5 and 8 gigs of memory handle it?


It certainly will - that's what I've got and I'm satisfied. If your budget can stretch a little, RAM is cheap and 16GB would be even better if you want to run several.
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Tue May 08, 2012 9:11 am

You'd really get a lot more mileage out of Packet Tracer than six instances of windows/linux in VMs. Your present hardware is more than sufficient.
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Re: getting into networking

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 8:36 pm

Just an update, I just got home from my first class. Learned a LOT. Luckily I understand all of it.

It's funny. The first thing the teacher said was "most of what you will learn here is theory and how to apply it." The in-class PCs have PT installed and it will be the main program that we use for assignments.

Anyway, wish me luck. Now that I know what's ahead of me, I feel confident in this career choice and it's certainly going to be more than a paycheck to me.
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