I’m not sure if there is a market for them but would anyone be interested in renting racks that support the Cisco 360 topology? I use a slightly modified version of the Cisco 360 topology for my bootcamps so for weeks that I’m not running them I could open them up for rental.

I modified R3 so that it can act as a Frame Relay switch for R1, R2 and R6 since the real CCIE lab doesn’t have a dedicated Frame Relay switch anymore. All of the routers are ISRs and the switches are all 3560′s. R1 and R2 are 1841′s. R3, R4 and R5 are 2811′s and R6 is a 3825. SW1, SW2, SW3 and SW4 are 3560′s. Here is the physical topology:

Let me know here if there is interest. The pricing would be the same as our standard R&S racks.

About Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210:

Brian Dennis has been in the networking industry for more than 22 years, with a focus on Cisco networking for the past 16 years. Brian achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching in 1996, and is currently the only ten year CCIE that holds five CCIE certifications. Prior to working with INE, Brian taught and developed CCIE preparation courses for various well known training organizations. Brian not only brings his years of teaching experience to the classroom, but also years of real world enterprise and service provider experience.

Find all posts by Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210 | Visit Website

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22 Responses to “R&S CCIE Rack Rentals for Cisco 360 Topology”

  1. IEin13 says:

    Can we can use our current tokens?

  2. Lindsay says:

    Sounds like you might as well rent them out if there’s weeks where they’re not in use.

    I’d like to see all the normal rack rental gear moved to ISRs and 3560s only. Understandably there’s a cost involved in that, not just in the kit, but in updating all the workbooks and configs. Would make life easier testing things like PfR. It can probably wait until v5 though, as you’ll probably need to look at other gear changes then.

    I like the Cisco 360 connection method used for the Ethernet links too – it’s a little bit easier to remember what the remote end port will be.

    • The problem with upgrading the current racks is that the R&S lab will update in 2013. We actually have all of the hardware but it’ll also mean updating the material and I would rather just work on new material based on a larger topology and newer IOS versions. The move to version 5 will be announced between now and the end of the year or sometime during the first quarter next year. Worst case scenario is that it’ll be announced in mid-2013 but that’s not as likely from what I’m hearing. The new lab will go virtual which means 20 to 30 devices. It could be a mix of real and virtual devices like the SP CCIE does with the GSRs. I really hope this happens sooner and not later personally. IOS 12.4(15)T is outdated and trying to developer CCIE level networks on 5 routers and 4 switches isn’t easy. I’m hoping the TS racks could become our standard RS racks for version 5. We’ll have to wait and see what the official announcement is in regards to the actual IOS versions used along with the switches (standard or X versions). If they go to 15.2 and not 15.1T for the routers then that will mean it’ll age out all of the current ISRs and make everyone go with ISR G2s. The switches will be a tough one also if they require version 15.0 as the 3560X/3750X switches are not cheap. Maybe I should have just done a blog post on this ;-)

      • J says:

        my 2 bits but personally i hope this happens later rather than sooner

        0) If the whole lab is going to move to a 20-30 router topology..instead of just the TS section..it completely changes the lab…hello intensive PfR and multicast…and MSTP…which is fine but then our CCIEs numbers should say 5.0 in front of them. You simply cannot say that a 30 device topology is just has hard as the 8 or so device topology. Then I want credit for the extra toughness of the lab.

        1) My home lab will become obsolete. I personally cannot afford to re haul my whole lab…the dire possibility that after 1 1/2 years of being a socially void nerd by choice…my CCIE dream might very well be done.

        • AJ says:

          I am with you on that one I hope it is later rather than sooner as my CCIE dream will also be over and 5 years of on off study will have all been for nothing. I am in the same boat I will not be able to afford to upgrade my home lab and would not be able to fund the cost of rack rentals or new material. So I guess I better get this thing out the way once and for all and just bite the bullet and go to the lab exam.

      • Lindsay says:

        Yeah, leaving it until the v5 update is definitely the way to go.

        It’s an interesting call if they go for a large topology with virtualised routers, since they can use IOU, but no-one else can legally use it. I’d like to see them license it out, because the prices they charge for IOU access are just too high.

        Totally right about 12.4(15)T being outdated. Multiple times in my studies I would get frustrated by outdated methods, or bugs.

        It’s a tough call if they require ISR G2s, but I think that it has to be 15.x on the switches, and most likely going to be 3560-Xs if it’s real hardware.

        Has to move on at some point. I’m glad I was able to get my number this year! (Thanks INE!)

  3. anna says:

    That would be great Brian.

    Also waiting for the Tshoot rack details?

    When you will make it available Brian?

    I attend the Tshoot bootcamp. One of the best courses I have attended.

    I want to build the topology and practice what you taught in the bootcamp.


    • I’m doing a kick off vseminar next week (30th Oct) going over how to use the TS racks, labs, etc and they will then be available to the public. They have been used by people in the R&S bootcamps and TS bootcamps for the last few months.

      • J says:

        You guys need to make these announcements on a “sticky” thread on IEOC also and call it…”Announcements”

        just a thought…

        in any case..i hope you make that v-seminar available on free resources on ine.com…that way those of us dont have to watch it on the 30th but can watch it right before we do the TS rack rental.

        thanx :)


  4. anna says:

    Hi Brian

    Thanks a lot.

    Looking forward for the seminar.


  5. Aryan says:

    Any update on long awaited Vol 2 updates with new ts labs ?

  6. netgeek says:

    Hi Brian,

    What software version are you running on those TS racks ? If you could use 12.4(15)T that would be helpful to prepare some specific topic for the lab, like PfR…


  7. Jochen Bartl says:

    I’ve heard that there are people out there who have bought overpriced 360 mock labs in the past ;-) I guess it would be great for them to review some of those labs in a topology with similar rack cabling.

    Looking forward to the TS rack rentals. It was a lot of fun to do labs on the TS racks during the 5 day bootcamp.

  8. Faisal says:


    I’m interested in renting cisco360 racks.


  9. Nersas says:

    Hi Brian,

    I’d be interesting as well renting the cisco360 racks. Although I hope don’t have to do it many times since my first lab attempt is the next month. :)

  10. Jay says:

    Hi ,

    I’m interested

  11. Rigardo says:

    I’m also interested, tks.

  12. Marilu Terepka says:

    Thank you for your do the job you might have placed into this put up, it aids clear up some questions I had.I will bookmark your webpage merely because your posts are especially educational.We appreciate your posts and seem ahead to coming again..

  13. Jey says:

    I am interested in renting the Cisco 360 Labs.

    Brian have you got any idea when Cisco would stop examining v4 once they make the announcement ?


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