reply to watts3000
Re: [CCNA] how to purhase hardware and determine IOS needed Second most of what has been said. I taught CCNA and CCNP Switch until recently. We used 1841's for R&S and 2801's for Voice with 2950's for Layer 2 switching and 3550 for Layer 3 switches.
12.4 IOS's seem to be sufficient and I'm still buying 2960's with 12.5x from my re-seller for current projects. Routers are shipping with 15.1 and 15.2 Universal IOS's as mentioned, but what you learn on the old kit will be valid. All you have to get used to is the added features of the new IOS's, and it's not that hard if you break it down in to tasks that need accomplishing rather than looking at the network as a single whole unit. Cisco's site is great for having lots of information and config examples, but there is so much it can sometimes take longer than you might think to track down the right document.
If you are currently between jobs then 2600's and 2950's are cheap and will get you through a CCNA. 1841's and 2801's can be a little pricy, likewise 2960 switches and if you're on a budget, forget about gigabit anything. But if you have the cash, then the aforementioned 1841's or 2801 routers and 2960 switches are where I would be aiming. Go for the highest numbered IOS you can find, so 12.3, 12.4 or 15.x if you can find any second hand kit in budget with a 15.x IOS
And if I may, I'll add a little real world here... I learned more on my first network project in my current job than I ever learned bashing away at my CCNA studies, and every day is still a school day. The end of the CCNA is just the start...
I thought that was odd, too. Cat2960S's shipped with 12.4 code, but 15.x code is available (for free, no contract required.) Actually, I downloaded updated 12.4 code for c2950's that didn't require a contract either.
I think my re-seller is shifting "old" stock.
Also worth noting is that 2960S's with 12.55 (and the one IOS previous to that) can do layer 3 static routing with multiple SVI's:
Switch(config)#sdm-prefer ip routing
is the command if I remember correctly. I've used them several times in networks where I don't need an IGP running. They also do DHCP. If you can grab one or two for a lab set up they'd be well worth it. Not cheap though :o
»www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6···son.html suggests they're layer-2 only. (and they don't even support static routes for mgmt.)
sw-R2-8#show ip route
% Invalid input detected at '^' marker.
sw-R2-8(config)#sdm prefer ?
default Default bias
lanbase-routing Lanbase routing