Home Lab

Building a home lab.
Preparing for the Lab exam requires a lot of hands on practice to build technique and muscle memory. There are many ways to get this practice such as:
1. All virtual such as Cisco360. This has its place but can get a bit expensive over time. Biggest issue I found is that I cant save a lab and continue where I left off at a later date.
2. All physical according to the blueprint but this can be very expensive as G2 kit is not cheap.
3. L2VPN racks where you have all phone kit locally and vpn to a rack service for the CUCM servers, HQ, Site-1, Site-2 routers and switches. This is great if you have good bandwidth but can get expensive over time plus there is always the issue of trying to get available slots.

I will be adopting a hybrid approach where I use full 9971 and 7965 phones with a 3750 switch and router for L2VPN rack time but I will combine that with offline cucm practice using my 28xx routers for HQ, BR1 and BR2.

As I already have by routers and phones we will start by building the server(s) as per the blueprint.

  1. Download the ISO images

Once you have a Cisco account with some partner access, getting the ISO files for the lab is quite easy.

Links for downloading the ISO files on the blueprint.
CUCM 9.1
CUC 9.1

2. Make the ISO bootable

NB. As i am using a MAC I had to get cdr tools via this link http://macappstore.org/cdrtools/
so that I can create the bootable ISO files from my command line

Step 1 – install the tools

  1. Press Command+Space and type Terminal and press enter/return key.
  2. Run in Terminal app:
    ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)” < /dev/null 2> /dev/null
    and press enter/return key. Wait for the command to finish.
  3. Run:
    brew install cdrtools
  1. If this fails you might have Xcode missing. Install from appstore and try again


Step 2- extract the DVD

  1. Mount and extract DVD

Create directory where non-bootable CUCM ISO image will be mounted.

$ mkdir -p ~/temp/extract

  1. Create directory where the content of mounted non-bootable ISO image will be copied

$ mkdir -p ~/temp2/

  1. Mount non-bootable DVD ISO image

$ sudo mount -t iso9660 ~/Downloads/UCSInstall_UCOS_9.1.2.10000-28.sgn.iso ~/temp/extract

4. Copy the content of mounted ISO image to directory ~/temp2

$ cp -rv ~/temp/extract/ ~/temp2

Step 3 – Make a bootable ISO   

1.  Create bootable ISO image

        $ cd ~/temp2/extract

        $ mkisofs -o ../UCSInstall_UCOS_9.1.2.10000-28.sgn-bootable.iso -R -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 32 -boot-info-table -b isolinux/isolinux.bin .

All Done for now!!


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