This section covers what equipment you need if you want to gain practical experience from the exercises in this book by actually following along with real equipment. Though this is the ideal way to benefit from this book, such equipment is not necessary due to the detailed explanations. If you do not have access to equipment, see the section, "How To Use This Book if You Do Not Have Access to This Equipment," later in this Introduction.
The features of Cisco Catalyst switches are much more based upon hardware than they are on software, unlike Cisco routers, where the software component (Cisco IOS) is common across all routers. This means that you find significant differences in the functionality provided by each Catalyst switch family. To learn how to configure all of the features provided by the Catalyst product family as a whole, it is often necessary for you to have access to a wide variety of Catalyst hardware platforms, some of them very expensive.
In this book, you work with three main Catalyst switch platforms:
Nearly all of the scenarios in this book require interconnection of Catalyst switches, which requires the use of crossover cables. If you are configuring your own lab equipment, always ensure you use crossover cables to connect each switch.
In addition to working with Catalyst switches, you also work with other types of devices as listed below:
For all CatOS switches, all configuration examples are performed using CatOS version 7.6. For all Cisco IOS switches, the IOS version used varies depending on the switch platform used:
To conserve space, complete configurations for devices used in each scenario are not included in the text. Complete configurations are available at www.ciscopress.com/1587200600.