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Apr 13 2011   1:58PM GMT

Cisco Launches Learning Labs for Hands-on Training

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Web page banner for Cisco Learning Labs stuff

Web page banner for Cisco Learning Labs stuff

In a move that is sure to re-arrange the dynamics of the Cisco training market, especially for on-line access to emulators, simulators, and live online labs offered by third parties, Cisco introduced a series of Learning Labs for some of its lower-level certification exams today. All of the labs currently available focus on Cisco IOS, and will make full-fledged virtualized router and switch interfaces available to exam candidates online at extremely reasonable prices (see Table 1 below), and include lab guides, detailed lab exercises, and instructions to help guide candidates through their paces as they prepare for their exams.

Table 1: Cisco Learning Labs Currently Available

Cert Exam Price
CCNP Route $75
CCNP Switch $75

Signing up (and paying for) any lab endows the buyer with an account and logon to the Cisco Learning Lab environment, and gives them access to that lab for a total of 25 hours. Additional 5-hour extensions may be purchased for $30 each thereafter, except for ICND2 for which a 5-hour extension costs $20.

The Cisco IOS Software on Unix that drives the Cisco Learning Labs offers a complete set of equipment responses to configurations and settings they enter. Cisco does not restrict user access while they are in the lab, either: students can choose to wander off topic, and experiment with working IOS switch and router environments as they see fit. It’s as close to real equipment as a remote link can deliver.

At $2-3 an hour for lab time, and $4-6 an hour for lab time extensions, this is a veritable killer deal for candidates for the exams covered to get the hands-on experience they need to excel in the test center. It is also quite a bit cheaper than building one’s own lab, or renting time on some labs from third parties.

For more information, please visit the Cisco Learning Labs home page]. Enjoy!

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