Like most IT certifications, the CCNA Collaboration certification requires hands-on experience if the learner wants to succeed not only on the exams but also in the field as IT professionals.
The CCNA Collaboration is a combination of CCNA Voice/CCNA Video. It is a popular entry-level certification. Create a CCNA Collaboration home laboratory!
We review the most cost-effective and best-looking gear to help you build a great CCNA Collaboration home laboratory setup.
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Start trainingCisco home laboratories don’t need to be expensive. All you have to do is know what to purchase and where to save money. Jeremy Cioara, our resident expert on austerity, is an expert at building affordable home labs. Here are his tips for setting up a Cisco CCNA Collaboration CICD lab at a fraction of the cost of an iPhone.
RouterCisco 2621XM multiservice router
The Cisco 2621XM is available for purchase at an affordable $45 (USD) via online shopping sites such as and
SwitchCisco Catalyst3550 Switch This handy little switch should cost between $10-20 (USD). Online shopping is a great way to save money on gear.
Telecommunication DevicesCisco Unified IP phone 7960Buy two (2) Cisco 7960 IP phones. These phones are audio-only devices. You might consider upgrading to a video-enabled phone if you are looking to explore the video side of CCNA collaboration. In a separate blog post, we will discuss Jeremy’s recommendations for gear for the CIVND laboratory.
These phones are available for as low as $10-20 USD each. You can explore phone networking in greater detail by purchasing more than one phone.
SoftwareCUCM VMware ImagesCUCM VMware images are essential to your home CCNA Collaboration laboratory. To complete your lab, you can find many images online, such as on Ideally, you will find CUCM VMware images which include Cisco Unity, Cisco Unified Presence and CallManager images.
Images can be found online for as low as $40 (USD). This price may vary depending on the features you are looking for. However, try to be as thrifty and as economical as possible!
Other considerationsYour ComputerWe assume that you have a powerful computer to run your CCNA lab setup. To spin up your lab and make it run efficiently, you will need at least 16GB RAM. VMware Workstation Player is available for free.
Your WalletWe have created the most cost-effective CCNA Collaboration lab here. If you just want to spend more money, it’s possible! You have many options when it comes to purchasing gear that will increase your overall net worth.
All-in-One Lab KitsWe created this lab one at a time to keep costs low for your CCNA laboratory. If time is a concern and you are willing to spend a little more, you can buy an all-in one lab kit. Complete kits can be purchased online at and for around $200-500 (USD). We strongly recommend that you obtain all specifications on all technology included in an all-in one package if you decide to purchase one.