Dynamips vs Rack Rental vs Home lab
When I set up my initial rack for RS with real switches and routers, I spent over 40 hours cabling, rack mounting and installing IOS’s on the devices. Configuring remote access and troubleshooting the odd anomaly took a few more hours. This might not sound like much but in real terms this took me a whole month. While the home rack is the ultimate tool to use for ccie lab prep it does take up time setting up. My main motivation for going for the live rack was my lack of faith in the other options. The fact that the live rack is always available is what makes the home/live rack the ultimate choice. If you have a $10000 budget for lab equipment, this is the option. Even if you sell at a 10% loss, it is still a good deal.
Personally I think rack rental is the fastest and easiest way to prepare for the lab. Obviously if you use many hours on the rack it can become an expensive exercise. 600 hours on rack rental could set you back as much as $3000. The pros of using rack rental is that your setup time is almost zero and if you run into any hardware issues, it is not your problem. The cons are that you can not use it when you want to and have to use it when dont want to.
Read more here.