Hands-on experience with network hardware and software can solidify certification-test concepts or let you practice skills that may be part of a cert exam, and the process can be helped along by use of a home lab. But how do you go about building one?
Start by identifying your learning goals and figuring out the hardware and software they’ll require. If you’re focused on applications, server environments, automation, or identity management, a server for hosting virtual environments may suffice. But if you’re interested in networking at Layers 1, 2 and 3, you’ll need some physical networking hardware such as routers, switches, or hardware firewalls. This is especially true if you’re seeking vendor certification on specific devices.
Source:: Network World – Data Center