NETLAB+ VE Customers: Please refer to the NETLAB+ VE Control Devices page.

NETLAB+ may be used to facilitate access to lab equipment. Control devices are required in order to provide internal connectivity, console access, and managed power to lab devices. Control devices are dynamically managed by NETLAB+ and are not accessible or configurable by end users.

Lab devices and control devices are required in order to support Cisco Networking Academy lab content.

Control Plane

NETLAB+ Control Plane


Control Switches

Control Switch

NETLAB+ uses a control switch to provide connectivity between the NETLAB+ server, access servers, remote PCs, and switched outlet devices. Control switches are not accessed by lab users.

The following table lists the Cisco switch models supported by NETLAB+ for use as a control switch.

Cisco Switch Model Minimum Required Image Number of Available VLANs
Catalyst 2950-12 12.1(22)EA2 - EA6 641
Catalyst 2950-12 12.1(22)EA14
Catalyst 2950-24 12.1(22)EA2 - EA6 641
Catalyst 2950-24 12.1(22)EA14
Catalyst 2950T-24 12.1(22)EA2 (EI) 250
Catalyst 2950T-48 12.1(22)EA2 (SI) 1281
Catalyst 2950C-24 12.1(22)EA2 250
Catalyst 2950G-12-EI 12.1(22)EA2 250
Catalyst 2950G-24-EI 12.1(22)EA2 250
Catalyst 2950G-48-EI 12.1(22)EA2 250
Catalyst 2960-24 12.2.25 255
Catalyst 2960-48 12.2.25 255
Catalyst 2960-48TC-S LAN Lite Image 641
Catalyst 3550-12 12.1(22)EA2 1000
Catalyst 3550-24 12.1(22)EA2 1000
Catalyst 3550-48 12.1(22)EA2 1000

1Be especially aware of this limit when using these switches, since the number of available VLANs is significantly less than other models. As shown in this example, these switches may not be adequate to support the number of pods that you plan to install on your NETLAB+ system.


Access Servers

Access Server

Access servers provide console connections to lab equipment. Using this approach, users can access lab gear even when no configurations have been loaded in the lab devices. NETLAB+ proxies all connections through the access server. This special proxy allows simultaneous sharing of console ports and allows all users to access the lab environment using a single IP address and single remote access port.

The following routers and access server modules are supported. Combinations using HWIC-16A are currently recommended. Cisco NM-32A modules and 25XX routers are now end-of-life and can no longer be purchased new. For more details on Cisco routers and access server modules please refer to information provided by Cisco, Serial and Asynchronous Modules for Cisco Integrated Services Routers.

When using a HWIC-16A on a router (2811, 2901, or 2911) with IOS 15, you must use version 15.1.4M4(MD), due to a Cisco bug. NDG has tested 15.1.4M4(MD) on all platforms. Please refer to the table and footnotes below.

Platform Cisco
Line Numbers Total Ports
Cisco 2901/29113 1 3-18 16
Cisco 2901/29113 2 3-34 32
Cisco 2901/29113 3 3-50 48
Cisco 2901/29113 4 3-66 64
Cisco 2811 1 66-97 32
Cisco 2811 1 1 50-97 48
Cisco 2811 1 2 34-97 64
Cisco 2811 1 3 18-97 72
Cisco 2811 1 4 2-97 96
Cisco 2811 1 66-81 16
Cisco 2811 1 1 50-81 32
Cisco 2811 1 2 34-81 48
Cisco 2811 1 3 18-81 64
Cisco 2811 1 4 2-81 72
Cisco 2811 1 50-65 16
Cisco 2811 2 34-65 32
Cisco 2811 3 18-65 48
Cisco 2811 4 2-65 64
Cisco 2801 1 50-65 16
Cisco 2801 2 18-33,50-65 32
Cisco 2600 1 33-64 32
Cisco 2600 1 33-48 16
Cisco 2511-RJ 1-16 16
Cisco 2511 1-16 16
Cisco 2509-RJ 1-8 8
Cisco 2509 1-8 8

1When using an HWIC-16A on a router (2811, 2901, or 2911) with IOS 15, you must use an IOS version that has been tested by NDG, due to a Cisco bug. NDG has tested 15.1.4M4(MD) on all platforms.

2For Cisco 2811 only: Using HWIC-16A on a router with IOS 12 does not exhibit the bug mentioned in the footnote above.

3The 2911 is currently using the 2901 driver administratively.


Access Server Octal Cables

Cisco HWIC-16A, NM-32A, and NM-16A modules use special octal cables to connect from the module to lab device console ports. Each octal cable supports 8 lab device connections. The following table lists the octal cable part number and cable quantity required to connect all ports on the module.

Module Octal Cable Part Number Quantity Required

Switched Outlet Devices

Switched Outlet Device

Switched outlets provide managed electrical power, allowing NETLAB+ and users to turn lab equipment on and off. The power of each managed device in a NETLAB+ equipment pod is connected to an American Power Conversion (APC) Switched Rack PDU. This provides three functions:

  • Reboot devices during NETLAB+ automated operations.
  • Allow users to control power of a lab device (making password recovery possible).
  • Power off devices when not in use to reduce energy and cooling requirements.

Each APC Switched Rack PDU provides eight (8) managed outlets. The following table lists the Switched Outlet devices supported by NETLAB+.

Switched Outlet Device Outlets Voltage Outlet Type
APC 7900 Switched Rack PDU 8 120V NEMA 5-15R
NEMA 515
APC 7920 Switched Rack PDU 8 208V IEC 320 C13
APC 9211 Master Switch
(end of sales)
8 120V NEMA 5-15R
NEMA 515
APC 9212 Master Switch
(end of sales)
8 208V IEC 320 C13

The AP7920 and AP9212 are for countries with 200-240 VAC power. Eight (8) IEC-320 C13 outlets are provided. This will require (8) C13 to C14 power cords such as the AP9870 (sold separately). One (1) IEC-320 C14 inlet is provided on the input side. The C14 connector is the same used on a Cisco router or switch.

For additional assistance with power related issues please contact the Academy Edition distributor:

  • E-mail: orders
  • Phone: +1-866-554-5535
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