Well, Chris can describe things in greater detail, but here's the basic lines:
- Through the Cisco Lab, every member will be able to access a number of Cisco hardware and configure it as he wants. Obviously, at the same time he will be able to verify if and how his configuration is working. This way he will be able to experiment and see how networking concepts - technologies like subneting, routing, NAT, filtering and others work in practice.
- The above service will be offered for free to all members, there is going to be a booking system through which everyone will be able to see the times/dates when one of the Labs is available and make a booking for a specific day and time.
- The idea for the Cisco Lab came from the fact that most users can't or don't wish to afford the expense for the equipment required to gain a hands-on experience in how things they've been reading work in practice. It will be especially helpful for people preparing for their CCNA, but everyone interested in networking can benefit in many ways. I believe even professionals that wish to test something in a controllable enviroment before they apply it at their work may find this service useful
Notice that the Cisco Lab is not yet available, there are still things left to be done. As of the last update Chris gave, things proceed quite smoothly, after a major problem was overcome. You can follow the status of the development and get some more information (including some great diagrams and a list of the current hardware) by monitoring the
If you have any specific questions or recommendations regarding that project, you are welcome to post them!