If you wanted to learn how to use Juniper networking gear, and especially get some exposure to JunOS, their network OS based on FreeBSD that you need to configure almost all the Juniper devices with, there are many free or reasonable learning options available.

Besides the documentation, which is voluminous (must like any network vendor), an excellent point to start is with Juniper’s DayOne whitepapers.

They are available at http://www.juniper.net/dayone/ and cover a range of beginning to advanced topics. They are called DayOne, as it should take a person about a full day to read and digest what is contained in them. They also have some advanced topics that are weekly guides (called This Week).

While these study guides are old, they are still valid for the basics, and getting started in JunOS, even if it doesn’t cover the very latest topics. These pointers are tucked away pretty good, so you may not run across it very easily.

http://www.juniper.net/us/en/training/certification/books.html

Certification Fast Track is part of the next topic, but I’d point out especially this part of where they offer study materials and sample tests for their certification tests. The Fast Track program starts here.

https://learningportal.juniper.net/juniper/user_fasttrack_home.aspx

But this gives you course materials, and pre-assessment exams about those topics. You can also get half-priced exams at Prometric testing.

Juniper also offer more topics than just their certification tracks through their learning portal (https://learningportal.juniper.net) with even topics on their newest hardware, such as the QFabric. eg. they have installation, design and setup topics on that solution up already, as well as firewalls (SRX), Switching (EX), as well as their routing (MX, M & T series) devices.

Finally, the ultimate soft-lab is Junosphere. They’ve made it very easy now for people to buy time with just a credit-card. Just sign-up, give them credit card data and I had to wait 3-4 business days for it to process through their systems.

https://learningportal.juniper.net/juniper/user_activity_info.aspx?id=5735

While it does cost some $$$, paying $5 per day/per router virtual spun-up is not all that expensive as a study aid.

This lets you deploy a network of routers spun up inside virtual machines, and build a whole network with a few configurations here and there, and a few mouse clicks.

It is setup for a full-on lab training for enterprise customers, but single home-users can use it just fine as well.

It is pretty cool to have at your control a number of routers spun up at your command, as used Juniper routers aren’t exactly cheap. Even ancient discontinued models still fetch a pretty decent price on eBay.