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GNS3 for CCNP

Posted on 2009-02-08
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I have heard that GNS3 is a good product as router similutaor and heard that it is better than Boson. I downloaded a free demo of it,but don't know where to start.
any help? any idea if it's really a good product for CCNP level?

Thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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by:Quori
Quori earned 400 total points
ID: 23586731
GNS3 and Boson are a bit different. GNS3 is better as it isn't really a routersim like Boson is but rather a hypervisor that loads the Cisco IOS image and runs off that, making it far more accurate and not limited to a certain pre-programmed function set.

Considering GNS3 has been used for attaining CCIE, I'd imagine it would cover CCNP just fine.

Using it is simple:
1) Download GNS3
2) Install GNS3
3) Attain some Cisco IOS images (don't ask here)
4) Run GNS3 then find the Image manager and point it to images for the specified models
5) Start creating stuff using the symbol map on the left hand pane.
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by:ciscoml320
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Unlike Boson (a simulator), GNS3 coupled with Dynamips/Dynagen on the other hand is an Emulator.  It allows you to emulate various Cisco hardware running full blown IOS.  For starters, you will need to have access to IOS images so you can startup your devices.  Look at the following sites for great insights:
http://www.internetworkexpert.com/resources/iosonpc.htm (while it shows instructions for IE level labs, you can use the same information for CCNP level labs )
http://www.blindhog.net/category/dynamips/ (offers great tutorials as well)

On your last question, using GNS3 is a great way to practice CCNP level technologies - you don't need elaborate labs.  I must mention that you will not be able to emulate cisco switches on GNS3.  As a workaround, you can use the 3600 series routers with Switch Module added, and you will be able to do most of what you need to so for switching at the CCNP level.   If you need further help with this, don't hesitate to ask.

I've been running a few CCIE labs all on GNS3 (up to 11 routers running on a linux box with 6Gig of Ram) - works like a champ.

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by:jskfan
ID: 23586782
do you think Boson has enough fot CCNP as well as for the real world other than having the hardware.
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by:Quori
ID: 23586788
Nope. If you go Boson, you'd 100% need to buy some lab time.
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by:that1guy15
ID: 23587297
GNS3 hands down. I have been running it for about a year now and have very few complaints. Working on my CCNP i have been able to setup any lab that is needed for the exam and also have been able to connect GNS3 to my workstation so i can work with SDM as it is needed in several test.

I worked with the Boson CCNP sim while preping for my CCNA a few years back and the limitations of the software really hindered my learning. What I did get from Boson i had to make up for with real hardware.

GNS3 has a few quirks that you need to get accustom to but like ciscomi320 said, follow the links he provided and the tutorials on the GNS3 site and you will be fine
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by:jskfan
ID: 23588763
I have free demo of  GNS3 and tried to open an IOS image but there is none, where can I download it from this link:
http://www.internetworkexpert.com/resources/iosonpc.htm
do I need to download just one?
is Ciscokit a better idea to go for? I checked this but I am not sure if it's good for CCNP and the real world.
http://www.ciscokits.com/cisco-ccna-ccnp-kit/
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by:that1guy15
ID: 23592474
you have to provide your own IOS for GNS3.

The kit you linked to at ciscokits would be a good basic kit to get what you need for the CCNP. The only device missing that you will need is a layer 3 switch.
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by:jskfan
ID: 23599952
<<<you have to provide your own IOS for GNS3. >>>
Do I need to buy them ? If I buy GNS3 (Not-Free version) do the IOS images come with it?

<<The kit you linked to at ciscokits would be a good basic kit to get what you need for the CCNP. The only device missing that you will need is a layer 3 switch. >>
when you said basic, do you mean the routers and switches that come with the kit are limited? what type of routers and switches that come with it? are they the same ones we see in a production environments but a little bit older series?

Thanks
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by:that1guy15
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"Do I need to buy them ? If I buy GNS3 (Not-Free version) do the IOS images come with it?"

First yes you would need to purchase the IOS's either with a device or from cisco. Getting a kit from ciscokits would get you the IOS's you need. There are also other ways to get a copy of an IOS but they are not legal and you will not get guidance on finding them here.

Second GNS3 (all versions) are open source and free. IF someone is trying to charge you for it then you are getting scammed. Download the full free version from http://gns3.net.


"when you said basic, do you mean the routers and switches that come with the kit are limited? " 

I said basic because it is not the exact recommended lab setup from Cisco for the CCNP. But this kit will get the job done for you, allowing you to get your hands on all topics of the exam.

"are they the same ones we see in a production environments but a little bit older series?"

yes, most of them are still in production in a lot of companies.


IF you want some good insight on what hardware you should really need for the CCNP check out this blog series. Good read.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/27576


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by:jskfan
ID: 23640360
<<said basic because it is not the exact recommended lab setup from Cisco for the CCNP. But this kit will get the job done for you, allowing you to get your hands on all topics of the exam.>>

If I buy the kit, is there any way to download free CCNP Labs and practice.
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that1guy15 earned 1200 total points
ID: 23641497
It looks like ciscokits provides a good amount of material to practice with. Other than that i would suggest either google searching for some or purchase the ciscopress CCNP study guides or another book of your choosing to get labs.
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