GNS3 or Packet Tracer for some CCNP Labs?

DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey guys

Before you say, I need real equipment, I know I do, and I will try to get some, but I cannot be near the equipment all the time so I will probably have some spare at work

So my question is, is it possible to do "some" labs with GNS3 or packet tracer? And if I can do some, which program has more features ? If GNS3 has more features than packet tracer, I will just stick to GNS3 instead of installing both

I am doing the switching CCNP first


  • devilsadvocatedevilsadvocate Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    My understanding is the GNS3 will be fine for the ROUTE exam but PacketTracer is not good enough for the SWITCH due to its limited features.

    I am currently studying for Switch and I have two 3560's.
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Is GNS3 better and have more switching features than Packet Tracer? I will try to get some hardware from work or buy them but, I wont be always near the hardware. Occasionally I will like to try and do some labs virtually when not at the hardware

    So if I come to a lab when and want to try it when not at the hardware, should I try use GNS3 or packet tracer
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Focus on GNS3 if you are going to go virtual for CCNP. Packet Tracer is missing too much.
    2020 Certification Goals: OSCE GXPN
  • SimridSimrid Member Posts: 327
    I would recommend using GNS3 for both route and switch. The reason for this is because you can purchase a 4 port NIC, a few swithes and use your switches within GNS3. It's a pretty neat way of managing the devices.
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching
  • ph4ntom74ph4ntom74 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Use GNS3 for both and you dont need physical devices even though IOU on GNS3 cant support many switch features.
    You should install GNS3 which will allow you to make any lab on the route side up to CCIE, including firewalls, ASA 9 now can run on GNS3 also (inside a vm).

    With GNS3, search and use the correct version of L2/L3 IOU here:
    (So, if you install latest GNS3 v1.3.10, you will be using IOU v1.3.10).

    Pretty simple!

    Supports a lot of features but also does not support a lot of features, in some cases its just a matter of your understanding of the technology/protocol but is definitely worth using it.
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Ph4ntom74

    I am still learning how to use this GNS3, havent had much time to look into it

    I cant get any images for the switches at the moment icon_sad.gif
  • ericjohnson22ericjohnson22 Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey all,
    I used GNS3 a little and there are some tricks to getting switching working. You do not use switch images but routers with switching module installed then turn routing off on the device. This will work for most switching need.
  • devilsadvocatedevilsadvocate Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Drekko wrote: »
    Thanks Ph4ntom74

    I am still learning how to use this GNS3, havent had much time to look into it

    I cant get any images for the switches at the moment icon_sad.gif

    Say you googled the full filename of a switch IOS.

    Obviously the first few results would be the Cisco website and you should always get them from the Cisco website once you have a valid service contract.
  • bharvey92bharvey92 Member Posts: 419
    Tbh they have improved some aspects of Packet Tracer. It's not perfect for CCNP:Switch but it will help you doing things like STP/RSTP/PVST+/Etherchannels (PAgP, LACP), FHRP (HSRP), VLAN's, IVR, Port-Security - you will want to get some hardware to fully cover yourself though.
    2018 Goal: CCIE Written [ ]
  • Alex90Alex90 Member Posts: 289
    What about VIRL? I believe this now supports L2 switching...
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