RE: GNS3 sim

IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Just downloaded the GNS3 & CISCO IOS and all looks good. I've messed around a bit and set up a simple router to router serial connection...with some help of course, as this is my first time using a sim. I will be reading the chapter on Router opertions as I become more familiar with this sim. Quick question... is this sim good enough for the CCNA exam, or will I have to go with Packet Tracer or Bosun? Many folks mention a major weakness with regards to switching ops on the GNS3. The GNS3 was free, but I have no problem with spending money for a sim that willl prepare me for the CCNA exam.

Thanks

Comments

  • jude56gjude56g Posts: 107Member
    GNS3 should do the trick for most of what you need. If not, Packet Tracer is free, and does support switching. I have not tried the Boson network sim, but there exam sim is really good.
  • wrwarwickwrwarwick Posts: 104Member
    Just a heads up, GNS3 is not a simulator, but an emulator. GNS3 runs the actual IOS, just as if it were a real router. It cannot do switching because there is currently no way to emulate Cisco switches.

    The other products are simulators, which is just a program written to look like the actual thing. Bugs may be present, features may be missing.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    jude56g wrote: »
    GNS3 should do the trick for most of what you need. If not, Packet Tracer is free, and does support switching. I have not tried the Boson network sim, but there exam sim is really good.

    I've been told the GNS3 is enough by most of the Network guys I work with. I've tried recently downloading Packet Tracer with no joy. Just kept getting bounced from one link to the next. I'll work with the GNS3 for now though.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    wrwarwick wrote: »
    Just a heads up, GNS3 is not a simulator, but an emulator. GNS3 runs the actual IOS, just as if it were a real router. It cannot do switching because there is currently no way to emulate Cisco switches.

    The other products are simulators, which is just a program written to look like the actual thing. Bugs may be present, features may be missing.

    Running the actual IOS software is one of the big things I like about GNS3..great for real-world prep. So far, so good as far as bugs go.. I'm definitely not expecting anything great from a free product..but I'll see if it's enough to prepare me for the exam.
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho Senior Member Mojave DesertPosts: 837Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Packet Tracer requires you to be either a Cisco Netacad student or an instructor to download. It's a great simulator but it does have a tendency to crash if you push it and it doesn't support every IOS command.

    GNS3 is awesome for routing. However it does not emulate switching. However you can connect a GNS3 or dynamips box to real switches. Great tool. I don't mess with Linux but it supposedly runs better on that versus the last few Windows.

    And last is IOU. I haven't used it, nor are we supposed to talk about it.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Like the rest, I got mixed reviews on Packet Tracer as well. I'll see where this takes me. I plan to do a CCNA bootcamp, so if nothing else, the GNS3 should get me up to a decent level of knowledge. Once in the bootcamp, I'll have a real lab and perhaps access to better sims for routing and switching.
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    Why do a bootcamp ? especially if you are paying for it yourself.
    It is possible to self study and save yourself a good bit of money.

    Better sims ? usually packet tracer and hardware.
    Also get a copy of wireshark and learn how to use it.

    Get stuck into the books and go through and understand all the labs for the ICND1 and ICND2 topics
    Get Wendel Odoms books for icdn1 and icnd2 (just see the threads on the books first - new edition has a few issues)

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/72191-more-free-ccna-labs-practice-tests.html

    Yet Another Cisco Blog: Free CCNA Resources
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • tomaifauchaitomaifauchai Posts: 301Member
    Packet tracer could prepare yourself up to the CCNA
    Boson Netsim could help you to prepare up to the CCNP
    GNS3 could prepare yourself up to the CCIE (For routing)

    So, better for you to learn GNS3 right now, if you plan to go through harder certifications.

    Personally, i've never used Boson netsim because i've got access to Packet tracer which was very good for CCNA. But you need the Netacad Labs etc.
    The best feature of Packet tracer is that you can follow packet flows. For someone who just started, it is very user friendly compared to wireshark.

    Both have their advantages, IMO.

    The best ressource for GNS3 labs is at Welcome to GNS3Vault
    [X] - 350-001 (300h)
    [ ] - Lab exam (60h)
    Personal blog: http://www.tommyf.net/
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    Plus you can buy both routers and switches cheaply.

    1721's/1751's can be had for next to nothing (I've paid as little as 0.99 for a 1721 with 64MB ram, 32MB flash and a wic1t on ebay)
    and 2950's can be brought for cheap as well $10 to $50
    3x 1721's and 2-3 2950's and maybe a 3550 if you can afford it + few wics + few serial cables for the wics and console cable/s.

    gsn3 , packet tracer etc can't simulate/replicate everything.
    wiring faults, loose connectors, misnumbering/miscounting connectors/locations and all the other fun hardware faults
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    alxx wrote: »
    Why do a bootcamp ? especially if you are paying for it yourself.
    It is possible to self study and save yourself a good bit of money.

    Better sims ? usually packet tracer and hardware.
    Also get a copy of wireshark and learn how to use it.

    Get stuck into the books and go through and understand all the labs for the ICND1 and ICND2 topics
    Get Wendel Odoms books for icdn1 and icnd2 (just see the threads on the books first - new edition has a few issues)

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/72191-more-free-ccna-labs-practice-tests.html

    Yet Another Cisco Blog: Free CCNA Resources

    I don't really want to get too many of these programs that overlap. Just want 1 or 2 systems that work. So far I'm hearing that the GNS3 is sufficient. Regarding the bootcamp, I have to pay up front, but my company does reimburse me. Even if it came out of my pocket, It's a good investment that I'd gladly pay. From the books to bootcamps to sims, any monies spent on getting your CCNA is a small price to pay for the added benefits... increased pay being one of them.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Packet tracer could prepare yourself up to the CCNA
    Boson Netsim could help you to prepare up to the CCNP
    GNS3 could prepare yourself up to the CCIE (For routing)

    So, better for you to learn GNS3 right now, if you plan to go through harder certifications.

    Personally, i've never used Boson netsim because i've got access to Packet tracer which was very good for CCNA. But you need the Netacad Labs etc.
    The best feature of Packet tracer is that you can follow packet flows. For someone who just started, it is very user friendly compared to wireshark.

    Both have their advantages, IMO.

    The best ressource for GNS3 labs is at Welcome to GNS3Vault

    I definitely plan to pursue the CCIE, so I'll stick with the GNS3 for now. Eventually, I plan to buy some hardware and build a nice lab. Thanks for the link to the vault! icon_thumright.gif
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho Senior Member Mojave DesertPosts: 837Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If your employer is paying for the CCNA Bootcamp or you need it for a position that might get grabbed up soon, I'd say take the boot camp. But don't expect to delve too deeply into the CCNA material. I took a CCNP bootcamp, and I'd say it glazed over 25 percent of the concepts and materials. But the course isn't going to give you real exposure to how IOS and beginning/intermediate network engineering works.

    Playing with packet tracer and maybe trying to set up a decent sized LAN or sites with an ISP cloud to get SMB/enterprise exposure. Packet Tracer can be fun in a nerd way. If you throw in ACLs, VLANs, autonomous systems, security (LAN like port security, etc), IP telephones, CATV, it can get quite involved. There is a master topology for Packet Tracer that is ridiculous.

    GNS3 is great because you'll have all of the IOS feature sets for the routers from two generations ago (since we're on ISR 2 now). You can definitely use it to test out a lot of concepts except for the switch stuff. I think it's a great tool, but some people who've played with Packet Tracer might like it's simplicity and the appearance of full-featured (phones, access points, PCs, etc). But GNS3 can be used to connect to real equipment or other virtual appliances.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    One of my old co-workers had Packet Tracer and although I didn't get to use it, I liked the looks of it better. Talked with a few guys I worked with a short time ago, and they said GNS3 worked well for them and got them through. I'm hoping to have a lot under my belt before walking into bootcamp.
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho Senior Member Mojave DesertPosts: 837Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    IEWANNABE wrote: »
    I don't really want to get too many of these programs that overlap. Just want 1 or 2 systems that work. So far I'm hearing that the GNS3 is sufficient. Regarding the bootcamp, I have to pay up front, but my company does reimburse me. Even if it came out of my pocket, It's a good investment that I'd gladly pay. From the books to bootcamps to sims, any monies spent on getting your CCNA is a small price to pay for the added benefits... increased pay being one of them.

    If your company is for SURE going to reimburse you, do the boot camp. If getting the CCNA is going to help you move up to a higher-paying position, do the bootcamp.

    All boot camps do is teach you a test. They seldom teach knowledge. For my job (because I wouldn't pay for it), I've taken MCSE, Security+, CISSP and CCNP boot camps. And trust me, I rarely learned anything that helped in the performance of my job. I had to either Google or study the material (the book, do labs, etc).
    IEWANNABE wrote: »
    I definitely plan to pursue the CCIE, so I'll stick with the GNS3 for now. Eventually, I plan to buy some hardware and build a nice lab. Thanks for the link to the vault! icon_thumright.gif

    The only hardware you need to buy are the switches and possibly X4 RJ-45 NICs, to connect the virtual routers out to them. If you cut out Boson software, the bootcamps, you could easily get a CCNP for $700 to $900 (three 3550 switches, a 4-port NIC and the cert kit). And CCIE, can be had by adding another switch, the book and two more four-port NIC.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I figure that If I hit the books and the sims hard, then the bootcamp is just a last step polishing tool that I can use to be ready for the exam. It certainly couldn't hurt. I've heard of a lot of people going to these camps and not doing well at all. Those camps go over lots of information extremely fast and if you don't already know what you're doing, you'll be lost just as fast.

    Thanks for the info regarding the hardware! Will definitely come in handy.
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho Senior Member Mojave DesertPosts: 837Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    IEWANNABE wrote: »
    I figure that If I hit the books and the sims hard, then the bootcamp is just a last step polishing tool that I can use to be ready for the exam. It certainly couldn't hurt. I've heard of a lot of people going to these camps and not doing well at all. Those camps go over lots of information extremely fast and if you don't already know what you're doing, you'll be lost just as fast.

    Thanks for the info regarding the hardware! Will definitely come in handy.

    The reason why they don't do well is A) they have zero knowledge or not enough to competently learn the ins and outs of the materials. Bootcamps in no way can cover the say 1,000+ pages of CCNA in the four or five days. They move fast, but it's still glazing over major points but not delving deep enough or say putting the frosting on a three-layer cake that has network fundamentals, IOS knowledge and has good test taking practices. B) haven't gotten their hands on the brain ****.

    And the polish...is just going over the test questions (which is an unwritten) rule.

    Studying on your own, using say Boson practice tests and doing labs to help cement the fundamentals will go a long way to helping you in your job. There's a thread floating around in general about a coworker not respecting a paper CCNA or CCNP.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you. Again, if your job is paying for the boot camp, take it.
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    The reason why they don't do well is A) they have zero knowledge or not enough to competently learn the ins and outs of the materials. Bootcamps in no way can cover the say 1,000+ pages of CCNA in the four or five days. They move fast, but it's still glazing over major points but not delving deep enough or say putting the frosting on a three-layer cake that has network fundamentals, IOS knowledge and has good test taking practices. B) haven't gotten their hands on the brain ****.

    And the polish...is just going over the test questions (which is an unwritten) rule.

    Studying on your own, using say Boson practice tests and doing labs to help cement the fundamentals will go a long way to helping you in your job. There's a thread floating around in general about a coworker not respecting a paper CCNA or CCNP.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you. Again, if your job is paying for the boot camp, take it.

    I hear ya on all points. I'm definitely doing my own footwork with studying and sims. I'm also fortunate to access to folks who work in the field.. a few who even have IE's!

    As far as the paper cert go, your work in the real world will define your skills. Yes, I've know countless certified people who knew "Didly" about their job...some didn't even know basic IOS commands. As I mentioned earlier though, the job market will shake those folks out. They'll eventually have to learn the work, or change careers. With unemployment as high as it is, companies have their pick of the litter and can be much more discerning and picky with regards to who they hire. Most techs that I've talked to recently, expressed a great of angst with regards to Technical interviews as of late.
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    cbt nuggets can also help


    In the end its not just about passing the exam but understanding what you are doing (with the equipment)
    and how it works and keeping it running smoothly.

    On hardware its a personal thing, some people are fine with just gsn3 or simulators like packet tracer
    others learn better on real hardware. Also if you're like me and don't get to often use Cisco hardware in your current job, having your own lab is worth it to get hands on experience and do things like memory upgrades, installing wics, re-installing ios, recovering passwords , cabling etc
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I do have cbt nuggets and they're a great help with learning and staying motivated. Due to my work, locale and ops, getting hardware is out of the question for now. But since we take the exam on a sim, then plenty of sim practice should be ok. Once settled, I'm definitely getting me some hardware though.
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    mil ?

    Don't just get gsn3 , get packet tracer as well and wireshark is a tool not a sim for monitoring traffic on the network it lets you see whats in the traffic (unless its encrypted) it also comes in handy along with scapy for testing.




    Not that I need more hardware but would like this mainly just for the modules (want a nm32)
    Cisco Routers Perfect for CCIE Lab with a load of Cisco Cables | eBay
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • alan2308alan2308 Senior Member Ann Arbor, MIPosts: 1,854Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    alxx, that link for downloading packettracer is not legal. The only place you can legally obtain PT is from the Network Academy website.

    And wow, that NM-32a alone would be worth that auction depending on how high it gets bidded up. Too bad they won't ship to where I'm at. icon_cry.gif
  • IEWANNABEIEWANNABE Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    alxx wrote: »
    mil ?

    Don't just get gsn3 , get packet tracer as well and wireshark is a tool not a sim for monitoring traffic on the network it lets you see whats in the traffic (unless its encrypted) it also comes in handy along with scapy for testing.

    Packet Tracer - Cisco Packet Tracer Free Download


    Not that I need more hardware but would like this mainly just for the modules (want a nm32)
    Cisco Routers Perfect for CCIE Lab with a load of Cisco Cables | eBay

    Civilian,... though I am prior service. Am working in the Mid-East. Thanks for info, I'll be checking into some other things as well.
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