Where to get current IOS images?

mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I am starting to build a lab for my certification studies. I have two 2514 routers with an older IOS (12.1). I would like to upgrade this to the latest they support (12.3) to try and better line up with the current exam needs.

I haven't had much luck finding up to date IOS images that are available for download. I'm not looking to do this illegally, but how do you properly prepare for an exam with older software? Is there a place for students to get current IOS images?

Comments

  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    I believe there are virtualization labs online you can rent from, perhaps some are free ???, but I think you can get your practice by using a tool like the online router or such. The name escapes me, I'm limited on time, but perhaps search the forum as I think it has been disgussed in the past.

    Otherwise, I'd recommend contacting Cisco directly for software.
    Plantwiz
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    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • BlowindoeBlowindoe Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    You could get the image from a cisco partner. If your work place uses cisco gear you can always ask one of the engineers there for the latest image. Thats what I did
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Posts: 661Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The company I work for is a Cisco partner so I am able to download them directly through Cisco.
  • mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Unfortunately we're not a Cisco partner, I checked with our IT guys earlier. We do have contracts with Cisco, but we're only able to download images for router the company has. We, of course, don't have any 2500 series routers.

    It's somewhat of a Catch-22. I want to learn Cisco to get my certification but I don't have access to current images. Cisco apparently does have student access, but only if you're enrolled in the Cisco Academy.
  • FloOzFloOz Posts: 1,614Member
    Yah its unfortunate that it is so hard for us people who are studying to get IOS images icon_sad.gif
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member
    mgates67 wrote: »
    It's somewhat of a Catch-22. I want to learn Cisco to get my certification but I don't have access to current images.
    Cisco apparently feels you don't need to own a router to master the CCNA content. I agree. There are many good legal options for mastering the CCNA content--

    1. Cisco Network Academy and Packet Tracer software
    2. Online real or virtual rack rental (IOU)
    3. Boston Netsim

    I chose door #3. It covers far more than the CCNA exam does.

    If your desire is to own a physical Cisco router and the latest IOS software, Cisco sells support contracts. You'd also get practice with TAC going that route. ;)
  • mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    3. Boston Netsim

    I chose door #3. It covers far more than the CCNA exam does.

    That's actually good to hear. Most people on this board are hardcore advocates for real equipment rather than simulators. I looked at the Boson simulator and thought that it was reasonably priced, especially when you consider you can simulate a network of many devices, and even include IPv6.

    My only concern is that you have to get NetSim for CCNP to get SDM simulation. From everything I've read/heard, SDM is needed for CCENT/CCNA but not so much for CCNP and up. Since the CCNP version is double the cost, I'm not so sure that's worth it.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member
    mgates67 wrote: »
    From everything I've read/heard, SDM is needed for CCENT/CCNA but not so much for CCNP and up. Since the CCNP version is double the cost, I'm not so sure that's worth it.
    I won't speak about my exam, but I did zero SDM preparation for the CCNA, and managed a high score. In my estimation, reading about SDM should be sufficient. As far as Boson products, I purchased the CCNA/CCNP Netsim, but if I could do-over, I'd only purchase the CCNA Netsim. The CCNA content is great. The CCNP content is too light.

    (The security track is different animal, and stresses SDM more.)
  • mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I won't speak about my exam, but I did zero SDM preparation for the CCNA, and managed a high score. In my estimation, reading about SDM should be sufficient. As far as Boson products, I purchased the CCNA/CCNP Netsim, but if I could do-over, I'd only purchase the CCNA Netsim. The CCNA content is great. The CCNP content is too light.

    (The security track is different animal, and stresses SDM more.)

    Thanks for the insight! I wasn't wanting to drop $150 on a router that supported SDM or double the simulator price just to get SDM capabilities. Looks like I'm going to choose the Boson door as well.
  • Carl_S_901Carl_S_901 Posts: 105Member
    Unfortunately, you are going to have to resort to "alternative" means to get IOS images. Even if you were to get them from your company or another Cisco partner, those would still technically not be on the up-and-up because they are supposed to be used for routers that are under support contract with Cisco. ;)
    Carl S.

    Check out my personal certification journey blog
    http://carlscertjourney.wordpress.com/
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Posts: 2,472Member
    netsim supports SDM. Enough to get your feet wet. Like it was said above, simulators do a great job at the CCNA level. I'm unsure of them otherwise.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Roguetadhg wrote: »
    netsim supports SDM.

    They do, but only on the CCNP version (at least according to their website):

    NetSim 8.0 Cisco Network Simulator & Router Simulator

    At $349 it seems a little steep. After reviewing my options between real equipment (and the difficulties associated with it) and the simulators (and their limitations) I think I'm going to opt for the NetSim CCNA version. It looks like it does everything I need except for SDM. I can live with that at $179. It will cost me close to that to get a minimal set of real lab equipment with no guarantees on versions or even functionality.

    Thanks to all for the assist!
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    The only way to acquire IOS is from Cisco. Do not discuss any other options on the forums.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Posts: 1,453Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I spent exactly 0 time practicing with the SDM - I just read about it in Lammle's book. I felt well prepared for every question I encountered when I took ICND1 and ICND2.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • TehToGTehToG Posts: 194Member
    ^^^
    SDM is easy. As long as you understand what you are going to do, you can use it on the fly and answer any question on the matter.

    The only way to acquire IOS is from Cisco. Do not discuss any other options on the forums.

    You might be the perfect person to ask. If a cisco partner downloads an ios image, can they freely give it to anyone? I presumed not but I was once offered this. In retrospect it was because we had purchased the kit from them but I presume it's against the cisco ios ToS?
  • SlowhandSlowhand Questionably Benevolent Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    What I would love to see from Cisco is a "Student Edition" of the IOS that runs on the real hardware. Perhaps something time-bombed to three or six months, like Microsoft's trial OS installs. As long as all the features of, say, the Enterprise Services license of the latest IOS is there, they could always throttle down the actual capabilities of the software similar to the way that Dynamips/Dynagen does, (like making all ports run at 1mps, not utilizing the full capacity of the CPU, and things like that.)

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  • TehToGTehToG Posts: 194Member
    I presume cisco make money off the net academies though and they provide packet tracer for that. For the professional series they're happy enough with companies spending thousands of dollars on gear.
  • JustFredJustFred Posts: 678Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I sort of agree with slowhand,

    MS provides free software at my Uni and i just wish Cisco would do the same with their IOS for students, granted not many would use it, the few of us who love networking would appreciate the gesture. Just DO IT CISCO
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Slowhand wrote: »
    What I would love to see from Cisco is a "Student Edition" of the IOS that runs on the real hardware. Perhaps something time-bombed to three or six months...

    Love the idea of a time limited trial. Put some sort of a mechanism in place to "prove" to Cisco that you're studying for a certification and have access to an IOS that will expire in 6 months. Great idea, I think Cisco should do it.
  • drkatdrkat Posts: 703Banned
    Married to the game but she broke her vows. That's why my bars are full of broken bottles And my night stands are full of open bibles
  • EV42TMANEV42TMAN Posts: 256Member
    one of the switches i bought for my cisco lab came from a ebay seller that specialized in reselling cisco equipment for certifications. He had an FTP site set up with IOS images and learning materials. I doubt that set up with legal but, it was there.
    Current Certification Exam: ???
    Future Certifications: CCNP Route Switch, CCNA Datacenter, random vendor training.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    The only way to acquire IOS is from Cisco. Do not discuss any other options on the forums.

    Again, Do not discuss any other options including PMing other members.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,125Admin Admin
    JustFred wrote: »
    MS provides free software at my Uni and i just wish Cisco would do the same with their IOS for students
    MS is a software company and Cisco a hardware company, so they see their products and customers very differently. With MS, giving away free software samples is a way of getting people hooked on their products and enticing them to buy them. With Cisco, controlling IOS is a key to selling more hardware to its customers. The people who would most benefit from a free IOS distribution Cisco does not see as its paying customers.
  • mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    MS is a software company and Cisco a hardware company, so they see their products and customers very differently. With MS, giving away free software samples is a way of getting people hooked on their products and enticing them to buy them. With Cisco, controlling IOS is a key to selling more hardware to its customers. The people who would most benefit from a free IOS distribution Cisco does not see as its paying customers.

    I'm not sure that has anything to do with software vs hardware. When someone gets their Cisco certification presumably they'll get a job based on that certification. After they start working at Company X (and prove themselves) they'll have input on what to buy to replace/supplement their network. If they know Cisco, they will most likely recommend Cisco. I see that as being a win for Cisco, especially if they provide the student IOS images as time limited trials. At least IMHO.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,125Admin Admin
    That's a nice thought, but Cisco can't do revenue projections based on such a soft, unreliable concept. Cisco needs hard business and marketing decisions to drive positive revenue returns. The reason Cisco treats IOS as it does it because of business decisions; people need to see Cisco's point of view from the business IP angle.
  • mgates67mgates67 Posts: 55Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    You can make the same argument for Microsoft too. Sure, as you said, Microsoft is just giving away software:
    JDMurray wrote: »
    With MS, giving away free software samples is a way of getting people hooked on their products and enticing them to buy them.

    But, in this case, Cisco would be doing the same thing. I buy a router off ebay and install a time limited trial verson of the IOS on it to become Cisco certified. That router isn't useful to anyone in the "real world" unless they buy a maintenance contract. But, if I get certified while using it, not I'm an advocate of Cisco. Cisco didn't give me that router to get certified, I bought it second hand. They would only need to give me the software, just like Microsoft does. The fact that it is time limited protects them from someone permanently upgrading without a service contract.

    Sounds simple to me, but I am a self admitted tech weenie and not a business guy. icon_wink.gif
  • sasprosaspro Posts: 114Member
    JDMurray wrote: »
    MS is a software company and Cisco a hardware company,

    Cisco actually class themselves as a software company.
    Anyone can make a router or switch but it's the IOS that make Cisco so good.

    That's why you can't use a 2nd hand Cisco device without contacting Cisco for a new IOS license first.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member
    saspro wrote: »
    Anyone can make a router or switch but it's the IOS that make Cisco so good.
    Developing the hardware for a core router like those made by Cisco or Juniper requires many, many talented people and an immense outlay of capital. That's why their individual cards can sell for nearly a million dollars. The edge routers aren't too shabby, either.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,125Admin Admin
    saspro wrote: »
    That's why you can't use a 2nd hand Cisco device without contacting Cisco for a new IOS license first.
    Cisco IOS does not operate on general purpose computers. Cisco produces software only for hardware platforms that it sells. No one else makes Cisco boxes that run Cisco's software except for Cisco. 3rd parties can write software that runs on Cisco boxes. Cisco is therefore a hardware company, regardless if Cisco wants to call itself something else.
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