Overview: GNS3 (Dynamips)
- Overview: Emulator that lets you run instances of real network OS’s
- Package: Desktop software (downloadable)
- Purpose: to build virtual networks for testing and learning
- Scope: Cisco IOS plus some other Cisco/Non-Cisco
- CLI: Runs real Cisco OS with real CLI
- Lab exercises: None integrated into product
- Licensing: Does not supply you with IOS
Analysis: Lab Exercises and GNS3
Are Lab Exercises Included?
Great for what it does, but user interface does not include integrated lab exercises.
Are Labs Easily Available on the Net?
GNS3.com Marketplace has a short list of brief labs at last look
Trusted authors of CCENT/CCNA labs?
I'm not in a position to know - sorry!
Overall Usefulness for Lab Learning
Great free play tool for CCENT/CCNA if you have no issues with OS licensing
Analysis: Time and Dollar Costs
Time Overhead: Low
Assuming you have enough laptop/desktop power to run GNS3 there, you need some time to learn the install/setup details. Call it 2 hours.
Initial Cost No Hardware: Zero
Software-wise, GNS3 is free, and required additional software includes free options.
Initial Software Only Cost
Initial Cost with Hardware: High
If your laptop/desktop does not have the CPU/RAM to do what you need with GNS3, you will need to add a beefy desktop or small server.
Initial Cost w/ Added Hardware
Annual Cost: Zero/Low
Zero software cost for GNS3 itself. You might have chosen virtualization software with an annual fee.