I have been thinking of how am I going to practice my CCNA while I’m not at home.
My original plan was, buy a new laptop, and install GNS3, so that I can simulate my routers. Since there is no way for me to bring my routers with me wherever I go.
Here is a short story:
On my Windows 7 x64 desktop at home, I do have a virtual machine installed running Ubuntu 10.04 x64. I discovered that when I ran GNS3 on Windows, it did not run that way I wanted to.
Here are the specs of my Windows 7 machine:
Intel Core i7 920 | Corsair Dominator 7-7-7-18 6GB of RAM @ 1600Mhz | OCZ Vertex 60GB SSD (OS & drivers only) | 1TB WD Caviar Black HDD (Software & data only) | 500GB WD Caviar Black HDD (Back up drive) | Evga GTX 260 in SLI | Corsair 850HX PSU | Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
The problem is with GNS3 under Windows 7 or even Vista, it devours all the system resources, and when you open the console it crashes. Not the GNS3 just the console. I think in XP it runs just fine.
I heard that GNS3 runs great under Linux; therefore, I installed GNS3 on my Ubuntu in VM.
This is the specs of my Ubuntu VM:
Two cores CPU | 2GB RAM | 10GB VHD.
I turned on 13 routers and opened the consoles, and guess what? It ran flawlessly. The CPU was at 100% load. When I used the idle PC, from 100% it dropped down to 78% load. And from here, I thought I should try this on my netbook.
My netbook is Asus 1005HA
Intel Atom N280 @ 160GHz with HT | Corsair 2GB RAM 800MHz | 320GB WD Scorpion Black (50GB Ubuntu 10.04 x32 & 266GB Windows 7 Pro x32).
I installed GNS3 0.7.2 in Ubuntu and tried to run it with six routers.
I was amazed that it works.
I also decompressed the IOS so that whenever I turn on the routers I don’t have to wait for like a minute or two. With an uncompressed IOS, it boots up like about three to five seconds. So that is a big improvement.
So I put this to the test, I went to Borders this morning to do some EIGRP labbing (same topology as pictured above), I was googling some stuff, too. It worked, and I did not get any problem.
Anyway the point of me posting this, is that if you have a netbook, and studying for Cisco/Juniper certifications, just install Ubuntu or any Linux OS as your second OS and install GNS3. Of course, if you have a laptop it that is much better.
Now, I don’t need to spend $1000+ for an i7 laptop to do some labbing.