I created this article to compare the Packet Tracer 5.1 and Dynamips (using GNS3) associated with the use for the CCNA.
Each of these programs has its peculiarities, facilities and resources. I want to emphasize that these programs will be compared for their use in the certification CCNA, CCNP and then to recommend the following Dynamips without a doubt.
Officially, this software is available only to students of Netacad. In its version 5.1 software that makes the simulation of Cisco routers and switches. He is very good performance in question, as it does not perform the actual function of the equipment, but only simulated, not consume many resources of the machine, but does not provide all the commands of a router, many were destroyed. In the teaching aspect, the Packet Tracer is incredible! For all who are starting in the routing and the settings in yourSimulation mode, you can see the package or chassis / frame traveling from one device to another. Plus, if you click on the package as it passes through the devices you can see the whole process of (forward, discard, etc …) and the simulator tells you the stack of checks that it is to know where to forward the packet or frame ( check the routing table to verify NAT, NAT entry found, etc …). This information can be seen below.
While the PT is a simulator, the Dynamips is an emulator-only routers, or it gets the official IOS device and emulates in your machine. No question you have a router feature real in front could even bring it to route, linking the physical network adapter to the emulator. The full functionality of a router has a cost, processing and memory. You can emulate a 3600 router (IOS 12.3) with 64 MB of RAM, while a 7200 (IOS 12.4) needs to 128MB, not to mention the processing needed .. The Dynamips be suitable for all who know and routing and are well familiar with the route of a package based on the routing tables (and other details such as filter with ACL and etc …).
The GNS3 provides you the ease of designing your topology and turn it with Dynamips, similar to the Packet Tracer (to configure it to access Tutorial GNS3. Below is a screenshot of 4 running Dynamips routers 7200, each with 128, RAM allocated according to Laboratory IPv6 and OSPFv3.
The Packet Tracer, in my view, meet all the needs for setting the scope of the CCNA, through its simulator. Performs all functions without much cost of machinery, has an entire section which is important for teaching beginning and has a little more ease in time to create, or even import a laboratory.
The Dynamips is a complete platform, it emulates the device. You have full and unrestricted access to the IOS of the router, but you need a powerful machine. In the picture above was used a Core 2 Duo 1.8 Ghz w / 2GB of RAM. At the time of the bootstrapthe machine goes to 100% for a time to stabilize. If you want to do a short term level of professional certification from Cisco is interesting to use Dynamips to go testing and practicing a little more advanced commands and interface ‘real’ of a router.
For the CCNA, I am with Packet Tracer.
I hope this article has been very enlightening for all who have any doubt about which software to use the laboratories to achieve CCNA.
A strong hug personnel,
Maurício Bento Ghem.