Is there a good switch simulator for CCNP ?

Unanswered Question
Aug 18th, 2009

I'm currently (self)studying for the second CCNP exam, BCMSN.

For the first exam, BSCI, I used to use the best router simulator available ever, the GNS-3/Dynamips and I was very pleased by the result.

Unfortunately I cannot find a suitable fine simulator for switching, for the BCMSN exam.

Is there any ?

Thanks in advance.

LE: I don't have access to any real CISCO switch for learning so a switch simulator is vital for me.

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Overall Rating: 2.3 (7 ratings)
jim_berlow Tue, 08/18/2009 - 07:55

There really isn't a good replacement for switches. You see that switches are ASIC based and GNS-type programs cannot run the code.

My recommendation - buy a few used switches on ebay (they're cheap) and then just sell them back when your done. It really isn't that expensive because you'll recoup most of the costs when you sell.



qudatheocelbatran Tue, 08/18/2009 - 08:58

Good, but can I load a new IOS version firmware on a legacy switch (like a 10/100 Catalyst model 2950-24) ?

I need it to support some modern required CCNP functions and modes, you know that. Otherwise it's futile.

jim_berlow Tue, 08/18/2009 - 10:15

The legacy switches have some limitations (for example, many of them offer little or no support for L3 routing).

You'll probably need something like the 3550 or 3560 to replicate some of those scenarios. I realize that those switches are still pretty spendy.

Here's an idea. How about purchasing the 2950's to get you through most of the material and then rent time through a rack rental vendor to practice the L3 stuff on the 3550's or 3560's? Most of the rack rentals are $25 - $30 for 4 hours.

Not sure what other options you may have here. I've tried some of the switch simulators out there, but have never been really happy with them (many commands are not supported or they are based on out-of-date software).

Anyone else have ideas?


qudatheocelbatran Tue, 08/18/2009 - 11:54

Jim, thanks.

Anyway I think that may be a solution there in the US but not in my country.

Unfortunately, here in Romania I never heard of IT hardware rentals whatsoever. If one need a device, he/she will have to buy it or to give up, period.

Other ideas?

qudatheocelbatran Tue, 08/18/2009 - 23:03

Thanks guys, but we're divagating already too much. It's fancy but pointless.

Let's come back to the real initial issue: a software free switch emulator/simulator.

I am waiting for fresh ideas.

Like this: why not a Dynamips emulator for CISCO L2+L3 switches ?


jbrenesj Wed, 08/19/2009 - 08:59

The ideas they have provided are valid: real equipment or online rentals (this is the cheapest solution)

"There is NO simulator for L3 switches", most of the L2 can be done in PacketTracer, if you need fresh ideas why don't you start working on a switch simulator yourself?

I think that would help us all since we have had the same problem when trying to move forward on CCNP with no available hardware, then you can share it, that's an idea....

qudatheocelbatran Mon, 09/14/2009 - 03:21

I've passed the exam. No simulator needed whatsoever.

It's much easier than BSCI.

All u need is the Cisco Oficial Exam Course and some exam tests (there are plenty of them on torrents and p2p).

Thanks anyway.

Several viewpoints have been expressed. One of them insinuates cheating by getting copies of the exam questions - sad. To clarify dynamips is an emulator of the processor used on a limited set of Cisco platforms (e.g. 2600 and 7200) and has several limitations with respect to switching and performance. My belief is that the original author is looking for the most cost effective solution and ideally free. A simulator is exactly that - its similar but its not the exact same thing. There are different views on CCNP. One may be to simply pass the exam requirements another is to actually understand the material and not just pass an exam.

Take a look at which fixes your cost to $41/mo for access to actual Cisco equipment.


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