Today a friend of mine showed me some kind of Cisco network emulator that uses real IOS. It is not GNS3. This thing does switching and routing flawlessly. It was running on a virtual machine on Linux. He said that Cisco is using it to train their employees and for lab mock ups. It looked way better than GNS3. But for the life of us, we cannot figure out what its called and if you can purchase it. When we log into the router and do show ver, I can see it is using a real IOS calling it from a directory that is running on a Unix machine. But we can't see any names or logos or can't figure out how it's setup. The school gives my friend remote access to that software. Any guesses what this software is called?
While John makes a good point about IOU, that's a Cisco-internal thing that isn't supposed to exist outside.
More likely, they were using Cisco Modeling Labs (CML) which is a commercial product that uses a more refined concept of IOU called the Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) as its core software engine. It's a nice product, but very expensive for individual study.
You can get a three-router configuration of VIRL by downloading the free OnePK All-in-One VM from Cisco. That will get you started for basic study.
if you want to get adventurous with it, you can extract the VIRL image from the OnePK All-in-One VM and go beyond the initial three routers. It takes a lot of fiddling, but works well when completed. I keep 10 of them on a VM host for my own studies.
Thanks for the explanation. I already hold CCNP and CCDP so I was thinking more for CCIE studies, since the real lab i snot cheap, plus draws lots of power and is very noisy when you run it in a average room in a house. But I'll definitely check some of the options you mentioned.
Th CSR 1000v is also an option, but is much more than VIRL. It is designed as a production-grade cloud router and is licensed based on performance and feature set. You can certainly download that and run the 60-day evaluation license to get full functionality for CCIE R&S studies, but it uses a lot more resources than IOU or VIRL does... and you have to purchase a license for each instance or re-install every 60 days in order to keep your lab functioning.
Rumour has it that a free packaged version of VIRL that is good for 15 router is coming out before the end of November, but I don't have any firm confirmation on that yet.
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