Upgrading V3 hardware: Dynampis or 3725s ? R1-R6: is it all or nothing in Dynamips?

Hi guys


These days I am resuming my long time ago abandoned work toward CCIE R&S. In 2006 I believe, I bought the hardware I am listing below:


  • 2x3550
  • 2x3560
  • 6x3640 128/32
  • 1x2523 (FR switch)
  • 1x2511 (TS)


-I already had a couple of 2500 and 2600 (not XM) good to use as BB routers or anything else.


From what I have read I could still do the lab in it's V4 version but there is a problem with C3640 not supporting the  Zone-Based Policy Firewall feature. For that I would need 3725s I believe.

Having all these said here are my questions:


1. Do I really need to upgrade? I haven't read the labs and the technology labs and I need to know how much the ZBFW is used in the scenarios becase if this is the only feature not supported and it is not very used  I can take the risk to go ahead with what I have


2. Which routers exactly do I need to upgrade? Is it enough to upgrade R4-R6 or I need to upgrade R1-R3 too? R1-R3 see to be 2600XM and I should be OK with using 3640s instead.


3. The diagrams are still showing some Ethernet connections for R3-R5 while the listed models can all do FastEthernet. Can I use Ethernet links where the diagram indicates so or that is just a mistake and I need FE everywhere ?


4. Is it possible to use Dynamips just for  the routers I will have to upgrade? I believe this is the same with asking the following questions:

a.   Is it possible make a serial connection between a Dynamips router and a real router (I don't think so but I am asking just to make sure I did't miss       anything in my Dynamips lectures.

b.   Can I still use the FR and the TS with Dynamips routers (let's say R1-R6 in Dynamips and everything else is real) - I also believe the answer is no at          least for the TS router


5. Could you please recommend me a good source of hardware for upgrading C3640 to C3725? I am also looking for modules (2FE2W and 1FE2W)


6. Should I still keep the C3640 routers? Can they be used for the CCIE SP track ?  



Any suggestion will be much appreciated.

Thank you very much for your help





  • I would definitely recommend upgrading the main R1-R6 routers to something that will support 12.4(15)T at least, like the 3725s. Even these will only get you so far though, as there are certain OER features you can only do on 12.4(20)T and above which is only supported on 1800 series and above.

    If you aren't totally loaded, I would recommend using dynamips, and use it in conjunction with your physical switches. This will give you as many 3725s as you like and will let you do everything you need at the moment. Even 3640s don't cut the mustard any more I'm afraid!

    You'll need a number of NICs in your dynamips machine to connect it to physical switches, what I have done (which is cheating a bit) is used a trunk port in my dynamips server and broken this out onto another switch to physical ports as I was too cheap to by quad port NICs!

  • Thanks for your reply

    Yes I decided to go that way. I already ordered 5x A5506-60102, the guy was selling them all together.

    Now I am not sure which hardware to buy for that PC. I have some old hardware here, I am waiting for these network cards to see if Ubunutu sees them. I would have liked to use them in Vista 64 for but there is no driver for them.  




  • I'm not sure how GNS3 performs in Ubuntu, but if you are in Windows, I can run routers 1-6 and BB1 quite nicely on a phenom 920 X3 and 4 GB of RAM. BB2 and BB3 are physical in my lab.

    One thing to bear in mind is some adapters strip off 802.1q tags so you may need to tweak the driver settings to ensure they leave them in tact! Again this may not be an issue in ubuntu :)

  • These cards are quite old but are well known to work in Linux. Actually it was a post here that made me buy the that model, that and the opportunity to buy them really cheap.


  • Well for me, I have 2 older PCs, one a laptop with a 1.4Ghz mobile proc, and the other an older server with ~2Ghz(?) hyperthreaded proc.  Both have 2Gb of RAM.  With Windows XP, I could only run 2-4 routers per box with major performance penalties, mostly because Windows has problems handling the memory.  But with Ubuntu, I'm able to run all 13 routers (includes BBs) from the Dynamips Lab book and it's "mostly" usable.  And I never have memory issues with Linux.

    I still run into issues doing a simple "show run", especially on any router handled by the laptop (the side effect being my IGP adjacencies usually drop).  But if I stick to other show commands, I'm "mostly" good to go.

    I'm not sure how GNS3 performs in Ubuntu, but if you are in Windows, I can run routers 1-6 and BB1 quite nicely on a phenom 920 X3 and 4 GB of RAM.


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