GNS3 or Dynagen

Hello INEOC people. I passed the CCIE R&S written last week and I'll soon be starting on my lab studies. I plan to use a combination of virtualised and rack rental labs. I've used both Dynagen and GNS3 before.

What is the general feeling about which is the better to use? GNS3 or Dynagen Obviously GNS3 is prettier and a lot easier to set up networks quickly with but is Dynagen more stable and less resource intensive?

Also what is the feeling of the OS to run the package on? I have a 18 month old Intel quad core processor PC with 8GB of RAM, that runs Windows 7 64 bit. I do have a little experience of running GNS3 under Ubuntu though.


  • Assuming you get the idle-pc setup right you should have plenty of punch CPU wise to do the job either way. RAM is the biggest limiting factor and I would recommend at least 4 GB, so you are good there as well.

    Personally, I see almost no benefit in doing GNS3 over dynamips from an operational basis. The INE topology is the same physical topology for all labs. The only thing you'll gain is point and click administration with GNS3. The only time I use GNS3 is when I roll my own labs for the fun of it. It is great for ad-hoc lab work.

    I would also recommend using Linux and/or *BSD if at all possible. Ubuntu is a great distro and you can even run wubi.exe for an easy dual boot install.

    Please be advised that the route switch modules that are part of the INE dynamips product line are buggy and resource intensive.

    I would highly recommend running real switches with dynamips routers. There are a few ways to skin this cat. You can run 12 nics and have the virtual ethernets become real ports or you can assign each virtual ethernet to a vlan and then trunk them all out to a break out switch for connecting to your real switch. Just google "dynamips real switches".


    I hope that helps!


  • Thanks Mike. That was just the type of advice I was looking for. Dynamips it wiill be.

    Fortunately I'll have the use of two 3550s and two 3560s for the duration of my study. I also have a 2950, so I'll probably use a single trunk to the 2950 with all the vlans i'll need and contact from there to the other switches.

    Thanks again.

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