A few weeks ago Juniper anounced the creation of the Junosphere, a virtual environment to test and practice with virtual Juniper routers that works really well at replicating real hardware and features. It has some drawbacks as pricing (to name just one), but it’s another choice you have in there to study for their certifications. Cisco has the Cisco Learning Labs, but I feel they are very limited in the topologies and are very closed in nature because the lab is built around for you to follow an scripted guide (and none of them for the CCIE), thay are not open for you to build the topology that you want.
What’s the option? Simply Cisco IOU available for everyone, why don’t we have this available already? or at least why won’t Cisco provide a virtual environment like Junosphere (with affordable price) for us to work around the topologies that we want and need for the CCIE (or other network testing)? There is no official answer from them, and that is very sad. I think they are actually hurting the business. The way I see it is that, if people have free access to this kind of tools, more people will get certified (all certifications) that at the end means more sales. If you are a CCIE, what kind of hardware are you going to push for the company you work for (or the ones doing your contract) when the time to buy hardware/services comes?
They have a product that is almost ready to go and functions really well as Cisco Employees mention and as it has been showed in the troubleshooting section of your R&S CCIE Lab as is built around this software. Why won’t they just release it for everyone? even they could put a legal note pointing that they won’t provide support for it. Something like Web IOU on the hands of a CCIE candidate would be gold.
Mean while one of our readers (Andrea Dainese) has made a nice interface to build topologies around Cisco IOU (officially IOL as it runs on Linux) using a web interface. It’s called “Cisco IOU Web Interface” the software is freely available under his site, take note, that this is only a front end to build the topology (that actually creates the mapping file that IOU use), it does not provide the actual IOU software. Cisco is the only one that can provide this software, so please don’t ask for it, he does not have it and we don’t have it. Actually if you are not a Cisco Employee and are using this software illegally your eyes will probably melt . This software is to be used by people with legal access to Cisco IOU.
Wouldn’t you love to have this tool available on your hand to practice for your CCIE or as a test environment?
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