Saturday, July 10, 2010

Real Switches vs Dynamips for switching

I've gone back-and-forth with whether or not to purchase real 3550 and 3560 switches for my home lab.  I've decided NOT to, and to continue for now with Etherswitch modules.  My reasoning for this is that I prefer renting racks for 8 hours to do real labs anyways, which allows me to switch up the rack configs and to force me to sit there and run a full lab non-stop.  So, since I'll be renting racks anyways, I'll just rent some time to practice switching stuff as well.  I also don't feel like spending so much extra time getting good deals on all the parts and re-configuring the lab.

Here's a list of the major features I'll be lacking with Dynamips, and they are significant:
  • No ISL trunking
  • No bpdu-guard on interfaces
  • No QinQ trunking
  • No private VLANs
  • No PAgP / LACP
  • Cannot set switch ports to nonegotiate
  • lose some STP features, like bpduguard, bpdufilter
  • No MSTP
  • No layer 3 port-channel 
  • No Switch Database Templates
  • No udld
  • No port security
  • No port protected
  • lose some qos specific configuration of hardware queues like srr-queue
  • No extended VLANs, unless transparent mode
  • Can't modify prune-eligibility of ports

I'll still prefer to rent racks to get practice.  Luckily, is pretty cheap!

1 comment:

  1. Ya the racks seem like a good idea to me compared to dynamips.

    I'm currently working on building a free online network simulator. While I still have a long way to go, I did take note of all the things you listed above so that I can be sure to implement them. My goal is to have something online that is free to use, but will give you the same functionality as CCIE lab.