If you are a network professional or an enthusiast prepairing for CCNA/ CCNP / CCIE exams, probabaly you understand the true value of the Lab equiment. It’s not cheap to get allt eh routers just to pass the exam or play around with networks. Network Emulation/virtaulization has helped us to achieve this at almost no cost.
The main revolution was brought by Dynamips, which exposes a flexible platform for emulation of wide range of Cisco devices. The second step was GNS3. GNS3 brought the features of dynamipps into the GUI world, making it more easier, faster to virtualize the topologies on the fly with click of a mouse.
The next step that has now made life of of a networking engineer is the portability of virtualized networks. Thanks to innovators like In2dwok, it’s now possible to have LIVE CDs for GNS3 which will enable you virtualize your network, just on any PC that exists on the planet. It’s based on a small 30mb linux (Slitaz) which is low on resources and heavy on the work, perfect in accordance with virtualization needs.
He has also developed slax based implementation of the Live CD.
Now Live CDs were not enough to save your network configuration and move on to other boxes. You have to save your dynamips .net files on Local hard disk or use another USB. So LIVE USB were were also created to extend the portability. By having a Live USB, you have the freedom to boot from USB directly into a light weighht linux with GNS3 rpre-installed, pre-configured and customized with your topologies. I use this USB with my vmware and virtualbox and its pretty fast. The CPU limiter patch actually make life of working with GNS3 even more slick, no longer you have to worry about 100% CPU utilization. In Virtualbox, I was able to run four routers with less than 25% CPU utilization on my dual core notebook.
If you are new to GNS, you can check GNS3Labs for extensive help.
Note: GNS3-Labs goes down occassionally, please retry later if links are down.