Another Blow to Dynamips/Dynagen/GNS3

It looks like Cisco is trying to crack down on illegal distribution of their software.  I can't really blame them since it's their property.

A while back, I went to download an IOS image for the 3600 to solve a  BGP problem we were having in GNS3.  I got an interesting message during the download procedure that said something to the effect of "you don't have support on that guy, but we'll let you download it for now."  It wass the first time I'd seen that, and, instead of tempting the gods, I just found an older version I had archived.  This isn't the only evidence out there showing that Cisco is clamping down, though.

Earlier this month, I saw a Jeremy followed with some further information on it.

Another bit of evidence came from the Packet Pushers Podcast this weekJennifer Huber (@jenniferlucille), a wireless contractor, said that she could no longer download any software from Cisco.  Since she is a contractor, none of the gear she supports is owned by her company, so she has no entitlements.  Bummer.

If Cisco actually does restrict downloads as such, it will wreak havoc on dynamips/dynagen/GNS3.  Traditionally, Cisco has looked the other way or simply ignored the fact that users were downloading IOS images for gear on which they didn't have support, but that's all bound to change.  While one sin is no worse than another, there's a difference in my mind between downloading code from Cisco's site without an entitlement and finding the same on a bit torrent site.  Before you know it, torrents may be the only way to get IOS images for routers supported on the emulators.

Send any download spiders questions my way.

Aaron Conaway

I shake my head around sometimes and see what falls out. That's what lands on these pages. If you have any questions, the best way to contact me is through Twitter at @aconaway.

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6 comments for “Another Blow to Dynamips/Dynagen/GNS3

  1. Ty_a
    November 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    It's not a good long term strategy for Cisco in an era where security updates are frequent and vitally necessary. 
    Cisco should beware of HP drinking their milkshake with free software updates for life and lifetime warranties on all hardware.

  2. Alex S
    December 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Production environments should not be affected (I wrote should not, meaning people should not use unlicensed or torrented software), but that’s right, biggest hit will be for shadow or lab networks used for educational and testing purposes. Not good. It puzzles me, Cisco based its popularity (among other things) on great education and certification programs and now shoots their own feet this way. Past fame never lasts forever in this segment. Let’s see what they come up with, if anything.

  3. December 7, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I'll propose an alternative solution – how about 'cisco registered labs'. Charge 'lab users' a flat annual fee for entitlement to software for use in non-production environments. Tie it to serial numbers (if you must) but make it available – and flat out refuse support for issues demonstrated on 'lab only' hardware.  It's not a watertight idea – there are times you'd need support on lab hardware, but it's certainly better than cutting off the flow of electrons.  Just my 2 cents.
    j –

  4. December 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Well, Cisco Seems to be forgetting that GNS has helped a huge number of networking professionals. I am sure that more than 70% of Cisco Certified people have used Dynamips/Dynagen/GNS to prepare for their certs.
    I doubt this move & believe that it may backfire. If support for Junos remains, people will find it easier to prepare for Juniper Certification than Cisco certs. Anyways, They must would have thought about this.
    Only time will tell the sideeffects.

  5. craig
    May 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    GNS3/Dynamips is an essential training tool. People who learn the product tend to recommend and sell it.

    Cisco could do somthing similiar to microsoft technet, charge an annual $300-500 fee to get access to software/licenses with no support and for non-production use only…. works well for microsoft

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