Cisco Packet Tracer 7.1 and GNS3 v2.1 are two major network simulation software used for certification exam training (Cisco CCNA and CCNP for example) or network feature test without having to buy expensive real world equipment. The two software have been designed to address different needs.
Packet Tracer is a network simulator and embeds only limited real equipment features. GNS3 is a network emulator based on Dynamips and QSEMU running real IOS images, virtual machines, ... The main limitation of GNS3 is the amount of ressources (CPU / memory) available on the PC for running the lab's emulated IOS images and virtual machines for clients & servers simulation.
GNS3 v2.1 official release is now available for download on GNS3 website. This new version released on November 10, 2017 with packet loss and jitter support. GNS3 also introduced support of new Cisco security devices last sumer : this powerful network emulator now supports new Cisco security appliance to help network and security administrators to prepare security certification exams : Cisco Firepower Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) threat appliances, Cisco Firepower Threat Defense Virtual NGFW appliances and Firepower Management Center Virtual.
Packet Tracer 7.1 and GNS3 v2.1 feature comparison
|General||Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 |
(simulated IOS features)
(emulated real IOS features)
|Fully functional IOS|| |
Simulated IOS. Partial features
Real IOS images run in virtual environment
|ASA ASDM configuration support|
|Cisco Firepower Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS)|
|Cisco Firepower Threat Defense Virtual NGFW|
|Firepower Management Center Virtual.|
BGP features comparison
Cisco Packet Tracer 7.0 (simulated IOS features)
Router(config)#router bgp 65000 Router(config-router)#%BGP-4-NORTRID: BGP could not pick a router-id. Please configure manually. Router(config-router)#? bgp BGP specific commands distance Define an administrative distance exit Exit from routing protocol configuration mode neighbor Specify a neighbor router network Specify a network to announce via BGP no Negate a command or set its defaults redistribute Redistribute information from another routing protocol synchronization Perform IGP synchronization timers Adjust routing timers
GNS3 (emulated real IOS features)
R2(config)#router bgp 50000 R2(config-router)#? Router configuration commands: address-family Enter Address Family command mode aggregate-address Configure BGP aggregate entries auto-summary Enable automatic network number summarization bgp BGP specific commands default Set a command to its defaults default-information Control distribution of default information default-metric Set metric of redistributed routes distance Define an administrative distance distribute-list Filter networks in routing updates exit Exit from routing protocol configuration mode help Description of the interactive help system maximum-paths Forward packets over multiple paths neighbor Specify a neighbor router network Specify a network to announce via BGP no Negate a command or set its defaults redistribute Redistribute information from another routing protocol synchronization Perform IGP synchronization table-map Map external entry attributes into routing table template Enter template command mode timers Adjust routing timers