I was reading this post at Brad Reese’s blog about installing Dynamips. It has a link to the Internetwork Expert Dynamips COD. It also has a picture of one of the Brians (McGahan – at Networkers?).
The bit that caught my interest was this post concerning the official Cisco (non)response concerning Dynamips. It seems that CertGuard believes that Dynamips may be in violation of Cisco’s IOS copyright and licensing agreement. Cisco’s response:
As a matter of policy, Cisco will not comment on a specific customer or organization’s use of Cisco software.
That said, it is accurate that according to Cisco’s standard software licensing terms, users may only run Cisco software on the Cisco hardware for which the user pays the appropriate fees.
We have also heard from customers that emulation/simulation tools are of value to them and we are exploring different ways on how to continue to help customers best design and test network configurations prior to deployment of their networks.
Dynamips does not include IOS images so I don’t think that they really need to worry about Cisco turning the Eye of Sauron on them. I don’t think that anyone is looking to throw Dynamips on a PC and using that to replace the 2800 routers in their network. For Cisco, Dynamips is a boon. It is allowing more certification candidates to get hands-on (emulated) experience with their products. The only (extremely slight) downside to their business is the (very few) certification candidates that will be using Dynamips instead of buying new Cisco gear. Most of that market was being served by eBay and used equipment vendors anyway. Plus, Dynamips is absolutely free so there’s no one getting rich on the backs of Cisco. That said, it does look like Dynamips users – by obtaining and running Cisco IOS images in Dynamips – ARE in violation of software licensing agreement. But, considering the effect of this practice on Cisco, I don’t expect Cisco to do anything.
In the end, CertGuard’s point is interesting (and likely true) but I can’t see any harm that Dynamips does to Cisco, while I can see plenty of upside for Cisco from Dynamips.
While Cisco is probably not affected by Dynamips “market”, vendors who currently offer simulators for the Cisco certification markets ARE going to be affected.