Boson Cisco Simulators Rock

I got my first Cisco certification, a CCNA, in 2000. To accomplish this task I used several self-study courses along with a stack of routers and switches from our lab. I can remember many days at my desk with the drone of Cisco fans about to put me to sleep. I would read about a new router or switch function, then fire up HyperTerminal and put my new knowledge to use. Not a bad way to learn for a hands-on guy like myself. The only problem was that I often left the office to work on billable consulting assignments, and couldn't exactly lug the router/switch rack with me wherever I went.

Fast forward to 2005. Being primarily a Microsoft-focused consultant, my Cisco certifications expired in 2003/2004. I've always wanted to renew my CCNA since I frequently encounter Cisco gear in the field. However, the thought of sitting with a rack of Cisco gear, and those fans, just about caused me to shelve the whole idea.

Enter Boson NetSim. This amazing software package allows me to use my laptop to simulate a full Cisco lab, complete with routers, switches, and hosts. No more noisy rack of Cisco gear. I can now study for my CCNA anywhere at any time. I can even load actual router config files I encounter in the field directly into the Boson NetSim software, and test various configuration changes without worrying about affecting the client's network.

This is truly amazing software. I know Boson has been around for a while, but if you are like me and just discovered them -- you are in for a pleasant surprise.