The Case of the Disappearance of the Cisco IOU images (and other changes)…

A while back (January 2016), I found myself yet again at another cross roads. The path with GNS3 was gone and I had to make a decision with all this stuff I learned.

1.) Try to apply it with another startup (like VIRL, EVE or Vagrant).

2.) Look for work that is stable and steady and worthwhile.

3.) Give up.

Instead, I decided to look for better work that is stable and needed my skill sets. But I never forgot the love I had with teaching. So I put all these projects on the back burner.

Now we are into 2017 (1 year later) and I started to pick up where I left off. Only there was something VERY different.

First of all, where did all those posts about the beloved Cisco IOU images go? They disappeared on the usual pages I haunt. I also revisited some sites where there used to be full blown HOW-TOs on how to integrate the leaked image from Cisco. At this point there seems to be a bit of mystery and intrigue. Where did all those pages go?

My relationship with Cisco has always been amicable. The irony was I was to feature ALL types of images from ALL vendors, but time and time again, I get requests for the following:

1.) The IOU image. How to install it into GNS3 etc. etc.

2.) The ASA 8.4.2 image

3.) Cisco Nexus 7000 (.d1) image.

4.) Other images (Arista, Cumulus and OpenVSwitch with Quagga).

Did the boogeyman (the legal department of Cisco) “get” to all those sites? I can only wonder. If anything, it’s futile when all one had to do was to locate the python script that enables all those copies of the IOS on Unix images to work. However, there is a need to have an option out there. An option that prevents the wayward learner from getting into trouble with who I affectionatly call “pencil neck desk jockeys” or PNDJs.

Oh, I’d be happy to make my case that Cisco has somehow violated some Anti-Trust laws in the way the wordy license agreements prevent the use for ‘training’ and ‘evaluation’. And I find it MOST timely the allegations that Cisco is in bed with the US Government. I recall not three years ago, Huawei was accused of working with the Chinese government. But perhaps that is a battle for another day.

Since I love training, I’m going to mention briefly where I left off last year with GNS3 and give some updates to the Windows Host Environment. That has changed SIGNIFICANTLY. Why does Microsoft lie and say they are ‘patching’ something when clearly the patch was really to limit an otherwise wonderful product? The KM Loopback adapter was wonderful! It allowed me to route all traffic out my host laptop. Now the updated version only allows SOME of the ports…such a pity.

In the gaming world, when there is an unfair advantage (from the perspective of the developer), a power or skill set in game will be reduced; thereby minimizing the custom work a player came up with. That has been called NERFING. In other words, Microsoft nerfed the Loopback adapter I used to exploit GNS3’s connection out my host machine. I am very angry at that change because effectively a Windows user didn’t have to use Bridge connections like in MAC and UNIX systems. It’s such a crying shame to ruin a perfectly good Loopback adapter. But the beauty here is I have an alternative. USE LINUX!

I will re-apply a new “coat of paint” on the tried and true “Default Topology.” We will be running the EXACT same Branch topologies I developed using a Cisco IOS and instead  using Cumulus and Arista images as well as incorporate Juniper and Extreme performing the exact SAME functions.

That way, new CCNA aspirants can consider working for companies that on the one hand, offer you the promise of a better life and don’t shut the door of opportunity due to lack of funds or unnecessary license issues. My conscience says to give an option and endorse THAT as opposed to fight battles with Cisco and Microsoft that no one is going to win. Everyone’s brand will suffer in this process. So switching and routing companies that want experienced professionals need to back a Linux version of their VM so that any Red Hat or other certified Linux user can just use a Cumulus vm or an Arista one. Voila! You have a new certification track that rivals Cisco and circumvents all issues with Cisco/Microsoft.

At least, that’s what I recommend for someone getting started in the networking business. I am preparing you for the Software Defined Networks and you won’t have to ‘relearn’ new skills. But for those in the space, you will adapt very well because I will use old school terms and techniques.

Will I ever get to the bottom of the “Case of the Disappearance of the Cisco IOU?”

At this point, I don’t know…and don’t care.

UPDATE: 11/10/2017 –

I had some time to mess with the Microsoft Loopback Adapter on Windows 10. I decided to troubleshoot the VERSION of the loopback adapter.

  1. After disabling the driver signature in windows 10 AND forcing a driver update on the Microsoft KM Loopback adapter to use a MUCH older version, I decided the issue is NOT the loopback adapter, but the SHARING of the wifi network adapter to the Loopback Adapter.
  2. What this means is, the ONLY way to restore my ability to route all traffic out my laptop is to do the following:
    1. Grab an older Windows 7 Ultimate.
    2. Load GNS3 1.4 off of a Google dork “intitle.index.of: “parent directory” gns3 1.4″
    3. Download the GNS 1.4 into the Win 7 vm machine.
    4. Test the loopback adapter as it is shared with the network adapter in the vm…

As you can see, it worked the first time!

Microsoft Loopback issues

As you can see, for many Windows user who wanted to do all the stuff I did a couple of years ago, you will now have to revert to an older version of Windows where the SHARING is not nerfed and you can route your traffic unencumbered.




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