Here is a summary out of 1163 surveys we received.
We are very pleased to know that 45% of the respondents use GNS3 everyday and 38% once or twice a week.
Most of GNS3 users are studying for CCNP certifications (53%) followed by CCNA (40%), CCIE (36%) and Juniper certifications (20%). Interestingly, only 8% are studying for CCENT or not training at all.
Routing and switching is the field of work or study for 92% of the respondents, followed by Security (55%), Service Provider (31%) and Voice (28%).
We haven't been surprised to see that most of our users are interested in training material about studying for a certification using GNS3 to practice (76%), followed by any material about network certifications (69%) and specifically about how to use GNS3 (56%).
Video training is the most used type of training (80%), ebooks came second (70%), free websites and blogs third (70%), physical text books fourth (53%) and finally bootcamps or real classes came last (34%).
80% of the respondents spend on training every year and 73% would pay for a 'premium' version of GNS3, which we won't make (really!), but it shows that most are willing to pay for quality and advanced features. However we will encourage more people to donate.
Concerning the most wanted features for future releases of GNS3, 70% responded they want labs included with GNS3, 67% Cisco IOU support, 64% VMware support. A more intuitive GUI and an easier setup/configuration came behind with respectively 43% and 39%.
Although not listed in the survey, Catalyst switches integration and support for more platforms are without doubt the real most wanted features, however we are facing a brick wall because of custom ASICs used by Cisco. The story is well explained in this article about Dynamips
, the IOS emulator used by GNS3.
Currently, our best hope for a full support of Catalyst features is to have IOU in GNS3, however IOU (IOS on Unix) as its name stands for, runs only on Linux or Solaris, which is problematic on Windows (maybe by using Cygwin?). Another path could be to add a simulated multilayer switch, like in Packet Tracer, which would support major switching features.
Finally, here are some interesting ideas that have been brought to us. It doesn't mean we will implement all of them and some are already partially supported:
- Automatic idlepc calculation.
- Better/easier support for PIX, ASA and JunOS.
- Stronger integration of Qemu/KVM, further VM configuration options.
- Integration of virtual switches like OpenVSwitch and VDE.
- Built-in Visio/Network Notepad like diagram tool.
- Built-in hosts with command line support and traffic generator abilities (eg. multicasting).
- Integrated appliances for Qemu/VirtualBox.
- Improve stability (crashes on Windows XP).
- Auto report crashes/bugs to GNS3 developers.
- More guidelines for choosing an IOS version or recommendations for stable IOS images and how to set idlepc values.
- Add serial cards by default or add the possibility to create device templates.
- Create official "lab packs" for CCNA, CCNA Security and CCNP.
- Better Mac OS X and Linux support (with up-to-date packages eg. RPM, DEB etc.)
- Nexus 1000v switch support.
- Support for Openflow/SDN networks.
- Make Superputty the default terminal on Windows.
- Make some specifications/tips/how-to's about every setting from preferences menu, what they are, and how they improve/affect GNS3 (inline help).
- For "windows-labs" (e.g. for MS system certifications) it would be awesome if there would be easy to config routers available to create "simple" labs (Multiple subnets) without using cisco emulation.
- Support for IOS-XR thru XR4U.
- Assign special attributes (packet loss, latency etc) to virtual cables.
- Plug-in feature. It would really be of interest for our company if we could put together a plugin-package for GNS3 with our products, icons and pre-configured vbox appliances etc. And a very easy way to export/import complete setups. And maybe also a CLI so some events could be scripted and automated.
Please, do not hesitate to leave your comments. Your opinion will help us make the new GNS3 software!