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Rumblings About Educational IOS Licensing

By stretch | Friday, July 9, 2010 at 4:20 p.m. UTC

Earlier this week, Wendell Odom wrote about a discussion he had at Cisco Live with Fred Weiller, the marketing director for Learning@Cisco. One of the issues they discussed was the possibility of Cisco licensing IOS for educational and/or lab testing purposes.

Before anyone gets his or her hopes up, I want to point out that nothing conclusive came from this discussion. From the article:

The question I asked Fred was something like this: "Would Cisco ever make some IOS images available, approved/licensed, for use on either/or real gear/Dynamips, for the purpose of exam prep?" The answer was a big wow: yes they MIGHT. Let me expound on the substance of Fred's answer:

  • They have talked about it
  • They continue to talk about it
  • They understand the need for hands-on practice, and how making IOS available would help
  • There are many considerations outside the realm of certifications that impact any such choice
  • It's not ruled out
  • It's not ruled in
  • No such program is imminent

I'm not one who typically writes about non-news, but I've been a proponent of this idea for a long time and am happy to help generate more interest in it.

In the wake of Odom's article, Greg Ferro of Etherealmind has started a petition to better quantify the need for such a license throughout the networking community. It might never reach the right people at Cisco, but I encourage those who agree with its thesis to sign.

Posted in News


July 9, 2010 at 4:27 p.m. UTC

This really needs to occur to assist all of the people like me struggling to get hands on access to real equipment. Now that my daily job involves more education and presales I don't get the hands on I'd like to have. Cisco really needs to reach out to the education and certification communities, and really set themselves apart from other manufactures.

My hat is off to you, Greg, and Wendell for speaking up for all of us.

July 9, 2010 at 4:29 p.m. UTC

I'm glad Cisco is finally making some movement on this... took them a bit too long, but glad they're finally looking into it.

Blake Erickson
July 9, 2010 at 5:04 p.m. UTC

Wow this would be awesome! I know people have been wanting this for years, so I wonder if something will actually happen in the near future. I added my name to the petition, I hope it can make a difference.

July 9, 2010 at 8:22 p.m. UTC

We really need this, but a big corp like Cisco, I'm going to imagine it will be a ways out if they get to it at all.

July 10, 2010 at 10:13 a.m. UTC

Microsoft has programme like DreamSpark for students. It will be great if Cisco can come up with something like this. I am not saying it should be free but something should be there for Cisco Certificate community.

Chris Gibbs
July 10, 2010 at 12:00 p.m. UTC

Thanks Stretch for bringing more attention to this issue.

With the increased features and IOS revisions only being supported for the new licensing it is getting increasingly difficult to stay current with the bleeding-edge that Cisco really should be encouraging for adoption and techno evangelical broadcasting.

They really are shooting themselves in the foot by not opening up IOS for dynamips (or similar) for education purposes. Big enterprise is already wrapped up in Cisco for data, why make it difficult for the techs that will be supporting and recommending to the people holding the dollars.



July 10, 2010 at 3:10 p.m. UTC

Open sourcing the IOS software will be another good choice although sounds almost impossible for Cisco.

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