Our fantasy is finally becoming a reality! No more having to set up breakout switches or purchasing quad NICs for our PCs! We will all soon be able to run switching software inside GNs3! Not set to release till late 2014 this news is still very exciting to many Cisco certification candidates. Personally I have never relied on GNS3 for my labing since I have a home lab, but if this switching feature works well then I may have no choice but to switch over. GNS3 has been a life saver for me when I was studying for my Route exam at work. The convenience of the program can simply not be beat. Well I take that back since Cisco VIRL is also set to release soon
I do have plans to begin studies for my CCIE in the coming year so a feature like could save me a lot of money on home lab equipment. I have always been an advocate of having a home lab since it can teach you so much more than using an emulator. However I believe I am at a point where having physical gear really makes no difference to me. I understand the layer 1 aspects of routing/switching so there really is no other benefit to running a home lab when I could have it all virtualized.
Only time will tell though since it hasn’t been released yet. I signed up for the early release so hopefully I may get lucky and get to demo it out and make a final decision. My ultimate recommendation to new Cisco candidates going for CCNA is still to get a physical home lab. I truly believe that it teaches you things that you would otherwise miss out on. Below is a link to the GNS3 switching announcement.