Studying for CCIE Security and using GNS3 for now

I am in the process of studying for my CCIE Security Lab and at this point I am still trying to collect hardware as cheaply as possible, since money is an object for me.  So in the meantime I am working with GNS3 and trying to use virtual equipment to help me along and get some of my studies accomplished.  So far I have ran into a few issues that are killing me:

1. The issue with c3700 units.  No matter what I did I couldn’t save the configurations out of the 3700s.  Turns out there is a bug in the code that doesn’t allow you to save the configurations to the startup config for this model of router.  Solution, don’t use them.

2. Transparent mode in the ASAs doesn’t work at all.  You can create the configuration for the ASA and put it into transparent mode, good luck getting it to pass traffic.  Solution, buy em or rent em.

3. The setup for Micro Linux running in QEMU.  Got it loaded and hooked up to a router, but actually configuring the interface was a little more of a pain.  Logging in as root isn’t the same thing as logging in as root on a normal linux machine.  Here is brief snippet for configuring a Micro Linux instance and giving it an IP address.

tc@box:~$ sudo su
root@box:~# ifconfig eth0 netmask up
root@box:~# route add default gw

4. Multiple context mode is a no go on the ASA as well.  Solution, buy em or rent em.  Looking for some cheap prices on them at this point.

Other than these issues things are working out pretty well on my virtual lab.  I still have a long road ahead of me before I will be ready to take the test.  I am working on speed at this point and doing the workbooks from INE.  I hope to be ready by Jan or Feb of next year.

Mostly put this together so that anyone else trying to do what I am doing can find the information in one place.