I have been trying to setup IOS-XR with Junos Integration and Cisco 76xx routers as most of work requires some testing and validation of IP-PLAN which i script.

Now, through out the net there are huge videos and documentation which can help you to guide how to have GNS3 and IOS-XR(VM) integration, My Point is very simple,  the way now to achieve your certification in service-provider track starting from CCNP to CCIE is very much doable.

I speak this from the perspective of Two points, one not everyone can afford renting a lab, secondly when you have a lab of yours (virtual or real) , you can play around much more, in a way its makes people lazy and will cause time-management issue, but i would say this will also help for repeating labs without having any time-crunch.

I am personally following INE for Service Provider Track and I should say they did a good job in covering all the aspects.  But here are the below points which you should be more aware of while choosing INE

a. obviously INE cannot cover everything, the topology which Mcgahan uses is specific to INE and we would not want to stick to the same topology.

b. Cisco Documentation will really help along with the suggested Books from INE introductory Video to Service Provider, XR Team has done a good Job in managing the Documentation.

c. CCNP-SP material is really really good and if you can get hands onto that material it will really be useful and you should not have any knowledge gaps.

d. I also follow Routing-bits.com Service Provider Guide, Ruhann has done a very good job in assembling all the points for Daily Revision.

Here is a screenshot of Topology which support most of the labs from cisco documentation and INE as well, its integrated into XR

xr1 xr2



Happy Labbing and also do share your thoughts.