In this article I want to show you how to extend your posibilities to test a network in GNS3. Sure, it’s simple sometime to use a Loobpack interface on one of your edge routers to simulate an external network, but sometime is useful to have something connected to the router port. Take as an example QoS marking and classification. If you want to mark something inbound, then you need a connection to the router port where you want to mark the packets.
Additional to my example here, which include Virtual PC Simulator, you can find useful tutorial about GNS3 and VMware integration on gns3-labs.com or how to emulate a voice lab with the same tools on blindhog.net.
Even most of you are familiar with GNS3 and maybe Virtual PC Simulator, let me begin with some short description about this 2 software.
GNS3 is a Graphical Network Simulator that allows emulation of complex networks. It allows you to run a Cisco IOS in a virtual environment on your computer (running Linux, MacOS X or Linux). GNS3 is a graphical front end to a product called Dynagen. Dynamips is the core program that allows IOS emulation.
The Virtual PC Simulator (VPCS) allow you to simulate up to 9 PCs. You can ping/traceroute them, or ping/traceroute the other hosts/routers from the virtual PCs when you study the Cisco routers in the Dynamips. VPCS is not the traditional PC, it is just a program running on the Linux or Windows, and only few network commands can be used in it. But VPCS can give you a big hand when you study the Cisco devices in the Dynamips. VPCS can replace the routers or VMware boxes which are used as PCs in the Dynamips network.
Before we start, I assume that you already have these tools installed. If not, please download and install GNS3 and VPCS.
On the following example I will show you how to configure a network topology including 2 Virtual PCs and one router and how to interconnect them in GNS3. This presentation is simulate a basic network, but after you learn how to do it, you can configure more complex one. You can have a look to the topology to understand better what I’m talking about.
Please see the video presentation below: