What is the Cisco Network Simulator

Network simulation with GNS3

Anyone who deals with the topic of network simulation almost inevitably stumbles across Dynamips. This is software to emulate Cisco hardware on a standard PC. The program does not map the complete router, but only the underlying hardware. It goes a little in the direction of VMware, but not in the sense of virtualization, but a classic emulation. Since Dynamips only provides the hardware, the administrator has to integrate the operating system, similar to VMware & Co.

So for the interaction with Cisco it is necessary to get the appropriate IOS images and to integrate them into the software. Customers who use Cisco products and participants in the Cisco Networking Academy can, depending on their level of certification, download the images from the Cisco homepage. The main problem with regard to Dynamips, however, is not the supply of IOS images, but the rather cryptic operation overall, which is a thing of the past with GNS3. Because the Canadian developer duo has combined all the necessary features and offers a GUI for operation.

First of all, you have to make a decision: which variant of GNS3 would you like to take your first steps with? A look at the "Getting started" section on the homepage [1] reveals support for various platforms: Windows, OS X and Linux. If you want, you can work your way through manual installation. The wizard automatically installs all required components such as Wireshark, Putty, VNC, Python, WinPcap, Qemu or QT5.

With regard to the system requirements, there should be hardly any problems: Windows from version 7 in the x64 version, OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or higher or any distribution of Debian and Ubuntu are on the list of supported operating systems. The computer should also have 4 GB of RAM, around 1 GB


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