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GNS3: Graphical Network Simulator
By: Barzan "Tony" Antal
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    Table of Contents:
  • GNS3: Graphical Network Simulator
  • Brief Overview
  • Tell Me More, Please!
  • Final Thoughts

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    GNS3: Graphical Network Simulator

    (Page 1 of 4 )

    We all know that theory without practice, especially in the world of IT and C, isnít very competitive. No matter how much you study from books and tutorials, when the time comes and you need to apply the knowledge you learned, you wonít excel right away. Practicing with complex network topologies and high-tech devices is really expensive. As a beginner, you wonít really get that much chance to experiment in the real world.

    Throughout this article we are going to overview an amazing open-source utility: GNS3óGraphical Network Simulator 3. With the help of this tool you can design and simulate really complex and advanced Cisco networks. It is an outstanding resource for those people that are studying and practicing toward their CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, and CCIP certifications. They should play around designing virtual labs. Practice, practice, practice!

    Graphical Network Simulator 3 is a cross-platform open-source utility. It is based on the already popular Dynamips (CISCO IOS emulator), Dynagen (text-based front-end for the aforementioned Dynamips), and the Pemu (CISCO PIX emulator). GNS3 gives an easy-to-use graphical user interface along with various other features to these tools. Even though those tools were already around, people struggled quite often.

    And the truth is that designing a network makes it more effective learning material, because the student gets to see the network in front of his or her eyes. There's no real need to imagine some abstract scenario beyond the text-based consoles. You can actually modify the placement of networking devices and so forth; everything is visual.

    Oh, and it should also be noted that numerous system administrators, engineers, and networking guys find this tool really useful. Why? For the simple fact that simulating new configurations, different ISO images, or perhaps totally revamping some parts of a complex network is much easier than applying it in the real world, and most importantly, it is a more cost-effective process. Progress can be made much more quickly.

    Moreover, the best part is that the product handles the installation and configuration of each required utility automatically. All of the emulators are pre-included in the GNS3 installation package. In the case of Microsoft Windows operating systems, the setup also installs WinPcapóitís a necessary packet capture and network monitor library on which numerous other apps are also based.

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