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Top 10 Most Popular Network Simulation Tools

by | Jul 5, 2017 | CCIE, CCNA, CCNP | 0 comments

TOP 10 NETWORKING SIMULATION TOOLS/NETWORK TOOLS TO BECOME BETTER NETWORK ENGINEER

What do we understand by the term networking?

Networking is the well- defined system of hardware connected together to facilitate resource sharing and communication internally or globally, as networks has various characteristics and numerous mediums wherein, information can be channelized.

There are some networking tools which each and every network engineer is expected to be aware of. These tools will help you become master of networking.

Following are the TOP 10 Networking Tools:

  1. GNS3- Design and Configure:

Download Link: Click here to download

GNS3 (Graphical Network System 3) is an emulation software that let’s you see the interaction of network devices in a network topology. It is mainly used for training in International Network Certifications and it is the Open source alternative to the Cisco Packet Tracer Software and it has some additional functions like interacting with Virtual Machines, Docker emulation, etc.

Below is the configuration:

The first step in the configuration of a device is to add it to the GNS3 map. Figure 1 shows the 7200 device that will be used in this example.

1. GNS3- Design and Configure 1

Figure 1 – Main GNS3 Map

Figure 2 shows the process of dragging the 7200 from the node types pane to the main map pane.

GNS3- Design and Configure 2

Figure 2 – Dragging a Device to the Map Pane

Once the device has been dragged over to the main GNS3 pane it will be displayed as shown in Figure 3.

GNS3- Design and Configure 3

Figure 3 – Complete Map

To configure the device it must be right-clicked and the Configure option must be selected from the menu. Figure 4 shows the menu that will be displayed when a device is right-clicked.

GNS3- Design and Configure 4

Figure 4 – Right-Clicked Menu

Once Configure is selected the Node configuration window shown in Figure 5 will be displayed.

GNS3- Design and Configure 5

Figure 5 – Node Configuration Window

To configure the device select it from the left pane. Figure 6 shows how the right pane changes when the device is selected. The general options available for the selected device are shown including any hardware options, depending on the platform. In this case the 7200 platform midplane (how the modules connect to the NPE) and NPE (processor card) are configured from this screen.

GNS3- Design and Configure 6

Figure 6 – Device Configuration Node Window

The memories and disks tab offers the ability configure the memory and disk allocation for the device. The size of the RAM required depends on the specific image being used; generally 256 Mbytes is sufficient for most images (to be sure, it can be checked at Cisco’s Feature Navigator Site (linkto: http://tools.cisco.com/ITDIT/CFN/jsp/index.jsp). The typical default NVRAM size is 128 Kbytes and the size of the disk depends on the specific requirements of the lab; generally a disk is not required for a simple lab.

GNS3- Design and Configure 7

Figure 7 – Device Memory and Disk Configuration

Figure 8 shows the “Slots” tab; the number of configurable slots that are available on each specific platform will be shown. In this case the 7206 supports a total of 6 full module slots and another slot that is part of the processor card (slot 0).

GNS3- Design and Configure 8

Figure 8 – Device Slots Tab

Figure 9 shows the different options that are available in Slot 0 of the 7200 platform; as stated before, the options are limited because it is part of the processor card.

GNS3- Design and Configure 9

Figure 9 – 7200 Slot 0 Adapter Options

Figure 10 shows the different options that are available on Slot 1 (which will be the same with Slot 2 through Slot 6). From the options available, as shown in Figures 9 and 10, select the modules that meet the network topology requirements of the intended lab. For the purposes of this article it is not important.

GNS3- Design and Configure 10

Figure 10 – 7200 Slot 1 through Slot 6 Adapter Options

The next tab allows the configuration of the configuration register; for normal operation this is typically set to 0x2102. The base MAC address can also be configured as well; this is handy if you are testing a feature that uses this value.

GNS3- Design and Configure 11

Figure 11 – Advanced Node Configuration Tab

Once the configuration has been completed, it is possible to see most of these options selected by putting the mouse curser over the configured device as shown in Figure 12.

GNS3- Design and Configure 12

Figure 12 – Configuration Summary

  1. Cisco Packet Tracer:

Download Link: 

Packet Tracer is the cross platform visual simulation tool especially designed by CISCO Systems that not only allows users to create network topologies but also imitate those in modern computer networks. Cisco Routers and Switches by using the simulated command interface allows the software users to simulate the configuration. The software lay special emphasis for CCNA aspirants as it helps learning the fundamental CCNA concepts. Packet Tracer can also be used for collaboration. As of Packet Tracer 5.0, Packet Tracer supports a multi-user system that enables multiple users to connect multiple topologies together over the computer networks.

Below is the design and Configuration:

Open the program and select the router from the lower left-hand corner, and drag it into the center of the sandbox screen as seen below.

Cisco Packet Tracer 1

We will be setting up a very basic network that allows two computers to communicate, so the next step is to select end devices from the bottom left-hand corner and drag it to the sandbox screen. Do this twice to make two computers appear below the router.

Now select connections from the same bottom left-hand corner. When you connect like-devices(Such as a router and computer) you use a crossover cable, so you should select copper cross-over cable from the second menu to the immediate right. Click on Router0, and connect the cable via FastEthernet0/0 as seen below:

Cisco Packet Tracer 2

Now click the PC0 and select FastEthernet. You will notice that although a link is established, it is not functional. You can tell by the red dots that are present on both ends of the connection. Once the router is configured correctly, the red dots will turn green to indicate the devices are able to communicate.

Do the same operation to PC1, only this time connect the cable to FastEthernet0/1 since FastEthernet0/0 is already taken by PC0. Your network should be similar to the one below at this point:

Cisco Packet Tracer 3

A router that is turned off doesn’t work very well! Click on your router to bring up the configuration menu and verify that it is turned on. When on, there will be a small green light below the switch as seen in the diagram.

Cisco Packet Tracer 4

Next we have to open the Ethernet ports to allow communication. Although they are physically connected, they are in a state that is known as being in administrative shut down. Now click on the CLI tab to access the configuration menu. If you’ve used the Cisco IOS before, you will notice it looks and acts the same way.

  1. Press RETURN to start the session
  2. Type enable to get to privileged mode(this gives you more options in configuring the router)
  3. Type config terminal (or config t for short) to access the configuration menu.
  4. Type interface fastethernet0/0to access Ethernet0/0
  5. Typeip address 192.168.10.1 255.255.255.0 to assign an IP address and subnet maskto the interface.
  6. Type no shutdown to open the interface up for business.

That’s it! You should now see a message similar to the following:

%LINK-5-CHANGED: Interface FastEthernet0/0, changed state to up %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface FastEthernet0/0, changed state to up

Now we have to do the same thing for fastethernet0/1. If you don’t, there still won’t be a connection to PC1! Make sure to enter the IP address carefully as seen below:

  1. Press Ctrl + Z to go back to the previous mode.
  2. Type interface fastethernet0/1
  3. Type ip address 192.168.20.1 255.255.255.0
  4. Type no shutdown

At this point our router is configured properly. If you test out a ping, you will notice that the computers still don’t communicate, however!

Our last step is to configure the gateway on each desktop computer. The gateway is the address we assigned to the Ethernet port that the desktop is connected to. It will allow the computer to interface with another network, so our ping won’t work without it!

Click on PC0 to bring up the configuration menu. Under global settings you will find a field for the gateway. Enter the corresponding IP address of the router’s interface, which is 192.168.10.1. Then click the FastEthernet tab on the left column to set the actual computer’s IP address to be on the network. Use 192.168.10.2 for the IP address, and 255.255.255.0 for the subnet mask.

Cisco Packet Tracer 5

Do the same thing for PC1, only use 192.168.20.1 for the gateway address, 192.168.20.2 for the IP address, and 255.255.255.0 for the subnet mask. You can confirm that your network works by sending out a packet of information from PC0 to PC1, and vice versa. Click the packet icon on the right menu as seen below:

Cisco Packet Tracer 6

Click on PC0 and then click PC1. On the lower right of the screen you will see a message box that says “Successful.” If it doesn’t, you may have had a syntax error when putting in an IP address or router configuration command

  1. Putty Configure:

Download Link: Click here to download

PUTTY is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connection.

The following configuration box appears when you open PuTTY:

putty configure 1

  1. Enter your credentials in the PuTTY Configuration box (see details below).
  2. Click the Save button to save this session.

When you open a session in PuTTY, you are prompted for your SHELL username/password.

  1. Secure CRT- Configure

Download Link: Click here to download

SecureCRT provides the ability to create an SSH connection with a dynamic port forwarding configuration that can then be used as a SOCKS proxy to reach all machines within a remote network (behind the gateway). Using an SSH SOCKS proxy, any application that is SOCKS 4 or 5 compatible (including other sessions established with SecureCRT) will be able to have their connections forwarded through this SSH SOCKS proxy and on to the desired destination.

The following steps will provide configuration instructions for Secure CRT:

  1. Open SecureCRT and click on “New Connection.” Secure CRT- Configure 1
  1. Select “SSH2.”Secure CRT- Configure 2
  2. Fill in the server. Don’t worry about filling in your user name now; you’ll have a chance to do this later.Secure CRT- Configure 3
  1. Select “tesla.ssc.upnn.edu” and click “Connect.”Secure CRT- Configure 4
  1. Fill in your user name. This is the user name that you requested via the online form and will be the same as your Pennkey.Secure CRT- Configure 6
  2. Fill in your password. This is the password you selected after your account was created, not your Pennkey password. Click “OK.”Secure CRT- Configure 6
  1. You are now connected.Secure CRT- Configure 7
  1. Once you are connected, configure your session options.Secure CRT- Configure 8
  2. Enable x11 forwarding and click “OK.”

Secure CRT- Configure 9

  1. (Optional) If you would prefer to use Quick Connect rather than creating a new session through the wizard, click on “Quick Connect,” fill in the appropriate server information, and then click “Connect.”

Secure CRT- Configure 10

  1. Microsoft Visio- Design Only:

Download Link: Click here to download

Visio 2016 is a powerful diagramming application that lets you work visually to create all sorts of diagrams and is industry-leading with over 12 million users. Visio 2016 makes it easier to define business processes, document best practices, visualize the future state of transformative initiatives and stay on top of operational insights in your company. By using Office 365, you can share Visio diagrams with everyone and communicate one version of the truth to push organization-wide alignment.

Microsoft Visio

  1. PRTG: Monitoring:

Download Link: Click here to download

PRTG is a network monitoring tool that helps you to ensure that your computer systems are running smoothly and that no outages occur. Network monitoring is also important to increase the efficiency of your network by knowing bandwidth and resource consumption. With over 200,000 active installations, PRTG Network Monitor is Paessler’s powerful and widely-used network monitoring software.

HOW NETWORK MONITORING SOFTWARE WILL HELP YOU TO OPTIMIZE YOUR NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE

You should use PRTG if you would like to:

  • Increase profits by avoiding losses caused by undetected system failures.
  • Reduce costs by buying bandwidth and hardware according to actual load.
  • Eliminate server performance problems and bandwidth bottlenecks.
  • Improve quality of service through being proactive.

PRTG: Monitoring

REQUIREMENTS FOR A NETWORK MONITORING TOOL

A good network monitor should be easy to install and usage should be intuitive, so that there is no need for external consultancy and training. Further necessary requirements are:

  • Remote Management via web browser, PocketPC, or Windows client
  • Notifications of outages by email, ICQ, pager/SMS, and more.
  • Comprehensive sensor type selection
  • Multiple location monitoring
  • All common methods for network usage data acquisition (SNMP, Packet Sniffing, Xflow) ought to be supported.

PRTG User interface

PRTG User interface

  1. WIRESHARK MONITOR:

Download Link: Click here to download

Wireshark development project started by Gerald Combs in 1998, is today’s world’s foremost and widely-used network protocol analyzer. It lets you see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level, across many commercial and non-profit enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions.

  1. Concept Draw PRD-Design

Download Link: Click here to download

Concept Draw pro is the diagrammatically presented drawings often used by various industries, businesses, non profit organisations etc,

Following are some images:

  • Fantabulous drawing programes with apt solutions:8. Concept Draw PRD-Design1
  • MS Visio Compatibility:8. Concept Draw PRD-Design2
  • Technology for flowchart:Concept Draw PRD-Design3
  • Technology for Live Objects:Concept Draw PRD-Design4
  • Designer for Building Plans:Concept Draw PRD-Design
  • Effective Drawing Tools:Concept Draw PRD-Design
  • Communication and Presentation Facilities:Concept Draw PRD-Design
  1. Network Simulator: Design and Monitor:

Click here to Download: Download Link The Network Simulator – ns-2. Ns is a discrete event simulator targeted at networking research. Ns provides substantial support for simulation of TCP, routing, and multicast protocols over wired and wireless (local and satellite) networks. 10. Free SNMP Agent Simulator: Monitor

Click here to Download: Download Link

Applications Manager supports SNMP monitoring and allows administrators to monitor additional applications and devices. A user has to only load a MIB file, and select the SNMP OIDs that need to be monitored. Default dashboards and graphical views are created. You can also enable SNMP reporting for the selected OIDs.

SNMP Agent Simulator: Monitor

You can configure alarms and set thresholds in order to get notified when a problem occurs. The instant alarms and notifications help you take quick corrective actions through e-mail, SMS, traps and executing custom scripts & MBean Operations.

SNMP Trap Receiver and SNMP Trap Listener

ManageEngine Applications Manager also supports being an SNMP trap receiver. There is support for SNMP Traps and SNMP Informs. With this, you can consolidate all events in the network and make ManageEngine Applications Manager a central Event Console.

We are using Manage Engine Applications Manager to monitor server health and availability along with database health. The alarm systems warn us ahead if the health is on its way to becoming critical. The reports help us observe the trend over a period of time. This program has helped us a lot by keeping a check on all of our systems at an affordable cost.

SNMP Agent Simulator: Monitor

Applications Manager SNMP Capability includes:

  • Collecting data from any SNMP resource
  • Reporting and configuring thresholds on any SNMP object (OID) data collected
  • Support for SNMP table and SNMP scalars objects
  • Send SNMP Traps
  • Process SNMP Traps

Hence, these devices or the networking tools are the primary tools which every network engineer must be a jack in operating them.

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