GNS3 (Graphical Network Simulator), best network simulation software allows you to connect and collaborate virtual network topologies to real networks. This awesome feature of GNS3 brings CCNA, CCNP and CCIE labs with zero Hardware! Personally I was much excited when came to know this possibility in GNS3. You might even associate to virtual machines from VMware or VirtualBox to this powerful piece of software. In this GNS3 guide I’m gonna to share connecting GNS3 to real networks. I already shared one article of GNS3 in that we discussed about calculating Idle PC value in GNS3 running over Windows platform. Linking a virtual topology in GNS3 to real devices is very exciting and interesting and which makes business network setup well..
- GNS3 (Graphical Network Simulator): It is the best network simulator software that is offered for Windows, Linux and MAC. There are many network simulation tools are present like Packet tracer (best CCNA simulator, this will be very useful for CCNA practice test for people who learning CCNA routing), BOSON Netsim etc. The specialties of GNS3 is that it is FREE and we may run real Cisco IOS image in GNS3 router hence you may have realistic experience!
- Cisco IOS: Real Cisco IOS is required for running GNS3 labs. Distributing Cisco IOS without license is illegal so you may please Google for IOS.
How to interface or connect GNS3 to real networks?
There are three topologies that we can realize with real networks together with GNS3.
1. Connecting GNS3 topology to Host computer.
With the help of a ‘Microsoft Loop-back adapter’ we can connect GNS3 router to our Host PC
3. Connecting GNS3 to Internet
Wow! Just amazing! You may possible to implement VPN with this feature. Keep in touch with me, I will be coming with those guides soon.
As we are starting Real network interfacing I explained the first option in this article (Connecting GNS3 topology to Host computer). I will be posting other two options as soon as possible.
Interfacing GNS3 network to Host computer
The process can be explained with in 3 stages viz creating PC LoopBack network Adapter, Assigning IP Address and Connecting GNS3 virtual network to PC LoopBack Adapter. [My platform is Windows 7]
Stage 1: Creating PC LoopBack network Adapter
For interfacing GNS3 network we should have a dedicated network adapter, don’t worry we can create a Virtual LoopBack adapter in Windows 7, which serves as Physical connection.
Stage 2: Configuring Loopback Adapter and Setting up Static IP
Click Change Adapter settings.
Stage 3: Connecting GNS3 virtual network to PC LoopBack Adapter
Now we are gonna to enter to the real meaning of this article, we completed all prerequisites for Interfacing GNS3 with Host computer.
Click C1 node, in the NIO Ethernet tab identify and select the loopback adapter that you created just before. (You may find all the network adapters that is present in your PC, but select only Loopback adapter.)
Configure your router to assign an IP address for FastEthernet 0/0 interface. Configuration commands are followed. (The IP address must be in the same range of Loopback IP and subnet, for me, assigned 126.96.36.199 with 255.0.0.0 subnet)
Press ENTER to get the prompt.
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
R1(config)#interface fastEthernet 0/0
R1(config-if)#ip address 188.8.131.52 255.0.0.0
That’s all, you have done it!
Wow, it is pinging in both directions.!
Is this GNS3 guide helped you? Can I have your feedback please? Share your thoughts using the comment box below.
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In my next article I will be teaching you Interfacing VirtualBox virtual PCs with GNS3. Till then check out some of my Cisco articles. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page to get latest updates.