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Networking! Whats that??!! GNS3 Web UI Sit down and chat… December 17, 2019

Ok so got the fire back in my belly. Just completed my CISCO CCENT ICND1 successfully (if a bit rough but more so due to silly little mistakes on simple questions…but I lived and learned).

I’ve been using mainly GNS3 but I’ve heard about a new contender (thats really an older contender just jazzed up and has a paid option – booo!) EVE-NG – formally known as Unetlab.

Now the good thing about EVE-NG is the fact it is web interface. This is very robust, it uses a HTML5 console which is nice (but does make it a little trickier to switch between tabs) also it is bare metal installable, so technically* no OS overhead. (Yes I know It runs on Ubuntu 16.x or something but it has no real overhead like GNS3 does).

Now I’ve also been playing with the GNS3 Web UI. This is a little more rough than EVE-NG, but its clean and straight forward as well. Who ever is designing the UI for both give yourselves a pat on the back.

This brings me to the caveats…GNS3 is still pretty alpha – I think it was only announced as beta recently, and it has one significant draw back which EVE-NG does not. The console. Currently to get a console open for GNS3 Web UI, you can only do it in Ubuntu. You need to go here: https://github.com/GNS3/gns3-webclient-pack and follow the install instructions, this allows you to load a console connection through gnome-terminal from the right click dialog menu when you click a device in the topology.

Now I had to do a lot of digging and even asked the question on the GNS3.com forums, where I got told about that – I still had to try and find it. Luckily google is around!! Obviously this isnt a final software at any stretch, but considering the lack of documentation surrounding GNS3 Web Ui it makes it more difficult than it needs to be.

EVE-NG isnt with out its faults, having to scp/ftp files to the VM or machine its running on is a bit of a pain and very much old school, but once you get it up and running its pretty darn bullet proof. Though you still need to mess around with the command line a little more (which for most of us isnt a problem, but still a pain.

Im eager for the next update to the GNS3 web ui, hopefully it will have a console option that can work in ANY OS/device soon. From a technology stand point both are great, and both have pros and cons (EVE-NG is 2 flavours – paid and community – community seems crippled in some regards, max 68 devices, and only one login at a time. Honestly in most cases it should be enough for most labs, but I’d like to see some more development on the community version as it is DEFINITELY looking good!

Also something I forgot, GNS3 seems only to support chrome at present…

Ok some edits:
First webclient is available for Ubuntu, OS X and Wndows, see here: here, also it is supported in Chrome, Chromium and Firefox.

Been testing in WIndows 10, and it works well. Though a handy hint, if you want to remote into the GNS3 server – ensure the webclient tool is configured with the ip address of the GNS3 server (the external one).

So far so good.

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Categories: networking

Network Musings March 13, 2019

I’ve been building a robust small network to do my CCNA ICND1 & 2 studies, using my ESXI server to run 4 IOS XRV’s connected to my servers PFsense firewall and virtual tacacs server.

I’ve come up against a bunch of things which have made this not necessarily as straight forward as it should be.

Getting the IOS XRV’s to run took a bit of manhandling, but we got there in the end (hint you need a console connection to them which you need to either have the full Licence for ESXI or configure them somewhere else and import them into ESXI (which I did).

Using IOS XRV for CCNA studies means you need to do things a little differently, as the default doesnt really exist, you need to either use IPV4 or IPV6 when using the appropriate commands.
Good example: assigning an IP address to an interface, in normal IOS you’d use the following:
conf t
int gi0/0
ip add 192.168.0.1 255.255.255.0
no shut

In IOS XRv you’d do the following:

conf t
int gi0/0/0/0
ipv4 add 192.168.0.1/24
no shut
commit

Also with IOS XRv is follows the trail of JUNOS in that you need to commit your config changes, to prevent issues occurring cause of a bad config change (which we all know is super easy in normal IOS).

In my current network, I have 4 IOS XRvs, each with an interface going to another IOS XRv, a loop back on 1, 2 , and 3, in the 192.168.255.0/28 netwroks, RIP provides connectivity, this is mostly because ICND1 only really looks at RIP v2. When I progress to ICND2 I’ll activate OSPF.

I installed Open NMS, and a Tacacs server to allow single point of authorisation and authentication, meaning I dont need to set up multiple users on each network element.

I also found because the internal 192.168.0.0/24 networks live in a different space (network) than the 172.16.0.0/24 net, we had some issues with TACACs workig correctly. in the end this was found to be the TACACs server not being able to send information back to the routers that sent the request initially even though you could ping and trace route the tacacs server. I added a static route to the 192.168.0.0 nets to the tacacs server and low and behold all the IOS XRv’s can now be authenticated via TACACs.

I’ll have more info coming soon!

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Categories: networking