Friday, April 3, 2009

Dynamips with Switches

Since I am running a full scale dynamips lab, I decided to connect dynamics to real switches. I'll be using 4x3550, with 3x quad port NICs. I will do a couple rented rack sessions to familiarize myself with features specific to 3560.

Initially when I decided to go for quad port NICs after foraying through myriad forums, I realised most of the quad NICs were PCI cards. And this posed to be a huge problem because I only have two PCI slots on my motherboard. Dismayed that I would have to resort to changing the motherboard (recently way) or go with USB NICs, which would be a pain due driver compatiblity issues with linux, I decided to give it one final try. Fortunately, I have 3 PCI express slots and quick search revealed that Intel Pro/1000 PT Server adapter would be the best choice, expensive but worth it.

So at present I have ordered 2x Dlink DFE-580Tx and 1x Intel Pro/1000 PT Server adapter. Hopefully, it should arrive next week. Meanwhile, I spent most of yesterday, changing initial config files for backbone and nonbackbone routers for IE ver4.10 VOL2, VOL3 and IE ver5 VOL1 to be compatible with my setup of dynamips. I only have couple of changes, eg: R3,R4,R5,R6 use F0/0 and F2/0 instead of E0/0 and E0/1 and the routers will be connected to real switches. I also created 2 .net files for IE ver 4 vol 2 and vol 3 labs [ ,]. So when I am going to do for example, lab 2 from vol 2, I do and find a replace of "X", where X is the directory containing initial configs for routers, in the cnfg parameter of the file.
The good thing with real switches would be the capability to directly paste the switch configs I do the labs and do most of the switching sections.

I have two more labs in IE VOL1, bridging and switching and QoS. I found most VOL1 labs to alright, but then again I havent started full scale labs.

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