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Good Routing Simulator/Practice Tool

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi folks!

I am teaching a basic class in networking concepts. My class is doing very well overall, but is having difficulty understanding some of the concepts associated with routing and routers. Unfortunately, due to the particular setup we have in our lab, I don't have the particular equipment for them to really be able to interconnect two networks with a router and configure the routing between them.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a good, and hopefully freely available, simulator or practice tool that I could have them use, in lieu of actual networking hardware, to give them hands-on familiarity with the basics of routing.

Thanks,
Ithizar
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Question by:Ithizar
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woolmilkporc earned 2000 total points
ID: 36487676
Here is a neat list of Network Simulation Software:

http://www.idsia.ch/~andrea/sim/simnet.html

If you're running Linux and are able to compile software by yourself I'd really recommend cnet.
http://www.csse.uwa.edu.au/cnet/

If you're using Windows GTNet might be an alternative.
http://www.ece.gatech.edu/research/labs/MANIACS/GTNetS/

There are many more. Please check the list!

wmp

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Author Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 36487746
Thanks for that! I will look through that list. Are there any you know, off the top of your head, that are more education-oriented (i.e. that give the user more of a guided practice than just a wide open simulator where you have to know exactly what you want to do)?

Thanks again,
Ithizar
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LVL 68

Expert Comment

by:woolmilkporc
ID: 36487779
Many of these tools are meant for teaching. Guided practice? Not really, I think.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Ernie Beek
ID: 36488236
Have a look at GNS3: http://www.gns3.net/

For guided practice, perhaps Cisco's packet tracer. But I'm sure that's not free;)
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36489436
It seems a bit odd that you don't just set up 2 or 3 commodity routers for simple teaching situations.  
What's the constraint to doing this?
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:rfc1180
ID: 36490064
Simple teaching you can use Cisco's Packet Tracer application; as already mentioned, GNS3 can also be used (A bit to get it up and running), but to be honest, I would not use, I would think that you will be breaking copyright laws. The software is meant to run on specific Cisco Hardware, not simulated hardware.

Good Luck
Billy
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Ernie Beek
ID: 36490433
Rfc1180 has got a point.......

You can also have a look on eBay, with a bit of luck you can find some routers fairly cheap there.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Marius Gunnerud
ID: 36493731
you can get PacketTracer for free and all the IOS images also, the problem is as rfc1180 mentioned are the copyright laws. All you really need is a 800 series router and a manageable L2 switch and you can perform a router on a stick setup.
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After creating this article (http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/23699/Setup-Mikrotik-routers-with-OSPF.html), I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…

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