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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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experience with multi-port NIC for network sim?

I want to do some network simulation and testing using a group of routers and switches, and in lieu of using a bunch of workstations to setup as clients/servers, I was considering the possibility of using a multiport NIC, or maybe a few NIC's on one PC, and then placing them all on different subnets for their respective locations on the network. I might end up using a mix of BSD/Linux/MS as well.

I considered also using USB-to-Ethernet adapters (increasing the number of possible hosts by quite a bit) but wasn't sure how well this would scale (or work at all). USB-to-Ethernet play well w/ BSD/Linux?

I suppose there maybe some setup considerations, mapping various server instances to their respective port(s).

Basically, I want to make the entire physical foot print (and power consumption) as small as possible, not to mention remove the need for a large number of workstations all of which introduce reliability issues (and noise, and heat).

USB-to-Ethernet can be had on the cheap, so I'd really like to go that route.



Anyone here done such a thing? This will be my CCNP toy.



--Scott

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 09:49 PM
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 09:50 PM
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Network Interface Card?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 09:54 PM
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Basically 2 PCs/Laptops and VMWare are all you're going to need. -In general- you can have loopback interfaces emulate hosts on a network even for testing routing. Switching is pretty straight forward as well, but a couple of PCs should do it.

What hardware do you have for the route/switch side of it? THAT is the most important part IMHO.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceyko View Post
Basically 2 PCs/Laptops and VMWare are all you're going to need. -In general- you can have loopback interfaces emulate hosts on a network even for testing routing. Switching is pretty straight forward as well, but a couple of PCs should do it.

What hardware do you have for the route/switch side of it? THAT is the most important part IMHO.
Yes Network Interface Card (NIC), right now 3x2611 I'm hoping to score from friend, and some 2960 switches. I'm working out some deals to get those on the cheap, I'd prefer to go 2811 but there's a bit of a jump in cost. There is a possibility of a grabbing some fancier stuff from work that was repo'd, so that would be nice.

I see what you mean about VMware, that its true. I already use loopbacks for testing OSPF, I just wanted to make the whole thing more complete.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 09:00 AM
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2611s IMO are nice enough for routing labs...EIGRP, OSPF, i/eBGP, RIP...etc. They are also fine for router on a stick scenarios.

The 2960 IMO is one of the most cost effective layer 2 switches available. It does layer 2 better then a 3560 or a 3750. However, for modern stuff you do need a layer 3 switch to go a long with those. So you can do layer 3 switching and then move on to all layer 2 stuff..

switching,
stp
vtp
vlans

etc..etc..etc

In short, I highly recommend trying to obtain 1 layer 3 switch for your lab. That mixed with 2950/60s and the 2600s and you should be real set for your CCNP studies.

Take care,

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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I agree on the 2960, I've had good success with them. Unsure on a L3 switch, haven't considered a particular one, but I should introduce one for Dist-layer switching. 2611 would be fine, just a bit slower than 2811

I will need to brush up on vmware and or consider more about making some multiple hosts to hang (hopefully keeping running foot print small). Wife will object to an equipment pile!


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 10:25 AM
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Just to be sure we're on the same page, I'm not referring to routers/ISRs or anything when referencing L# switching.

L3 switching is 3560, 3750, 4500s, 6500, Nexus - etc. Typically a 3560 is the cheapest way to get layer 3 switching which is a bulk of what most customers do. If 3750s are not need, what I typically design is 3560 for L3 (not including what is needed for real routing i.e. bgp..etc) with 2960s for port density.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify all that since you'll need one. A L3 switch could replace one of your L2 only switches as it'll do both functions.

I've had up to 12amps continuous from my room on occassion when I get into lab'ing crap or am studying for a new exam...etc. Had to mitigate that since it was 24x7 and not helping my electric bill.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceyko View Post
Just to be sure we're on the same page, I'm not referring to routers/ISRs or anything when referencing L# switching.

L3 switching is 3560, 3750, 4500s, 6500, Nexus - etc. Typically a 3560 is the cheapest way to get layer 3 switching which is a bulk of what most customers do. If 3750s are not need, what I typically design is 3560 for L3 (not including what is needed for real routing i.e. bgp..etc) with 2960s for port density.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify all that since you'll need one. A L3 switch could replace one of your L2 only switches as it'll do both functions.

I've had up to 12amps continuous from my room on occassion when I get into lab'ing crap or am studying for a new exam...etc. Had to mitigate that since it was 24x7 and not helping my electric bill.
Yeah I knew what you were talking about, and that is smart to ditch one of the 2960's in favor of a L3 switch (hadn't thought of that).

The amps will be an issue for sure at the apt., I'm actually thinking about parking the whole rig at work and setting up a vpn box for access.


--Scott

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