Drag and Drop network simulator that helps candidates prepare for Extreme Certifications

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  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Implemented
The command line is a daunting place for a newbie, especially if you're trying to break into the world of network administration and XOS design and configuration.  A lot of effort has gone into designing user-friendly guides for the different Extreme line of hardware.  Would it be possible to even take that extra step and create a network simulator that introduces candidates and engineers alike to the Extreme line of hardware, configuration and troubleshooting scenarios? Something like GNS3, but lightweight and staged for various levels of certification.  Candidates are then able to design their own networks, practice various XOS commands and share their topologies with other members of the community.  It not only helps make XOS more accessible, but begins building a brand loyalty and identity even among individuals that aren't necessarily network engineers
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Wawa

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Posted 4 years ago

  • 6
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Grosjean, Stephane, Employee

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Hi,
There's a virtual EXOS available (look at xkits). Never tried to see if it could be integrated to GNS3. But it's definitely a great tool for practise and labs.
Sure, going the extra step to have a full virtual environment using VM EXOS would be great.
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Wawa

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I did download the VM, and it's brilliant. I also haven't figured out how to use it as a switching appliance.  But the trouble is, even if I did, the number of VMs I can connect to it is rather limited or expensive if I decided to upgrade my RAM.
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Paul Russo, Alum

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Hello Wawa

Here's a link to my dropbox that also has the documentation that may help you understand how to connect the switches together.  Understand this is not a CLI emulator it is the same code that runs on our switches just ported over to support the PC platform.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/93zpha81nlb5c81/AACyV1BdeyIJ9HAeVgJVHjria?dl=0

I have been able to run 6 switches as one time and do complex designs running EAPS or BGP with no issues in memory my MAC has 8G

I hope that helps

P
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Wawa

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Hi Paul.  Thanks for the link and the extra configurations.  I do have most of them and have been working through setting up my own rig, but my point was more in the line of an application more in the lines of Packet Tracer or Junosphere, both of which can also be setup with GNS3 if one chooses to go that route...BUT of course newbies never do until they are advanced enough to even think of setting up GNS3 with VMs.  I hope you understand my angle
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Daniel Flouret, Employee

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Wawa,

Here's a quick and dirty guide I prepared for Partners and Customers. It's quite basic but may come handy if you want to introduce somebody to the mysteries of building labs with EXOS-VM.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/79bvn8vzinmme70/Installing%20EXOS-VM.pdf?dl=0
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Wawa

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Hi Daniel, thanks for the setup guide, really helpful
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Wawa

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Gentlemen, although I am thankful for your helpful replies, I feel the point of my post has been missed.  So I thought I take some time designing a graphic of what exactly I mean.



It's about giving more than just the technically able folk the ability to interface with Extreme's line on of products, get a feel of the interface and features.  A lot of people scream Cisco these day's not because they all believe in Cisco, but because it's what everyone is talking about.  there is an identity around the product line, one that anyone and everyone can identify to as quickly as next-next-next-done.

And while GNS3 and Dropbox VMs are a wonderful way of learning, they really start by assuming that a user already has a sound understanding of networking. So then where does that leave a recent college graduate that would like to delve into the world of networking?  Or that sales guy that would like to make that all important switch?

If you look at certification charts, you'll notice that any single vendor has more people jumping onto their entry level certifications than any other in their product line.  After which some vendors keep the momentum, or lose out entirely?  So I then ask, why make it difficult for that sales guy going technical or that recent graduate to catch the XOS hype?  They will surely be the next generation of Financial Controllers and IT Managers.  Why not get them easily hooked right from the start?

By changing the dynamics of the learning curve, we not only make it easier for anyone to identify with Extreme's equipment, but slowly build an indentity a around it, where anyone and everyone can talk about the power of XOS, and talking about a Summit Switch becomes as synonymous as talking about Salesforce

What do you think?
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Wawa

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So my idea is simple, users have a GUI, with extreme's line of hardware (Switches, Routers, APs, Modules, etc), each device has a description once clicked, and a stripped down and lightweight version of XOS. 

Each device then has a GUI for basic configurations like IP settings, and a CLI for more advanced configs like port security, VLANs, routing, VPNs, traffic engineering, etc.

Once a devices are connected and configured, network activity can be visualized from Layer 1 through to Layer 4.  And if you're thinking of introducing SDN at a certification level, a stripped down version of an application to function at the Control Plane, etc.

I believe in this kind of learning because when I first decided to adopt a particular vendors technology, they had a Simulator I used to get to know their equipment.  With time I learned the commands, and everything else is history
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Wawa

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This difference between this and GNS3 or VMs is that this is not fiddly.  You drag devices to your design plane, plug a cable and begin testing configurations.
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siddhant rao

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did you find any software with the above mentioned design?
  
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Simon Vosper

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WaWa

This is an excellent idea. I have used Cisco Packet Tracer to augment my Cisco studies and its a god send. I work for a company that doesn't really sell Cisco so i have limited exposure to it, but their education tools are fantastic.

The only thing that keeps engineers like myself going back to Cisco, picking up their books, downloading their software is because of their education tools. It would be great if Extreme could do something similar, so that we can forget all that nasty expensive Cisco stuff ;O)