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 Post subject: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:22 pm
Posts: 6
Hello,
I am following up on the post to the AutoNetkit discussion group:
http://groups.google.com/group/autonetk ... 6db3459dae

I have since installed GNS3, and am quite impressed - nice work! :)

We currently generate configurations for the Netkit platform (Quagga in User-Mode Linux). However the core of AutoNetkit is in the allocation - IP addressing, Naming and DNS. That is applicable to all deployment platforms.

We use a template based approach, so it's relatively easy to generate to other platforms.
As a first attempt, I've created the lab file, and respective configs for small networks for GNS3.
It looks promising for the future - I think there is a lot of potential in us working together, especially as we are both using Python :)

What kind of things did you have in mind? What would be your dream requirements?
I think if GNS3 wrapped around an AutoNetkit package, it would work best. We are aiming for high-level generation of networks, from a minimum of inputs. Our aim is for the user to only describe the bits they care about, and we generate the rest to make it work. A good example is IP addresses - most people don't care the subnet used on a point-to-point link, only that the link works.

One thing we need to consider is the hardware constraints. Even though the hardware is virtual, we are restricted by interfaces. For instance we can't create a router with 12 ethernet ports simply. We also need to look at link speeds - connecting Ethernet to FastEthernet interfaces for example.

Looking forward to hearing back.

Cheers
Simon




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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:39 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Israel
Happy that you are impressed by us ! :)

Well... my dream requirement is conceptually something like the random map generator in various computer gamess, where you could have several sliders (in GNS3 GUI) + check boxes.

In our case:

Routers (Cisco)
<------------------------------>
0----------------------------100
Firewalls
<------------------------------>
0-----------------------------10
PCs (based on VBox)
<------------------------------>
0----------------------------100

[X] BGP protocol
[X] OSPF protocol
[X] RIP protocol

This should generate only the GNS3 topology (.net) + Cisco IOS startup-configs. (generating pre-ready desktop OS images is possible, but too complex)
Perhaps Firewalls even can be omitted in first ver...

> For instance we can't create a router with 12 ethernet ports simply.
Yes, we can. 7200 Routers has several slots with 8-port-Ethernet cards.
> We also need to look at link speeds - connecting Ethernet to FastEthernet interfaces for example.
We should use Ethernet more often. In Virtual world speeds are not affected by name of device -- Ethernet can be as fast as FastEthernet and Hub can be as fast as a Switch.

-Technologov


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:39 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Israel
GNS3 users: Simon (aka sk2) has very unique technology - topology lab generator.


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 2668
Location: Canada
This is a very interesting idea :) I'll put it on our TODO list and of course we need to carefully think about the integration before starting anything.

Cheers,

_________________
Jeremy, GNS3 Programmer & Benevolent Dictator for Life.


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:39 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Israel
Jeremy: it is in the TODO list of my 0.8.1.
So I learned about this unique tech. and invited Simon to cooperate with us.


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:22 pm
Posts: 6
Hello,
Yes I think it is worth discussing more. We can certainly do something with sliders - all we would be doing is generating random graphs.

The main contribution of AutoNetkit is to take a graph, (nodes and links between then) and generate appropriate configs. Generating random graphs is fairly straightforward - we use http://networkx.lanl.gov as the core of AutoNetkit.

A few questions:
- How would we handle different hardware types?
- How useful would it be to have entirely random topologies? Do many users want this?
- Perhaps we should allow users to draw their topology in GNS3, and then we generate a placeholder config - with IP addresses, etc allocated. That way we solve the boring bits of config, and allow the user to do the bits they want.

Of course we could provide check-boxes as to what they want to have configured for them:
- IP addresses
- hostnames
- IGP routing: select from OSPF, IS-IS, EIGRP, RIP, etc
- BGP routing

Cheers
Simon


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:22 pm
Posts: 6
Technologov wrote:
[X] BGP protocol
[X] OSPF protocol
[X] RIP protocol

This should generate only the GNS3 topology (.net) + Cisco IOS startup-configs. (generating pre-ready desktop OS images is possible, but too complex)
Perhaps Firewalls even can be omitted in first ver...


I've got most of the stuff in place now to do this. All the configs use mako templates: http://www.makotemplates.org/ so it isn't too hard to add different configs.
We might have to write these, but it shouldn't be too difficult, just tedious.

Technologov wrote:
> For instance we can't create a router with 12 ethernet ports simply.
Yes, we can. 7200 Routers has several slots with 8-port-Ethernet cards.
> We also need to look at link speeds - connecting Ethernet to FastEthernet interfaces for example.
We should use Ethernet more often. In Virtual world speeds are not affected by name of device -- Ethernet can be as fast as FastEthernet and Hub can be as fast as a Switch.
-Technologov


For sure, but I imagine we'd want to keep things realistic as possible. If people are using GNS3 to do CCNA-style studies, then we'd want to use realistic hardware - not enterprise level.
I haven't done anything with switching and VLANs yet, but this is something we can discuss when we get to it.

Cheers
Simon


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:22 pm
Posts: 6
Hi guys,
What do we need to do to get this going?
Cheers
Simon


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:39 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Israel
Since the idea is yours, I have only limited understanding of it. So you must start it. I don't have the vision to achieve this goal, but I like your idea. No competing products (network simulators) have anything to generate topologies.
Once you'we got a working Alpha version, I could try it. Help you as BETA-tester.

If you have any questions about Dynamips/Dynagen/GNS3/Qemu/VirtualBox I could help.
After you provide Alpha version with vision and design concepts in place, we can discuss further from here.

When I was doing the GNS3 VirtualBox Edition, I had to design it from the ground up. (Qemu design concepts did not work for VirtualBox, but most of the code was re-usable).

-Technologov


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 Post subject: Re: Integrating topology generation with GNS3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:22 pm
Posts: 6
Sure. I'd like to here the kinds of things you guys would like from automatic config generation. You mentioned the sliders before - what sort of inputs would you be giving me?
We're pretty flexible in what we can do, so if you had some requirements we could go from there.

Cheers
Simon




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