GNS-3 is a graphical network simulator that you can use to create network connections made from multiple computers via LAN, by putting together designs with the workstations and important modules, establishing their relationships, embedding photos and text, and customizing various settings.
The installation procedure takes a while to finish. Plus, GNS-3 lets you select the exact components you want to set up as well as to exclude the rest. These are WinPCAP, Wireshark, SolarWinds Response Time Viewer, Dynamips, QEMU, VPCS, GNS3 and SuperPutty.
The main application window is large and has a neatly organized structure, allowing you to work with Ethernet switches and hubs, ATM bridges and switches, Frame Relay switches, along with EtherSwitch routers.
So, you can insert workstations and network components in the graphical display, re-arrange them in the design and create links between them, as well as set symbols and host names to identify them easier. Screenshots can be captured and saved to image files, while IOS tartup configurations can be imported and exported.
GNS-3 lets you start, stop, suspend, resume and reload all devices with one click. Plus, you can establish a console connection to all devices, add notes, embed pictures, draw rectangles and ellipses, as well as resort to handy networking tools. For instance, it is possible to quickly obtain a list with all devices in the network.
We have not come across any stability issues throughout our evaluation, thanks to the fact that GNS-3 needs a low amount of CPU and memory to work. It did not hang, crash or pop up error messages. Although it may seem easy to work with, this piece of kit comes equipped with some advanced functions for managing graphical designs with network computers, so you might need some time to get used to it.