This is my line up:
Motherboard Gigabyte.- This one supports 3 slots for the RAM & has 3xPCI for the Dlink Quad Cards
16GB Ram DDR3 Bus 1600 Kingstone.- For the routers maybe 8Gb will be enough
Cooler Master H60 liquid cooling system.- Since ill be using this pc alot and for long times this was the best option to keep the cpu safe
1Gb Ati Radion Series HD 6770 dual monitor support.- You really don't need this i just wanted it for vanity purposes.
AMD FX(tm)-6100 Six-Core Processor × 6.- A 4 core processor should be enough, still better performance while doing labs
Dlink DFE-580TX PCI Quad Ethernet 4 Port Server Card .- This was probably the most expensive item over all, there are some cheaps PCI Express cards but they do not give you independent IRQ which you need in order to avoid issues when connecting to your switches
4x3550 Cisco Switches.- Now im trying to get 2 3560 but im looking for a great price since they are still expensive... 3550 will do just fine but if you are looking for the recommended gear you need to get 2 3550 and 2 3560. im my case i got the 4 3550 and a rack for a really great price.
You also need 4 free usb ports to console to your cisco gear.
I recommend using Linux for this set up, im using ubuntu 12.04 which has been the most stable for me, even if you are new at linux ubuntu is pretty user friendly so give it a try.
How to console to your switches?
You will need to download a program called ser2net, so open a terminal window (ctrl+alt+t) and type:
sudo apt-get install ser2net
Now you need to connect your serial cables and verify if ubuntu recognizes them type:
dmesg | grep tty
You should get something like this
[ 0.000000] console [tty0] enabled
[ 2.226394] serial8250: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
[ 2.284791] 00:08: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
[ 15.373046] usb 4-1: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0
[ 15.394965] usb 4-2: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB1
[ 15.397487] usb 8-1: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB2
[ 15.400020] usb 8-2: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB3
Im using gigaware usb2serial cables for this.
Ok all good next step type:
sudo gedit /etc/ser2net.conf
at the end you see the similar lines to this ones:
2000:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS0:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
2001:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS1:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
3000:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS0:19200 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
3001:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS1:19200 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
Now you can either delete them or comment them, if you want to comment them just put a # symbol at the start of each line so it looks like this:
#2000:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS0:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
#2001:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS1:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
#3000:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS0:19200 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
#3001:telnet:600:/dev/ttyS1:19200 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
Now we need to add some new lines:
3001:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB0:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
3002:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB1:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
3003:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB2:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
3004:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB3:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
Basically we are saying here that logical port 3001 should connect to our ttyUSB0 using the values for the cisco gear 9600, 8 data bits etc... and that will be tru for our 4 cables, now we are assigning ports from 3001 to 3004 this is because GNS3 uses the 2000 ports to console into the virtual devices.
Ok so save the file and move on to the next step which is to restart the service:
sudo /etc/init.d/ser2net restart
ok so we are ready to telnet into our devices you just need to type telnet localhost and the port you want to connect:
telnet localhost 3001
And thats it!
Ok Next time ill do a little tutorial on how to install the latest version of gns3 on ubuntu.