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I am self learning for CCNA. A few months back, I got a thought if we can simulate routers in Vmware Workstation. While I was searching for it I found a different solution, GNS3. After simulating routers in GNS3 and practising CLI interface, I had another idea if we can simulate CISCO Graphical User Interface on our PC. This article is  result of that.

In this article, we are not only going to see how to connect Vmware and GNS3 but also see how to simulate CISCO Graphical user Interface (GUI). For this I use,

1. Vmware Workstation 9.

2. Windows XP as Guest OS.

3. Cisco Security Device Manager v25.

4. GNS3.

5.  C7200 Router Image.

Open Vmware Workstation. On the menu Select “Edit>Virtual Network Editor”. On the Virtal network editor, click on “Vmnet1″ network. It is a default Host-only type network adapter of Vmware. Observe its settings. Enable DHCP server.

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Install Windows XP as a guest. On its virtual machine settings, change the network adapter to “Vmnet1″.

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Power on the machine. Install Cisco SDM ( I leave the getting Cisco SDM part to you ). Open CMD and type “ipconfig” to see its IP address. Take note of this.

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Open GNS3. Click on “Browse all devices”.

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Select Router “c7200″ and drag it to the workspace. Do the same with “Cloud”.

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Close the All Devices tab. Right click on the Cloud.  Select “Configure”, a ‘node configurator’ window will open. On this window, click on “C1″.

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On the NIO Ethernet tab, in the “Generic Ethernet NIO tab” dropdown menu, select our network adapter (Vmnet1) from the dropdown menu and click on “Add”. Click on “OK” to close the window.

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Right click on the router. Select “Configure”, click on “R1″. Select slots tab. In the Slot 1 dropdown menu, select “PA-4E”. Click on Apply an close the window. The selection PA-4E creates four Ethernet ports on the router. Right click on the router and start the router.

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Add a link from “cloud( Vmnet1)” adapter to the “e1/0″ port on the router.

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Hover your mouse over the router. We can see all the ports.

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Similarly hover your mouse over the cloud to see its connections.

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Right click on the router and select “Console”. In the global configuration mode, type the following commands.

ip http server”

ip http secure-server”

These commands set up http and https servers respectively which are needed for Cisco SDM.

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Type the command “interface Ethernet 1/0″. We are entering into specific configuration mode of our connected interface. Type the command “ip address 192.168.10.3 255.255.255.0″. This sets the interface IP address and subnet mask. Make sure the router IP address is in the same subnet as that of our guest OS in Vmware workstation. Type “no shut” and exit to the privileged mode.

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Let’s ping our guest from the router. to ensure that we are connected to Vmware Guest.

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Since success rate is 100%  we have successfully connected Vmware and GNS3. Now let’s do the Cisco SDM part. On our Guest machine click on Cisco SDM. A SDM launcher window will open. Type the IP address of the router and click on Launch.

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Internet Explorer will open as below. Make sure Internet Explorer is configured to allow pop ups and to allow Activex to run from the computer.

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After some time the following popup will open. Don’t close it.

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Then we might see a certificate warning. Click on Yes.

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After some processing, Cisco SDM will open.

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We have successfully simulated Cisco GUI on our PC. Happy practice friends.