Why do you want to do this lab?
You can capture any interesting packets and analyse for your learning purpose, analyzing packet captures can give you the real inside of how the packets are working on the devices and on different segments of the network. Simply reading the books and learn about how packets work behind the scenes is a little like trying to learn something as if you are three wise monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil).
On the real production, you can use other methods to capture interesting packets. Some examples are IOS Embedded Packet capture and tee off the configuration to a TFTP server, use a sniffer using spanning port or remote spanning port. Also, use more advanced method of Cisco NAM (Network Analyzer).
In this part, I will quickly show you how to whiz up a simple lab and capture some packets on GNS3 and Wireshark live capture within, GNS3. In the next section, I will demonstrate IOS Embedded Packet capture and teeing off to a TFTP server. Lastly, I will demonstrate packet capturing using spanning port and remote span.
Prerequisite 1: GNS3 1.4.4 pre-installed on Windows PC/laptop
Prerequisite 2: IOU VM ova deployed and integrated with GNS3
Prerequisite 3: Familiar with VMware workstation and Windows loopback configuration
Step 1: Add devices as below and make all connections. When you add the devices, your GNS3 topology will look like this. Remember to use dummy switches to make connection between your virtual machines and your host PC loopback to your IOU switches.
Step 2: Configure your routers and switches similar to the configuration found in the attached zip file.
Step 3: Capture packets using various link positions
If you run into the following error, you will have to go to GNS3 setting and update the path of Wireshark.
=> Error: SW3: Could not start the packet capture reader: [WinError 2] The system cannot find the file specified: None
Changing path in GSN3 preferences:
C:\Program Files\Wireshark\wireshark.exe” ==> C:\Program Files (x86)\Wireshark\wireshark.exe
Step 4: Wireshark will open automatically and start capturing all the traffic on the link you have selected.
e.g.) TCP/IP packet capture example
e.g.) Voice packet capture using soft phones (On virtual machines) between two work stations and CUCM.
Now you can set up any server and clients and study how TCP/IP, UDP work behind the scenes. Jump straight in and try to enjoy your study!
Note: This lab can be completed on a single PC, Save Electricity, save Money, save Time, SAVE THE PLANET.