The Packet Wizard : Today I begin the CCNP R&S

Today, I officially start the CCNP Route Switch Course.

I have purchased the following book set, I have provided a link if you wish to purchase them:

I am also using Chris Bryant’s Video Udemy Course (Who helped me pass the CCNA R&S and Security, very thorough video series) and I will try and get his books. I have provided a link if you wish to purchase them :

I plan to have passed the CCNP Switch by July, because I have some pretty big work trips coming up and I know that is going to get in the way a little. However the 18hr flight to Singapore, I should be able to get through a power of reading and labs 🙂

I will start to blog on my progress and things I am learning.

Wish me Luck!

Cisco : Enable SSH on Cisco Switch, Router and ASA

When you configure a Cisco device, you need to use a console cable and connect directly to the system to access it. Follow the SSH setup below, will enable SSH access to your Cisco devices, since SSH is not enabled by default. Once you enable SSH, you can then access it remotely using SecureCRT or any other SSH client.

Set hostname and domain-name

The hostname has to have a hostname and domain-name.

switch# config t
switch(config)# hostname tpw-switch
tpw-switch(config)# ip domain-name

Setup Management IP

In the following example, the management ip address will be set to in the 101 VLAN. The default gateway points to the firewall, which is

tpw-switch# ip default-gateway
tpw-switch# interface vlan 101
tpw-switch(config-if)# ip address

Generate the RSA Keys

The switch or router should have RSA keys that it will use during the SSH process. So, generate these using crypto command as shown below.

tpw-switch(config)# crypto key generate rsa
  The name for the keys will be:
  Choose the size of the key modulus in the range of 360 to 2048 for your
    General Purpose Keys. Choosing a key modulus greater than 512 may take
    a few minutes.

How many bits in the modulus [512]: 1024
  % Generating 1024 bit RSA keys, keys will be non-exportable...[OK]

Setup the Line VTY configurations

Setup the following line vty configuration, where input transport is set to SSH only. Set the login to local, and password to 7, and make sure Telnet is not enabled:

tpw-switch# line vty 0 4
 tpw-switch(config-line)# transport input ssh
 tpw-switch(config-line)# login local
 tpw-switch(config-line)# password 7
 tpw-switch(config-line)# exit

If you have not set the console line yet, use the following:

tpw-switch# line console 0
tpw-switch(config-line)# logging synchronous
tpw-switch(config-line)# login local

Create the username password

If you don’t have an username created already, here is how:

tpw-switch# config t
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
tpw-switch(config)# username thepacketwizard password tpwpassword123
tpw-switch# enable secret tpwenablepassword

Make sure the password-encryption service is turned-on, which will encrypt the password, and when you do “show run”, you’ll see only the encrypted password and not clear-text password.

tpw-switch# service password-encryption

Verify SSH access

From the switch, if you do ‘show ip ssh’, it will confirm that the SSH is enabled on this Cisco device.

tpw-switch# show ip ssh
 SSH Enabled - version 1.99
 Authentication timeout: 120 secs; Authentication retries: 3

After the above configurations, login from a remote machine to verify that you can ssh to this cisco switch.

In the example, is the management ip-address of the switch.

TPW-Remote-Computer# ssh
 login as: thepacketwizard
 Using keyboard-interactive authentication.


You are now setup and logged in on SSH!

To read more on SSH visit:

Data Centre : Post DC Move Unracking

We moved our company internal Data Centre to a COLO Facility 2 weeks ago, here is what is left. Before and After Pictures, as well as a photo of the “Boneyard”. A pretty good haul for E-Wasting:

2x Cisco 6909’s

3x Cisco 6513’s

8x Cisco ASA’s

2x Brocade Loadbalancers

4x Cisco 2900 Routers

2x Cisco Nexus 5k

1x Cisco Wireless LAN Controller


GNS3 : Install and Configure

This install is intended for running IOU/IOL images on the GNS3 VM because it is the preferable way of running IOS in GNS3 now.


  1. Install VMware Workstation Player
  2. Install VMware VIX API
  3. Install Wireshark
    Install WinPCAP provided by Wireshark


Install GNS3:

  1. Install GNS3
  2. Install only the following components:

  1. We don’t need Dynamips/QEMU/VPCS/Cpulimit because we’ll be running everything off of the GNS3 VM server.  We don’t install SuperPutty from here because its not the latest version and the first thing it does when you open it is bug you about upgrading to the latest version.  There are setup instructions for it below.

Install Loopback Adapter

  1. Open an Admin Command Prompt

cd “c:\Program Files\gns3”


  1. Install a new Loopback interface (reboot required)
  2. Reboot
  1. Rename the new Loopback adapter to “Loopback”
  2. Assign it an IP address


Setup GNS3 VM:

  1. Download the GNS3 VM version that matches the installed GNS3 version
  2. Import the VM and keep the defaults
  3. Add a 3rd Network Adapter that will be in Bridged mode and connected to the Loopback adapter (Microsoft KM-TEST Loopback Adapter)

  1. Power on the VM
  2. SSH into the VM using gns3/gns3 for the credentials
    1. Sudo to root and run the following:
      1. echo ‘’ >> /etc/hosts
  3. Leave the VM powered on, we’re done with it for now
  4. Open an Administrator command prompt
  5. cd into the GNS3 install directory and run the following:
    1. IMPORTANT: On my work laptop, added the additional interfaces broke network connectivity to the VM after they were added.  I have no idea why but after I reinstalled VMware Workstation which uninstalled all the adapters, I was able to connect to the VM again.  On the work laptop, I’m running without the additional adapters and it seems fine so far.
    2. vmnet-manager.cmd
    3. Select option 1 which will add the vmnet interface 2 to 19 (this can take a while, please be patient)
    4. If it looks like this process has hung, you follow step 2 in the url below to add the adapters


Configure GNS3 to use the GNS3 VM server:

  1. Open up GNS3
  2. Goto Edit > Preferences

    Be sure to leave “Start VM in headless mode” unchecked.  I ran into issues where the VM would not automatically startup when opening GNS3 and also cause the GNS3 process to linger when closing out of it.
  3. Disable “Use of the local server” for Dynamips and QEMU.  We’ll use the GNS3 VM instead for running those processes.

Packet capture VPCS Dynamips IOS routers General settings Use the local server Path to Dynamips:



Create the L2/L3 IOU Devices:

  1. Goto Edit > Preferences
  2. Set the iourc file to use with the license (IOU devices need a license to run)
  3. Create the L2 image:
  4. Create the L3 image:

Add Device Image

New appliance template > Add and IOU > Run the IOU > New Image > Browse


i86bi-linux-l2-ipbasek9-15.1e.bin – IOU-L2

i86bi-linux-l3-adventerprisek9-15.4.2T.bin – IOU-L3



Operational Notes:

  • Sometimes a restart of all the routers/switches are required when new links are created between devices.  Even though the line protocols show as up, I’ve found a restart is required for traffic to actually pass through them.


If you want to use SuperPutty as the SSH client for GNS3 click this link:
SuperPutty with GNS3

Cisco : Serial Numbers

Today I have spent some time trying to find serial numbers on multiple Cisco devices, some Routers, Switches, Firewalls and Wireless LAN Controllers. Here is 7 ways I have found:

  1. Locate the serial number tag on the device chassis.
  2. The serial number is displayed in the banner during boot.
  3. “show version” command. (Look for Processor board ID or S/N)
  4. “show inventory” command. (Look for Hw Serial# or SN:)(Also works on WLC’s)
  5. “show diag” command. (Look for Chassis Serial Number)
  6. “show hardware” command. (Look for Processor board ID or S/N)
  7. “show tech-support” command.