Packet Tracer Network Simulator (2014)
Chapter 3. Generic IP End Devices
If network devices are the core, end devices are the ones that use this core. Packet Tracer offers a wide range of end devices, starting from PCs and laptops, to tablets, PDAs, and even a TV! In this chapter, we'll learn about each end device, the modules available for it, and its configuration options. You'll be surprised to find that these end devices support a wide array of modules; such as network devices, and also have a lot of utilities under the Desktop tab that match the ones you have on your real computer!
Desktops and laptops
Desktops and laptops form the highest level of configurable and usable client devices in Packet Tracer. There is no difference between them when it comes to usability; only the naming conventions of the modules are different.
The following modules are available for desktops and laptops. Similar to routers (as seen in the previous chapter), these devices too have to be switched off before adding/removing modules.
· Linksys-WMP300N: This provides a wireless interface for configuring WLAN on a WiFi network.
· PC-HOST-NM-1AM: This provides an RJ11 interface that can be used as a dial-up modem.
· PC-HOST-NM-1CE, PC-HOST-NM-1CFE, PC-HOST-NM-1CGE: These three modules provide an Ethernet, FastEthernet, and GigabitEthernet connection, respectively.
· PC-HOST-NM-1FFE, PC-HOST-NM-1FGE: This is the fiber Ethernet version of the previous module.
· PC-HOST-NM-1W, PC-HOST-NM-1W-A: Both of these modules provide a wireless interface for WLAN. The first one has a frequency of 2.4 GHz and the second 5GHz for 802.11a networks.
· PC-HEADPHONE, PC-MICROPHONE, PC-CAMERA, PC-USB-HARD-DRIVE: These modules serve the purpose of representing each of their respective devices. They do not have any functionality associated with them.
On laptops, the same modules are available with a different name. Instead of HOST, LAPTOP is used. So, a PC-HOST-NM-1AM module is named PC-LAPTOP-NM-1AM.
Servers are an entirely different breed when compared to other end devices. They have various functionalities and also have space for two network interfaces. The modules available for servers are the same as PC modules, except that the servers do not have thePC-HOST-NM-1AM module.
Looking under the Config tab of a server, you can see that the following services are available. Let us look at what each of these offers.
The HTTP service offers a web server that runs both HTTP and HTTPS protocols. A textbox below the HTTP section provides options to create and edit static HTML pages. These are displayed when this server is accessed through the web browser utility of other end devices. This service is on by default.
The DHCP service can be used to assign IP addresses to routers. This section has options to create and edit DHCP pools of IP addresses. It has a default pool called serverPool, which cannot be removed or edited. This service is off by default.
The TFTP service can be immensely useful when learning about backing up and restoring Cisco IOS images and configuration files. This section lists several IOS images from routers and switches available in Packet Tracer. If any file is copied from a network device to the TFTP server, that too will be displayed. A sample is available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\Server\TFTP\TFTP.pkt. This service is on by default.
The DNS service is for resolving domain names to IP addresses. The DNS service offers the following record types: A, CNAME, SOA, and NS. Though this interface looks simple and complete, multilevel DNS setups can be configured. A sample is available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\Server\DNS\Multilevel_DNS.pkt.
A DNS cache button allows you to view cached DNS requests and has a feature that clears this cache. This service is off by default.
This protocol provides a centralized logging service. Setting the Syslog server's IP to point to the configured server's IP from a network device fills the table in the Config tab with all of the logging messages generated by the device. This service is on by default.
AAA stands for Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting. This service is used for centrally managing the credentials of all network devices. It supports the RADIUS and TACACS authentication protocols. The options in this section allow you to create users and configure the network credentials to be used. Several samples are available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\Server\AAA\. This service is off by default.
Network Time Protocol ensures that the clocks of all devices are synchronized properly. This section has a calendar to set the date and time. Optionally, NTP authentication can also be configured. Once the server has a proper time set, all of the network devices can be configured to synchronize their clocks from this server. This service is on by default.
This section incorporates SMTP service and POP3 service. A domain name can be set and users created so that users can communicate by using the EMAIL option under the Config tab of a PC or laptop.
Only one domain is allowed per server, and either SMTP or POP3 can be switched on or off as desired.
FTP has more features as compared to TFTP. Users can be created and permissions can be granted to each one of them. This section also lists files that have been uploaded. There is no GUI client for accessing the FTP server. But the command line under theDesktop tab provides the FTP command-line client. A sample is available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\Server\FTP\FTP.pkt.
Because the server has two network interfaces now, the firewall feature has been introduced in PT Version 6. This section allows you to configure inbound rules that match source/destination IP addresses and local/remote port numbers. Based on the match, the connection can either be allowed or denied.
Other end devices
Apart from PCs, laptops, and servers, Packet Tracer has a lot of end devices;some of these have no functionality while some provide interesting features.
· Printer-PT: This is a network printer with modules similar to a PC except for the PC-HOST-NM-1AM module. The only option available in this device is the IP address configuration option.
· 7960: This is a Cisco IP phone with two Ethernet ports, one for connecting to a switch and another for connecting to a PC. The only module available is IP_PHONE_POWER_ADAPTER. If PoE (Power over Ethernet) is not available, this module has to be used to power the device on.
· Home-VoIP-PT: This device has no modules and the only configuration available is for the server address. This should be the IP address of the router on which Communications Manager Express (CME) has been configured. It has an Ethernet port and an RJ11 port for an analog phone.
· Analog-Phone-PT: This is a phone with an RJ11 connector, which, when connected to a Home-VoIP-PT device, can be used to make calls between Cisco IP phones.
· TV-PT: This television has a coaxial port and a single configuration option to turn it on or off. The screen can be viewed only in the Physical view of Packet Tracer. When this device is connected to Cloud-PT, it can be used to display a slideshow of images.
· TabletPC-PT: This has desktop options similar to a PC but doesn't have any modules. It has a wireless interface for connecting it to a WLAN.
· PDA-PT: This device is similar to the tablet we saw previously.
· WirelessEndDevice-PT: This is a device with a wireless interface. It has an editable GUI that uses HTML code. The GUI tab has Traffic Generator similar to the one available on PCs and laptops.
· WiredEndDevice-PT: This is similar to the previous device but has a wired interface.
Configuring end devices
End devices have a Desktop tab, which provides a lot of utilities for testing and debugging the network. We will learn about each utility in this section.
The following utilities are available for PCs, laptops, PDAs, and tablet PCs.
We have already used the IP Configuration utility in Chapter 1, Getting Started with Packet Tracer, when we created a simple topology. This option is used to choose between a dynamic and static IP address. Entering a static IP address fills the Subnet Mask field; according to the class of the IP address, this field can also be edited if required. If DHCP is configured on Server-PT, choosing DHCP here obtains an IP address dynamically. Starting with Packet Tracer Version 6, this utility also has a section for configuring IPv6 addresses.
A modem dialer, this utility can be used if the PC-HOST-NM-1AM module is plugged in. This utility is available only on PC-PT and Laptop-PT devices as other end devices do not have the NM-1AM module. A cloud-PT device with phone numbers is required to be connected to this PC on one end and a router on the other end with a modem interface. A username/password combination is also required in the router; after this is done, entering them in this utility creates a connection.
We used this utility in Chapter 2, Network Devices, for accessing the CLI through the console port. In most cases, the settings in this utility can be left to their defaults; but if you change the baud rate of the network device, it has to be changed here so that they match. This module is not available on the Server-PT device as it doesn't have an RS-232 interface.
This utility simulates the command line offered in Windows Operating Systems. Only a limited set of commands are available but they are enough to test the network. The following are the commands available:
? arp delete dir ftp help ipconfig ipv6config netstat nslookup ping snmpget snmpgetbulk snmpset ssh telnet tracert
Each command's supported parameters can be found by entering a command without any options as shown in the following screenshot:
Displaying arguments for each command
Web Browser is a utility with minimal options, which can be used if you have a Server-PT device configured with HTTP. This can also be used if there is a Linksys-WRT300N device to access its web interface. This utility has only back, forward, go, and stopbuttons and does not store any cache or history.
This utility is designed for the Linksys-WMP300N module. It displays signal strength information and also has options for choosing a wireless network and modifying profiles to connect to wireless routers that are not broadcasting their SSID. These settings can also be saved, imported, or exported. Wireless networking will be explained in detail in Chapter 9, Setting Up a Wireless Network. This utility is available only on PC-PT and Laptop-PT devices, as other end devices do not have the Linksys module.
The VPN utility is used to create a VPN connection for secure communication. A router has to be configured as a VPN server for this to work. A sample topology is available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\PC\VPN\Vpn_Easy.pkt.
This utility is similar in functionality to the Add Simple PDU and Add Complex PDU tools in the common tools bar. It is used to create customized packets and send them at periodic intervals. This is immensely useful for simulating a real environment.
The MIB (Management Information Base) Browser utility sends out SNMP requests. This allows you to retrieve router and switch data or make changes to the devices. A get request is sent to fetch a value, whereas a set request is sent to modify a value. A router has to be configured with an RO (Read Only) community string and RW (Read Write) community string. This utility is not available on the Server-PT device. A sample topology is available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\PC\MIB_Browser\SNMP_Router.pkt.
Cisco IP Communicator
Cisco IP Communicator is a Cisco software that can be used to turn a computer into an IP phone. This utility is available in Packet Tracer to make and answer calls using a PC or laptop. Clicking on it opens a phone GUI that can be used to dial numbers; the default TFTP server can also be changed by navigating to the Preferences… option, as shown in the next screenshot. This utility is not available on the Server-PT device.
Cisco IP Communicator on the PC
This is an e-mail client utility that can be used to send and receive e-mails. The first time it is opened, it has to be configured with the Incoming mail server (POP3), Outgoing mail server (SMTP), and credentials. A Server-PT device has to exist in the topology with its EMAIL section configured. This utility is not available on the Server-PT device. A sample topology is available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\Server\Mail\mail_2Server_2PC.pkt.
This utility is required to establish a connection using a DSL-Modem-PT device. On one end, the modem device connects this PC over Ethernet and on the other end, it has a cloud connected by a phone wire. A router has to be configured as a PPPoE server with a username and password. A sample topology is available at Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1\saves\Router\PPPOE\client.server.modem.pppoe.pkt.
The Text Editor utility is similar to the Notepad available in Windows. It can be used to create, edit, and save text files that can be listed using the dir command in the command-prompt utility. Created text file can also be used to test FTP by uploading it from the command line.
In this chapter, we discussed all of the end devices available in Packet Tracer. This marks the end of the learning phase of devices. Do check the sample topologies mentioned in each section. Packet Tracer also has instructions on how to use them. Now that you are familiar with all of the devices available in Packet Tracer, their modules, and the utilities available, we will learn how to use them.
In the next chapter, we will start creating topologies that include the devices we've learnt about so far. We'll also be learning how packets move from one hop to another using the simulation mode. We will also see how to create clusters of multiple devices for a clean look.