Monday, September 29, 2008

Gambit's MIMIC® Virtual Lab Simplifies CCNA® home study course

Gambit's MIMIC® Virtual Lab Simplifies CCNA® home study course

Networks Inc’s book, “CCNA Simplified”, includes MIMIC Virtual Lab CCNA
software, which enables them to provide a hands-on experience to their students
for the preparation of the Cisco certification.

Networks Inc.:

Networks Inc. Ltd was founded by Paul Browning. It offers Cisco training courses,
boot camps and consulting. Students come from all over Europe to attend the
CCNA and CCNP courses.

Paul is author of the book “CCNA Simplified – Your Complete Guide to
passing the CCNA”. It has helped hundreds of people to pass their CCNA exam,
and more importantly, to enjoy a successful career in the IT industry.

The Challenge

CCNA Simplified includes 27 hands on labs along with real world advice and
scenarios. The idea is to let students study at their own pace, from home. They can
read the book, watch the videos of experts configuring the lab, and also practice.
Practicing on the Cisco routers and switches with IOS commands and trying
different configurations is essential to passing the CCNA certification test.
The CCNA Simplified package needed something that would help students to get
hands-on training without spending lots of money on equipment. They wanted to
make sure that students would have confidence to handle any configuration not
only for the CCNA exam, but also in real world scenarios.


Networks Inc. decided to include MIMIC Virtual Lab CCNA product in the
CCNA Simplified package. MIMIC gives students access to a real world lab
environment with a network of Cisco Routers and Switches. It lets them get the
hands-on learning experience without buying expensive, cutting-edge racks of

MIMIC gives students the ability to practice for CCNA and other certifications
instead of just reading instructions. They can interact with Routers and Switches,
just like with real devices.

The Technology – MIMIC Virtual Lab CCNA

Award winning MIMIC Virtual Lab is for beginners interested in familiarizing
themselves with the complex environment and for intermediate or expert users
looking to sharpen their skills and move to a higher level.

MIMIC includes a lab with Cisco Routers (2811, 3640 and 7206) and Cisco
Switches (2950, 3550 (2) and 6500) connected with LAN, WAN, ISDN and Serial
links. It supports Cisco’s ICND2 exam, including IPv6 and VLAN support.

Students can Telnet in to any of these devices as if they are connecting to real
devices. Then they can use a large set of IOS Commands to different operations,
e.g. Logging in/out, Get into different modes - User, Privileged, Configuration and
Interface, Set passwords, IP addresses, clock rates, hostname and bandwidth,
Assign routing protocols - RIP, IGRP, EIGRP, BGP, OSPF and IS-IS, Ping other
devices in the lab, Save/load configurations, Boot using flash or TFTP protocol,
Configuration of VLAN, ISDN, CDP, PPP, Frame Relay ACL and NAT protocols
and many other functions required for certifications

Each device in the simulated lab also has Exercises and Tutorials connected to it to
help perform many different configurations.

The Benefits

Networks Inc. is able to supply to students a Virtual Lab along with the lab

With the use of MIMIC, students have a safe environment to practice without
worrying about bringing down the equipment/network and affecting other users.
They can do the complete preparation for the certification test. Along with that,
they can confidently configure new devices on their production network.
Network’s Inc. can bundle a lab that can cost tens of thousands of pounds with the
book for free.

Here is what Paul Browning, Founder of Networks Inc. and author of
CCNA Simplified said, “MIMIC Virtual Lab has really helped my
students to get hands on time with Cisco devices without the expense
of buying equipment. For those who do have access to live routers and
switches, the MIMIC Virtual Lab gives an extra boost and a convenient
way to do labs.”

For more information, contact Gambit Communications, Inc (
© 2008 Gambit Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MIMIC and Gambit Communications are registered trademarks of Gambit Communications, Inc.
All other trademarks or service marks are the property of their respective owners.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MIMIC Performance Report: Fedora vs. Solaris Intel on dual-CPU Sunfire V20z

MIMIC Performance Report: Fedora vs. Solaris Intel on dual-CPU Sunfire V20z

MIMIC is SNMP simulation software that supports up to 20,000 agents on one workstation. The main concern is the performance for a fully loaded workstation. You want at least hundreds of PDUs per second to make a simulation viable. Each hardware platform / operating system combination has different performance characteristics.

For MIMIC, performance is primarily governed by the amount of physical memory (RAM). The memory requirements depend on the simulations you are going to run. Obviously, a high-end router simulation with hundreds of interfaces, RMON tables, etc. is going to take more memory than the simulation of an end system.

As a ball-park estimate, we like to see at least 1MB of dedicated physical RAM per simulated agent, e.g., a 100 agent scenario should run fine on a 128MB system (depending on how much memory is used by the OS and other processes). For better performance (less swapping), 2MB per agent is recommended. When the agents are running the same simulation, MIMIC optimizes memory usage to contain only one copy of the simulation data for all agents of the same type.

You can more accurately measure this by running a simulation configuration, and checking on memory usage before and after starting the desired agent simulations. Notice that MIMIC uses memory on demand, so you should measure the memory after doing a walk of the desired tables (or a complete MIB walk). Eg. on Windows NT use the Windows Task Manager to check "Memory Usage", and on Unix use the "top" utility. The memory usage by MIMIC is approximately the same for all platforms.

The CPU is of secondary importance. Most modern processors (e.g., Intel Pentium 2GHz or faster, and Ultra Sparc) are adequate. MIMIC works with multi-processor systems, since it is a multi-threaded, distributed application. Agent thread processing will be distributed across multiple CPUs.

The final bottleneck would be the network pipe to your agents. 10Mb Ethernet is adequate for low-volume traffic, 100Mb is better for more demanding applications. MIMIC works with multiple network adapters on your system, so you can talk to the simulations over separate network pipes. MIMIC works with the OS-native protocol stacks, so that all network interface cards that your OS supports can be used. You can even run MIMIC over PPP.

This performance test is designed to measure peak performance of MIMIC on various supported platforms under common access scenarios. The variables in the test are the number of agents running simultaneously, and the number of agents being accessed simultaneously. It is assumed that the most common SNMP request is the GETNEXT, as is done in sequential table traversals.

The purpose of this report is to contrast various versions of Fedora Linux from Fedora Core 5 to Fedora 9 versus Solaris 10 on the identical dual-CPU (AMD Opteron 244 at 1792 Mhz) Sunfire V20Z hardware platform.

If you are interested in fastest numbers for a single agent, you want to look at the top row of each matrix. If you are interested in highest scalability, with multiple agents being accessed, you want to concentrate on the bottom row of each matrix.

Overall, you probably want one of the versions of Fedora Linux, if running small scale simulations (upto 1,000 agents), where Fedora 8 is fastest. In the mid range (1,000 to 2,000 agents), Solaris 10 performs best. At the high-end, Fedora 8 was overall best, although we were not able to test it at higher than 10,000 agents, because we only have the 32-bit OS.

Here are some specific results:

- Fedora 8 is the fastest of the Linux variants we tested upto 10,000 agents.

- Only at 1,000 agents is Fedora 9 slightly faster than Fedora 8 (above statistical error).

- Fedora 7 is consistently faster than Fedora 8 at 1,000 and 2,000 agents, but much slower at 5,000 agents or higher.

- Again, Fedora 8 and Fedora Core 6 are comparable at the low end, FC6 is faster at 1,000 and 2,000 agents, but much slower at the higher end.

- FC5 is consistently faster than Fedora 8 from 1,000 to 5,000 agents, but much slower at the higher end.

- On Fedora 9, the 64-bit numbers are comparable to the 32-bit numbers, except at the high-end, where 64-bit numbers are mostly better.

- On Solaris 10, the 64-bit numbers are comparable to the 32-bit numbers, except at 8,000 agents, where 32-bit numbers are slightly better.

- Fedora 8 numbers are the best at the low end (10 and 100 agents) by about 10% over Solaris 10.

- In the middle (1,000 to 2,000 agents) Solaris 10 performs much better than either Fedora 8 or 9.

- Solaris 10 is slightly better than Fedora 7 at 1,000 and 2,000 agents, but much better at the higher end.

- It's a toss up between Fedora Core 6 and Solaris 10 for 1,000 and 2,000 agents, but Solaris performs much better at the high end.

- Since we don't have the 64-bit version of Fedora 8, we cannot recommend it for 20,000 agent scaleability. Instead, Fedora 9 has the best numbers.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Gambit Releases Virtual Lab for Cisco ICND2

Gambit Releases Virtual Lab for Cisco ICND2
Provides support for IPv6 and VLANs

Nashua, NH - September 1, 2008 -- Gambit Communications, a leading provider of network simulation tools, today announced the general availability of MIMIC® Virtual Lab CCNA version 3.42. MIMIC Virtual Lab is an enhanced PC-based training tool to support Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) CCNA® certification. It creates on a PC a real-world lab environment with a network of Cisco Routers and Switches for training centers and network engineers. The primary benefit is that it enables a hands-on learning experience without needing to buy expensive equipment.

MIMIC® Virtual Lab CCNA version 3.42 now supports Cisco's ICND2 (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2) exams.

"MIMIC Virtual Lab appeals to a broad range of customers, from individual engineers to large enterprises to training organizations," stated Uwe Zimmermann, Gambit Communications' President and Chief Technology Officer. "This latest release will provide our users with powerful new features to prepare for the latest Cisco CCNA exam. For instance, Virtual Lab customers can now configure routers and switches using IPv6 and get trained using IPv6 hands-on tutorials."

MIMIC Virtual Lab CCNA consists of a simulated network of Cisco routers, switches with LAN, WAN and ISDN connections. It includes IOS commands and lab exercises related to the Cisco CCNA 640-802 exam.

MIMIC Virtual Lab CCNA 3.42 new feature highlights include:

# Support for IPv6 addressing and commands in addition to IPv4;

# Ability to configure VLAN with the support for the protocol Rapid-PVST;

# Provides hands-on experience with Cisco Routers (2811, 3640 and 7206) and Cisco Switches (2950, 3550 and 6500);

# Devices are connected with LAN, WAN, ISDN and Serial links, which can be reconfigured;

# Support for configuration of Frame Relay mappings;

# Implements a large number of IOS Commands for Router and Switch operations;

# Additional support for EIGRP commands;

# Ability to reconfigure the lab along with loading and saving your configuration;

# Access the lab using your favorite Telnet;

# Includes many hands-on exercises to train and test your skills to better prepare you for the CCNA exam.

The MIMIC Virtual Lab CCNA version 3.42 release is available immediately from Gambit.

About Gambit Communications, Inc.

Founded in 1995, Gambit Communications is a leader in network and SNMP simulation tools that enhance the productivity of management software developers and enterprise users while lowering their costs. MIMIC Simulator is a modular family of simulators used by leading networking vendors for use in applications from development and testing to operator training and disaster simulations. Gambit Communications' portfolio of over 500 customers includes: IBM, JP Morgan, VISA, Shell, US Army, US Air Force, CA, HP, Cisco, Intel, AT&T, MCI, Nortel, For more information on Gambit and MIMIC, please visit http://www.gambitcommunications .