Packet Tracer

How to Create Your First Sample Network Design using Packet Tracer?

Computer Network is never built directly. Instead a good network engineer always creates a logical design of it. A logical structure assists in detailed analysis. So, in case you are worried about creating a sample network design using packet tracer? Please don`t worry at all. In this article, I am going to provide you a detailed step by step Cisco Packet Tracer tutorial for beginners.

how to create sample network design using packet

What is Cisco Packet Tracer?

Cisco Packet Tracer is created by Cisco Systems. It is most effective, easy to learn, easy to operate and visual network simulation tool. You can create variety of sample network design using packet tracer. Using packet tracer interface is really a treat. Packet Tracer provides an attractive Graphical User Interface (GUI). Although you can use console or Command Line Interface (CLI) option in it. You can easily drag and drop different components and create different types of connections. There is a rich toolbox available in this software that really helps you in your lab work. It`s basic purpose is to provide a reliable simulating platform to students of Cisco Certified Network Associate Academy.

You can find a variety of end devices like server, client computer, tablet PC and telephone. Similarly, you can find a variety of network devices like router, hub and switch in the toolbox. There are a lot of network cable types available in the toolbox. In addition to these devices, packet tracer also provides you rich configuration settings. You can configure various network devices through graphical user interface and command line interface. It supports various network protocols.

Features of Cisco Packet Tracer

  • It is available in multi-platforms like Windows, Linux and even Mac. In addition, you can also find Android and iOS apps of this software.
  • Extremely easy and self-explanatory GUI to work with.
  • In Cisco Packet Tracer you can find a lot of built-in tools.  There are a lot of end devices available like server, desktop computer, laptop computer and tablet PC. Similarly, you can find different types of network cables. It comes with a lot of different models of Cisco network devices like hub, switch and router.
  • You can design computer network in a few simple steps. All you have to do is just to drag and drop few devices, connect and configure those.
  • There are a lot of different configuration settings for your use. Obviously you can use the powerful GUI to configure different devices. But as a plus point you can also use the console or command line for executing different commands.
  • Packet Tracer provides you with the option of working with different network protocols.

Creating Your First Sample Network Design using Packet Tracer

In this section, I am going to demonstrate you with a pictorial tutorial that will help you for creating a sample network design using packet tracer software. I will explain you different examples of computer network in this tutorial for better understanding. According to my personal experience, I personally recommend you to practice out by constructing different computer networking scenarios using packet tracer software. This will groom your confidence, learning and understanding power.

Requirements

General Steps for Creating Computer Network Design in Cisco Packet Tracer

  1. Selection of end devices
  2. Choosing a suitable network device
  3. Establishing communication links
  4. Configure IP addresses
  5. Test the working of computer network

Overview of Examples in this Tutorial

For the sake of simplicity, I am creating a few simple and straight forward computer network examples in this tutorial. It will surly make it much more easy to understand and start your work with. However, I will cover some advanced examples in my later blog articles. So, please stay tuned. There is a lot more coming your way. I will be providing tutorial for creating:

  1. Peer to Peer Network
  2. Gver Network

What is Peer to Peer Network?

Alternatively it is referred to as a P2P Network. In a peer to peer computer network, each network node has a generic status. It means that each computer has the same status as that of another computer present in computer network. You can`t say which one is a server and which one is a client. Instead role of each computer changes in accordance to its function being performed. Normally such computer networking scenarios are less common. Moreover, peer to peer network is actually an Adhoc Network. These are not used in long term scenarios. Instead you can use it for instant operations. Establishment of such networks don`t require too much networking equipment. Establishment, management, troubleshooting and destruction of p2p network is really easy and straight forward.

Example

Quite often you have connected two mobile phones using Bluetooth for file sharing. This is one of the simplest example of peer to peer network. In such scenario, no mobile owns a special status. In fact one mobile phone is sending files while other is receiving files. Moreover, each of connected mobile phone can send or receive files. It is quite often a slow speed network.

What is Client Server Network?

It is most popular and commonly used networking model and it is backbone of the Internet that we are using today. In a client server network each network node is considered to have a different status. Some of network nodes are known as a server while others are referred to as client. Whenever a client requires some sort of service, it first asks the server computer to provide the service. A server either approves the service requested or deny it. Such type of computer networks are developed for long-term usage. Establishment of such networks requires considerable expertise, skill, knowledge and effort. You require considerable expenditure and network devices for constructing a client server model network.

Example

One of the finest and easiest example to understand a client server network is the Internet. Whenever, you need a certain software what do you do? You simple go to Google and search out for the software. Google gives you a bunch of links spanning across multiple result pages. Now consider it in other terms. When you search for a software on Google, in fact you are requesting Google to provide you details. Google, on the other hand, serves you and provide you with results. Those results are basically response from server.

How to Create P2P Network in Cisco Packet Tracer?

In this section, I will provide you a detailed tutorial for creating a P2P network using packet tracer. Although these networks are purely adhoc in nature, but it is always a good practice to start from here. It is very easy to create such a computer network. You can create a simple peer to peer network of simply two computers. But for the sake of elaboration, I am going to use multiple devices. So, let`s do it.

Step 1: Choosing End Devices

Choice of end devices is perfectly flexible. You can select and use any type of end device from tools menu. In this tutorial, I am just making a client server network containing four end devices. I will be using simple computers as end devices. So, first select two desktop computers from the end devices tools menu. You will not have to do any extensive thing. Simply select desktop PC from end devices and drop it on drawing area.

step 1 select two desktop computers

Now, you have two desktop PCs on the drawing area. It`s time to add two more end devices. This time I will be using two laptop PCs. You can, again, find it from end device menu. Again, move to end devices menu and draw laptop computers on drawing area. Your network will be looking like this by the end of this step.

step 1 select two laptop computers

Step 2: Select Network Device

As I have mentioned earlier that you have plenty of options in choosing network device for interconnection of network nodes. Obviously you can use any of these devices. Although a switch or a router is a good option but I will be using a hub for this purpose. So, again go to the tools menu and select Hubs menu. You can use any model of hub. Simply draw hub on the drawing area as you have did before. Computer network made so far will be looking as depicted in the following picture.

step 2 select network device

Step 3: Establish Communication Links

In this step, you will simply use communication cable for establishing communication channels. Without a communication channel, there will be no communication through your small sized network. To accomplish this, simply move to the connections from tools menu. You will find a lot of different types of communication cables. Simply go for copper straight through cable. Connect each end device to the central network device.

step 3 establish communication links

Step 4: Configure IP Address of Each End Device

IP Address identifies each computer or network node in a computer network. This step involves assignment of IP addresses to each individual computer. For this, simple click on a computer. You will be seeing a dialog box. This box contains different configuration settings. Move to the desktop tab. In desktop tab click on IP Configuration option. Do the following settings:

step 4 configure ip address

Repeat this step for each end device or computer. You must have to assign a different IP address to each computer. For the sake of convenience, I am providing you with sample IP addresses that you can use. Simply use 186.211.2.2, 186.211.2.3 and 186.211.2.4 for remaining three computers.

How to Create Client Server Network in Cisco Packet Tracer?

Creating a simple client server network in packet tracer software is not difficult at all. You just need to remember the 5-step recipe to accomplish this task. But this is really the most important practical task as most of networks now-a-days are client server in nature. So, let`s begin how we can do that in a super easy way?

Step 1: Choosing End Devices

This time my choice of end devices will be a little different from previous example. Apart from desktop and laptop end devices I will be using an additional server end device. Using a server as an end device makes a lot of sense as we are building a client server network using packet tracer. This network will not be using the same concept as that of a peer to peer network. Instead this example network will consist of any authoritative device which will be providing services to one or more client computers. In short, I will be using following end devices. I am also specifying their quantity. But you are not restricted to use these numbers. You can use any number of end devices for your practice.

  • Desktop Client (03)
  • Laptop Client (01)
  • High End Server (01)

Choose End Devices for Client Server Network

Step 2: Select Network Device

Despite the fact that you have a plenty of options available in Cisco packet tracer software for consideration as network device. As I have discussed earlier that you can use a switch or router or even a simple hub. Choice of network device is completely flexible. As a pro I personally recommend you to select network device that best suits your computer network. If your network is small having a few client end devices then there is no point for you to select an expansive router for this.

Similarly, if you feel that your network is large enough then selecting a hub for managing this can prove to be a really bad choice for you. So, you should consider both cost and nature of network before selecting or purchasing central networking devices. As far as this tutorial is concerned, I am building a client server network of just five end devices, so I will not mind using a simple hub.

Choose Network Device for Client Server Network

Step 3: Establish Communication Links

Again, in this step, we will simply be establishing communication links by using any suitable communication cable. You can accomplish this by moving to connections from tools menu. You will see a variety of communication cables. Keep your life easy and smooth by simply selecting copper straight through cable. All you need to do is just to connect each computer to network hub.

Communication Links in Client Server Network

Step 4: Configure IP Address of Each End Device

This is the most important step and it needs a great deal of care. In this step, again, you will need to configure IP addresses of each end device present in this client server computer network. For doing this repeat the same process, as given, in the Peer-to-peer network configuration. All you need to do is just to open configuration menu and set IP address of each end device turn by turn. In most of cases, server is normally given a static IP address while clients have dynamic IP addresses. For configuring dynamic IPs you will need to check the DHCP options.

Configure IP Addresses

Final Words

Creating a sample network design using packet tracer is not a difficult task at all. I have given a four step formula that you can follow to achieve this task. As I discussed, IP address configurations are the most important part. In this type of example scenario, each network node must have IP address from the same IP class. For using different class IP addresses you will require a router as a connecting device. I hope that you people like it. Please feel free to provide your valuable feedback.

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