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Hi All !

Just like with R&S , MPLS and BGP set ups this post is dedicated to the best practise for setting up CCIE SECURITY lab in GNS3 and I want to show you how to set up a practise rack!

Below you will find initial CCIE Security configs for the following topologies/series (IPExpert and Netmetric initial configs will become available at a later date):


CCBootcamp Security – see below image

CCBootcamp Initial Configs : R1cc   R2cc   R3cc   R4cc   R5cc   R6cc   R7cc   R8cc

SW1cc   SW2cc   SW3cc   SW4cc   Frame_switchcc

Frame_switchcc   IDScc   BB1cc   BB2cc   ASA1cc   ASA2cc

CCBootcamp Security


INE Security – see below image and initial configs (I have decided to use different topology for INE as the previous one only had one Backbone router and it’s way more fun with more)

INE Initial configs : R1   R2   R3   R4   R5   R6   SW1   SW2   SW3   SW4


ccie security_ine_topology

IPExpert Security – see below image



Netmetric – see below image :


I have spent number of long hours to prepare above GNS3 topology to make it work with almost any lab scenario you can find on the internet and I believe it is ready to go. I will soon attach a GNS3.NET.FILE so you will be able to build it in exact same way on your PC. As you know from my previous posts about R&S , BGP and MPLS GNS3 topologies it is crucial to connect all devices in exact same way as it is specified in the GNS3.NET.FILE as otherwise the set up will not work efficiently then when you launch it you will be able to copy and paste provided initial configs (basic routing protocols , ip address , vlans etc…)  into every devices and start labbing.



There’s not a lot of switching in security. Vlans doc contains all vlans that you will need despite what series you’re going through , so simple paste those into switches at the very beginning then use all the remaining configs.

In order to fully run this GNS3 CCIE Security network on your machine you must have :

1. Use a high-end system with good processor and plenty of RAM, preferably 8GB or more also close programs and Windows services that you don’t use before running GNS3, this way, you can save (precious) CPU and RAM usage

2. Use latest IOS versions (at least to support new commands and features) and configure your routers to use the correct RAM requirements by checking their documentation from Cisco website. My router’s IOS requires at least 128MB and when I don’t change the default of 64MB, it still runs but it always crashes after some time

3. When running / starting your topology, I recommend running the devices one at a time. But on the first router of each model (if you use different models in a topology), after running it, configure and select idle/pc that uses low CPU. I always open Task Manager when using GNS3 so I can monitor the CPU and RAM usage.

4. ASA must have asa842 (5520) GNS3 image on it

5. IDS must have IDS\IPS Qemu\IPS Qemu GNS3 image on it

6. VMware with Windows XP or Professional (TEST PC)

7. AAA windows licence which you run on another VM machine (AAA_SERVER)



I’ve been dealing with this issue all day today. In my case, the issue was that if I have TWO of the NM-16ESW cards installed into a 37xx router, back-to-back L3 links with IP addresses work fine but I cannot ping SVIs on the switch.

For example:

Router6 (f0/0) -> SW2 (f1/6)

If Router6’s interface has an IP address assigned and SW2’s interface has an IP address assigned, everything works great with two cards installed.
However, if Router6 has an IP address assigned (or subinterfaces) and SW2 is an access port on VLAN 1, the SVI for VLAN 1 on SW2 cannot be pinged. CDP still shows the connection up, but pings do not get through.
Note that this issue will occur even if all your connections are on the first slot’s NM-16ESW module — the second one just needs to be present in order to break things. Removing the second NM-16ESW module from my SW2 router fixed all my issues , looks like a GNS3 internal bug.



As you can see a TEST_PC is not included in every topology however from my experience it is definitely good practise to have one and you wll most definitely need one when configuring IPS appliance(see below). Simply attach one of your Microsoft loopbacks adapter to the TEST_PC cloud , assign relevant to the series that you’re watching ip address to it and allow it on the trunk

You should be able to ping and connect to the IPS from your physical machine on port 443 from your browser , see below output from my PC:

ids pingids image


Caution ! This set up will crash your PC therefore please remember that it is crucial to make sure that you have a super fast processor and enough ram but once you’ve got it all it works perfectly !

This post will be publicly open until all configs files have been uploaded and after that it will be available to the subscribed members only so please go ahead and subscribe !


Enjoy !