GNS3 Lab & Exercise: Inter-VLAN Routing using Catalyst Switch

Written by LBSources from on November 9th, 2011 | 22 Comments

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well and is stomping out all of certification exams 1-by-1. As for me, I’m moving slow, but with great momentum – if that even makes sense. I haven’t posted in a long long while, but since then all you need to know is I failed my SWITCH exam on my first attempt this past September :( Boooo! But it’s OK and now I know exactly what I need to work on to ace it next time!

So this lab below is fairly easy, not much involved. In fact you could consider it an advanced CCNA switching lab. Call it what you like, but similar questions, labs and scenarios came up on the SWITCH exam.

Why am I posting it? Simple – as always to share labs! This is the first lab I’ve taken the time to save and compile with tasks and solutions in a long time. So I’m starting out with what is more or less the basic labs and hopefully I can keep that going with the more advanced labs as I complete them.

The lab below is a hybrid of GNS3 and real switches in my lab. I was able to scoop up some 3560 and 2960 switches which are perfect for my studies. Haven’t really looked at any routers cause I’m not doing TSHOOT labs yet. Either way, I believe that the same way I’m linking routers from GNS3 onto my hardware switches is actually enough for the TSHOOT as well. I do this using some USB to ethernet plugs from Rocketfishand these things are awesome! They also support dot1q encapsulation! I’ve been able to do massive labs with these things. For hosts I use VPCS – It’s something I’m just very use to and comfortable with using right now.

This lab consists of a combination of real Catalyst 3560 switches and GNS3. The hosts involved in this lab are emulated using VPCS. I know GNS3 has a similar feature, but the small VPCS features work well for me right now.

Switches used: 3560


Feature of Topology: Inter-VLAN Rouing & Routing, 802.1q, ISL, VLANs, Trunking


Lab Objectives: A Jr. Network Engineer on your team was tasked with configuring Inter-VLAN routing using a 3560 switch. He wasn’t exactly sure how to configure it, made a big mess and decided to erase all of his configs and leave it up to you to do. Your Manager would like you to configure ISL encapsulation first to perform some testing before implementing Inter-VLAN routing and then enable 802.1q encapsulation between the switch trunks.

Task 1

Create VLANs 2 & 3 on SW1 & SW2.

Name VLAN 2 Sales

Name VLAN 3 Finance

Assign VLAN 2 to ports F0/1 on SW1 & SW2

Assign VLAN 3 to ports F0/2 on SW1 & SW2

Task 2

Configure ISL trunk between SW1 (fa0/11) and SW 2 (fa0/11)

Task 3

Review the configurations changes applied and ensure they are as expected:

Task 4

Check connectivity between PC1 and PC3 – they are in the same VLAN.

Task 5

Check connectivity between PC1 and PC4 – they are in different VLANs

Task 6

Configure Inter-VLAN communication between VLANs2 & 3 using SW1 as the route processing switch

Task 7

Create and Assign the .1 address to the SVI used for Inter-VLAN communication on SW1 for VLAN 2 & 3

Task 8

Change the encapsulation type between SW1 & SW2 to use 802.1q

Task 9

Check connectivity between PC1 and PC3 – they are in the same VLAN.

Task 10

Check connectivity between PC1 and PC4 – they are in different VLANs

Download Tasks and Solutions: GNS3-Labs-Inter-VLAN-Routing-SWITCH

(including VPCS config, GNS3 .net file to hardware switch configs)

Cheers and Happy Labbing!

LBS :)


I perform all of these labs on my own using my own knowledge and experience (warning and disclaimer). They may very well be implemented differently than a method you might choose. So long as it meets the requirements and works, essentially it’s acceptable (In my feeble opinion). But if you notice a terribly or complicated method used by me to achieve the goals and you feel yours is much easier, makes sense or is the standard; please do share – I’m always open to learning :)

P.S. If you would like to donate for the time it takes to do all of this, feel free to use the link below. Thank you in advance for any contribution you make :)


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22 Responses to “GNS3 Lab & Exercise: Inter-VLAN Routing using Catalyst Switch”

  1. avatar Sharing is Caring – Simple Inter-VLAN Routing Lab, But Core Knowledge.. | Echo .. Reply Packets!!!!!

    [...] can go grab the lab over at my GNS3-Labs site. It’s not formatted toward using GNS3′s NM016ESW so [...]

  2. avatar Alex

    Thanks for sharing the lab. I don’t have real switches I am wondering if there is a way to simulate switches..

  3. avatar LBSources

    @Alex, Unfortunately you’re out of luck. The limitations within GNS3 wont allow you to study for much beyond the CCNA. Even the CCNA requirements demand more of GNS3. I’d suggest you begin looking for real switches.

  4. avatar MED

    thks  a lot , you help me a lot , keep doing like this

  5. avatar Luis

    Hello, I am using rocket fish GWII008 aswell as you but the 802.1q is not working between the real switches and dynamips, I saw packets at the real switches with the do1q tag but when the router at dynamips receive packets they arrive without tag, which driver version are you using?, do you know a trick to get this to work?. Thanks

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