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GNS3: Year In Review with Solarwinds

Level 11

Almost one year ago GNS3 became part of the SolarWinds organization as our open-source sponsor.

Since that time, Thwack and the SolarWinds team have embraced GNS3 and our community - and we could not be more grateful. As a true leader in the network management space, we have been able to leverage the organization's expertise, resources & knowledge to ensure we are building on our community and software foundation. We have worked hard this past year to develop some key integrations with SolarWinds products to allow for a much more seamless and flexible demo environment, and will continue to build on this more in the months and years to come.

We are also excited today to launch the GNS3 software on that can be accessed here >> Free GNS3 Network Emulator l SolarWinds

Solarwinds Integrations

For those who are new to GNS3 the software allows you to visualize, plan, test and troubleshoot network environments across any vendor platform at scale - without the need to directly interact with the network hardware. With the intuitive graphical interface, users can seamlessly connect all types of virtual interfaces to compose a real representation of networks.

A couple of simple use cases:

  • Real-time network simulation for pre-deployment testing without the need for network hardware

  • Create dynamic network maps for troubleshooting and proof of concept (POC) testing

  • GNS3 is the best study tool for aspiring network professional seeking their certifications, without the need for a home lab

To get started with the software we have a full GNS3 Fundamentals course offered on GNS3 Academy. This course will teach you the basics on how to download, install and configure your first virtual network, helping you understand why you would use GNS3 and the differences between emulating and simulating network devices. We also add interactive network labs each month to make sure you have hands-on practical applications to test and build on including the new CumulusVX (Linux Networking Operating System).

What is coming in the new release of GNS3?

GNS3 was only a desktop application from the first version up to version 0.8.3. With the more recent 1.x versions, GNS3 has added the possibility to use remote servers. Now, in version 2.0, multiple clients can control GNS3 at the same time, and all the “application intelligence” has  been moved to the GNS3 server. Some key components of this upgrade include:

  • Third parties can create applications controlling GNS3
  • Multiple users can be connected to the same project and see each other modifications in real time
  • No need to duplicate your settings on different computers if they connect to the same central server

For more details on this make sure to check out our recent Podcast with the infamous ethan.banks and the team at Packet Pushers. Click here to Listen.

In closing, I want to thank everyone at SolarWinds and in theThwack Community for your support of GNS3 over the years. We have come a long way from our early days in 2008 but know, after what SolarWinds has been able to provide us this year, that the future of GNS3 is going to be very exciting with the evolution of the product and our community. Some key milestones for us this year - since joining SolarWinds:

  • 754,967 registered users in the newly launched GNS3 Community
  • Surpassed 12,000,000 downloads of our software with 13 released & upgrades in the past twelve months
  • Launched the GNS3 Academy, which is an online learning center for IT and Network Pros. With over 31,000 registered users and 60+ courses ranging from SDN, CCNA, Python for Network Engineers & Network Monitoring Fundamentals its another value add for us IT Pros who have a life-long learning plan

Mark Blackwell // Jeremy Grossmann // Julien Duponchelle


I'm still liking this!

Level 9

I had never use GNS3 but I'm going to give it a chance.