8.8.2 Packet Tracer – Compare CLI and SDN Controller Network Management (Answers)

8.8.2 Packet Tracer – Compare CLI and SDN Controller Network Management (Answers)

Addressing Table

Note: All subnet masks are /24 (

Device Interface IP Address
R1 G0/0/0
R2 G0/0/0
R3 G0/0/0
Admin NIC
Example Server NIC
PT-Controller* NIC


  • Part 1: Explore the Network Topology
  • Part 2: Use the CLI to Gather Information
  • Part 3: Configure an SDN Controller
  • Part 4: Use an SDN Controller to Discover a Topology
  • Part 5: Use an SDN Controller to Gather Information
  • Part 6: Use an SDN Controller to Configure Network Settings

Background / Scenario

In this Packet Tracer activity, you will compare the differences between managing a network from the command line interface (CLI) and using a software-defined networking (SDN) controller to manage the network.


Part 1: Explore the Network Topology

In this Part, you will become familiar with the topology you will use for network programmability activities.

Step 1: Review the network configuration documentation

The network is configured as follows:

  • Routers are running OSPFv2.
  • SSH is enabled on all devices with user cisco and password cisco123!
  • R1 has no hosts.
  • R2 LAN IPv4 is statically configured.
  • R3 is the DHCPv4 server for LAN1 and LAN2.
  • Switches are Layer 2 (no VLANs).
  • All SWR# switches belong to LAN1.
Step 2: Verify that all devices can ping each other.

Either use the command line on each device or use the Add Simple PDU (P) tool to verify that all devices can ping each other.

Part 2: Use the CLI to Gather Information

In this part, you manually access each device to gather information about the software version.

Step 1: From the Admin PC, securely access the SWR3 switch.

a. Click Admin > Desktop > Command Prompt.

b. Enter the command ssh -l cisco The -l option is the letter “L”, not the number one.

c. When prompted, enter cisco123! as the password. You are now logged in to SWR3

Step 2: Gather information about the software on SWR3.

a. Enter the following command to filter the output of the show version command to view just the RELEASE SOFTWARE installed on the device. Notice that SWR3 is running IOS 16.3.2 and Boot Loader 4.2.6.

SWR3# show version | include RELEASE
Cisco IOS Software [Denali], Catalyst L3 Switch Software (CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9-M), Version 16.3.2, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc4)

b. Copy the information to your clipboard

c. Open a text file editor and paste the information into a text file.

d. Save the file as software-versions.txt.

Step 3: Gather the software information for the rest of the network devices.

a. From the Command Prompt on SWR3, securely access another network device and repeat Step 2 above.

b. Continue documenting the software versions until you have completed all nine network devices: SWL1, SWL2, SWR1, SWR2, SWR3, SWR4, R1, R2, and R3.

c. Exit out of all of your SSH sessions.

Part 3: Configure the PT-Controller

For many years, network administrators have used early automation tools such as bash scripts or SNMP-enabled software to complete a process similar to what you did in the previous step. However, with the introduction of SDN, this process has been greatly enhanced. Packet Tracer provides a simple PT-Controller to simulate an SDN controller. In this Part, you will connect and configure the PT-Controller.

Note: To learn more about Packet Tracer’s implementation of the Network Controller, click the Help menu, then Contents. In the Index on the left, about midway down, you will find the heading Configuring Devices. Underneath this heading, find Network Controllers. Here you will find a wealth of information, much of which you will explore in the activities in this course.

Step 1: Add a Network Controller to the topology.

a. At the bottom left corner of the Packet Tracer interface, click End Devices > Network Controller.

b. Add the Network Controller in the blank spot left of the SWL1 switch. The name should already by PT-Controller0. If not, click the name and change it.

c. At the bottom again, click the lightening bolt for Connections. Click the solid black Copper Straight-Through cable.

d. Click PT-Controller0 and choose GigabitEthernet0. Then click SWL1 and choose the first available Gigabit Ethernet interface.

Step 2: Configure connectivity for the PT-Controller0.

a. Click PT-Controller0 > Config.

b. For Gateway/DNS IPv4, enter as the Gateway address.

c. On the left under INTERFACE, click GigabitEthernet0.

d. For IP Configuration, enter the IP Address and Subnet Mask

e. On the left, under REAL WORLD, click Controller. If the Server Status is Stopped, move on to the next substep. If the Server Status is Disabled in Preferences, then you will need to enable external access by following these instructions:

1) Select Options > Preferences from the Packet Tracer menus.
2) Click Miscellaneous.
3) Under External Network Access, click Enable External Access for Network Controller REST API.
4) Close Preferences and click PT-Controller0 > Config, if necessary.
5) On the left under REAL WORLD, click Controller.

f. The Server Status should now be Stopped. Click Access Enabled to enable it. Server Status changes to Listening on port 58000. If the port is some other value, change it to 58000. This is the port number in the Python scripts.

Step 3: From Admin, verify connectivity to the PT-Controller0.

Verify that Admin can ping PT-Controller0. If you are not able to ping, make sure your configuration matches the specifications in the previous step.

Step 4: Register a new user and log into the PT-Controller0.

a. Click Admin > Desktop > Web Browser.

b. Enter the IPv4 address to access the User Setup for PT-Controller0.

c. Enter cisco in the Username field and cisco123! in the Password and Confirm Password fields, and then click SETUP.

Note: You can use whatever username and password you want here. For simplicity, we recommend using common credentials used in the rest of the activity.

d. On User Login screen, enter your credentials and click LOG IN.

e. You are now logged in to the dashboard for PT-Controller0. At this point, it may be helpful to expand the window so you can see the entire interface.

Part 4: Use an SDN Controller to Discover a Topology

In this Part, you will configure PT-Controller0 to use Cisco Discover Protocol (CDP) to automatically discover the nine network devices in your topology. The PT-Controller0 will also discover all five host devices attached to the network.

Step 1: Add credentials to access all the network devices in the topology.

a. From the Network Controller GUI, click the menu button to the left of the Cisco logo.

b. Select Provisioning. From here, you can manually add networking devices. However, you will use CDP to automatically discover devices for you.

c. Click CREDENTIALS and then click + CREDENTIAL to add a New Credential.

d. For Username, enter cisco, and for Password, enter cisco123!. Leave Enable Password blank. For Description, enter admin credentials, and then click OKAY.

e. The new CLI Credentials are now stored on PT-Controller0 for use in automation tasks.

Step 2: Use CDP to discover all the devices on the network.

a. Click DISCOVERY and the click + DISCOVERY to add a New Discovery.

b. For Name, enter SWL1. For IP Address, enter For CLI Credential List, drop down the list and choose cisco – admin credentials.

c. Click ADD.

d. You should now see the Status as In Progress. You can wait for Packet Tracer to finish simulating this process. Or you can Fast Forward Time button on the main Topology window to speed up the process.

Part 5: Use an SDN Controller to Gather Information

In this Part, you will use the PT-Controller0 GUI to view information about the network devices and host devices in the topology. You will view the topology created by the controller and then conduct a path trace across the network.

Step 1: View the list of network devices discovered.

a. Click NETWORK DEVICE. You should now see all nine network devices listed.

b. Click the Gear icon next to any device’s hostname to see the information collected by the discover process. Notice that the Software Version is listed as well as a variety of other detailed information about the device.

Step 2: View a list of all the host devices discovered.

a. Return to the Dashboard. Click the menu next to the Cisco logo, then click Dashboard. (You can also simply click the Network Controller banner to return to the Dashboard from anywhere.)

b. On the Dashboard, you will see charts with the number of hosts that can be reached via ping and the number of network devices that are managed. Both should be 100%.

c. You should also see tiles for QoS, Network Device, and Host. Click the Gear icon for Host. This will take you to the HOSTS tab for ASSURANCE.

d. On this page, you can view all the Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity information for each host as well as the network device to which each is attached.

e. Click the Gear icon next to any host to view more detailed information.

Step 3: View the topology created by PT-Controller0.

a. Click the TOPOLOGY tab. Notice that the PT-Controller dynamically created the same topology you see in Packet Tracer’s main window.

b. From this view, you can click any network device to see its details.

c. You can also click and drag the device icons to rearrange the topology. However, your changes will not be saved when you leave the TOPOLOGY workspace.

Step 4: Trace the path from one device to another device.

a. Click the PATH TRACE tab.

b. Click + PATH to add a New Path.

c. Trace the path from one end of the network to the other. For example, you could enter the IP addresses for PC1 to PC4. Then click OKAY.

d. Click the new path that was added to initiate the path trace.

You will get a Route report that shows all the hops from source to destination. Notice that only Layer 3 device information is listed. The switches are shown as an UNKNOWN device. This is because they are all operating at Layer 2 only.

Part 6: Use an SDN Controller to Configure Network Settings

A major benefit of network automation using a controller is the ability to configure global network settings and policies for all devices and then push that configuration with the click of a button. In this Part, you will configure PT-Controller0 with network settings for DNS, NTP, and Syslog. You will then push this configuration to supported network devices. Finally, you will verify and test the policy.

Step 1: Investigate the configuration of the Example server.

a. Click Example Server > Services.
b. Under SERVICES, click DNS. Notice that the DNS service is enabled and that there is one record for www.example.com.

c. Under SERVICES, click SYSLOG. Notice that the Syslog service is enabled.

d. Under SERVICES, click NTP. Notice that the NTP service is enabled.

Step 2: Configure a global policy for DNS, SYSLOG, and NTP.

a. Click Admin. If you closed Admin, you will need to open the Web Browser app and reauthenticate with PT-Controller0.

b. Click the menu to the left of the Cisco logo.

c. Click Policy.

d. On the QOS tab, notice there are options for configuring the Scope and Policy. In this activity, you will configure NETWORK SETTINGS.


f. Click DNS. Enter example.com as the Domain Name and as the IP Address.

g. Click Save.

h. Click NTP.

i. Enter as the IP Address.

j. Click Save.

k. Click SYSLOG.

l. Enter as the IP Address.

m. Click Save.

n. Click DNS, NTP, and SYSLOG again to verify the information is correct. If not, correct the information saving each time.


p. The Push All Network Settings dialog box opens. Verify your settings and click OKAY. A “Saved Successfully” message appears briefly.

Step 3: Verify and test the network settings that were pushed to devices.

At the bottom of the NETWORK SETTINGS window, there is the following:

Note: This functionality is only supported on devices running IOS-XE OS and Switch 2960-24TT
This means that, for this version of Packet Tracer, your global settings were only applied to the routers.

a. Click any of the three routers. R1 is shown in the following output.

b. Click CLI.

c. Click inside the window and press Enter to get a command prompt.

d. Enter the privileged EXEC mode and verify the DNS settings.

R1> enable
R1# show run | begin ip domain
ip domain-name example.com
ip name-server
<output omitted>

e. Enter the following commands to verify the NTP settings. The time on R1 should match your current time. Packet Tracer may take a little time to propagate NTP messages. You can click the Fast Forward Time button to speed up the process.

R1# show ntp associations

address         ref clock       st   when     poll    reach  delay          offset            disp
*~     1    12       16      377    0.00           0.00              0.12
 * sys.peer, # selected, + candidate, - outlyer, x falseticker, ~ configured
R1# show clock
15:30:54.268 UTC Thu Jun 11 2020

f. Enter the following command to verify logging is configured.

R1# show run | include logging

g. To test logging, shut down the Serial0/1/0 interface and then reactivate it.

R1# configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
R1(config)# interface s0/1/0
R1(config-if)# shutdown
%LINK-5-CHANGED: Interface Serial0/1/0, changed state to administratively down
%LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface Serial0/1/0, changed state to down
15:36:37: %OSPF-5-ADJCHG: Process 1, Nbr on Serial0/1/0 from FULL to DOWN, Neighbor Down: Interface down or detached
R1(config-if)# no shutdown
%LINK-5-CHANGED: Interface Serial0/1/0, changed state to up
%LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface Serial0/1/0, changed state to up
15:36:53: %OSPF-5-ADJCHG: Process 1, Nbr on Serial0/1/0 from LOADING to FULL, Loading Done
R1(config-if)# end

h. Click Example Server > Services > SYSLOG. You should see the same syslog messages you saw on in the CLI are also logged to the server. Double-click any of the entries to review the messages.

Download 8.8.2 Packet Tracer – Compare CLI and SDN Controller Network Management .PDF file:

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