Cisco Packet Tracer 8.x new features

Packet Tracer 8.2 vs GNS3 2.2

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 and GNS3 v2.2.37 have been released ! GNS3 v2.2.37 features Trusted Platform Module (TPM) support for Qemu VMs and Fix link communication issues on Windows with uBridge. Check download page !

GNS3 3.0 is under active development and should include at least the following major changes :

  • Faster GNS3 server/controller based on FastAPI (API v3).
  • Swagger UI / Redoc API documentation.
  • Streamlined web interface
  • User management and experimental RBAC API
  • Zstd compression for importing/exporting projects

Introduction

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 and GNS3 v2.2 are two major network simulation software used for certification exam training (Cisco CCNA and CCNP for example) or network feature test without having to buy expensive real world equipment. The two software have been designed to address different needs.

Packet Tracer is a network simulator and embeds only limited real equipment features. GNS3 is a network emulator based on Dynamips and QEMU running real IOS images, virtual machines, ... The main limitation of GNS3 is the amount of ressources (CPU / memory) available on the PC for running the lab's emulated IOS images and virtual machines for clients & servers simulation.

GNS3 v2.2 official release is now available for download on GNS3 website. This new version released on September 30, 2019 with hyperV virtual machine and link status detection on QEUM. GNS3 also introduced support of new L4 / L7 devices :

  • Cisco security devices  : this powerful network emulator now supports new Cisco security appliance to help network and security administrators to prepare security certification exams : Cisco Firepower Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) threat appliances, Cisco Firepower Threat Defense Virtual NGFW appliances and Firepower Management Center Virtual.
  • Citrix ADC VPX load-balancer now available on GNS3 marketplace

Current GNS3 build is 2.2.35 as of Novembre 08, 2022.

 

 

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System requirements

Minimum configuration for Packet Tracer 8.2

The following configuration is the minimum system requirements recommended by Cisco to successfully install and run Packet Tracer 8.2 (64 bits):

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1, 10, 11 (64bit), Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (64bit) or macOS 10.14 or newer.
  • amd64(x86-64) CPU
  • 4GB of free RAM
  • 1.4 GB of free disk space

There is no way to hard limit the Cisco Packet Tracer amount of memory that is used to create and configure devices. Large networks with complex protocols running may require more than 2 GB of memory to run effectively

What's new in Packet Tracer 7.2.2 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 build 0162 has been released for download !  Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 new features.

Packet Tracer 7.2.2 was released on september 2019 and was the second maintenance release of Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.

Cisco could continue adding external interfaces to Packet Tracer to make it able to communicate with real network equipments. After having released real HTTP server and real web socket features in Packet Tracer 7.2, future Packet Tracer  release could bring innovative network interaction between Packet Tracer and Cisco CSR 1000v.

 Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.2 build 418 splash screen 

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.2 new features

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.2 removes the Java dependence and makes it easier to use Packet Tracer Skills Assessment (PTSA) and Packet Tracer Media Objects (PTMO)  :

  • After installing Packet Tracer 7.2.2, PTSA and PTMO can be used without installing the Java runtime environment.
  • Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.2 can be used with current courses that have PTSA/PTMO.

The Packet Tracer Skillls Assessment measure student performance and knowledge of networking concepts using Packet Tracer 7.2.2 simulation capabilities. The online Packet Tracer Skills Assessment environment presents complex network configuration tasks, scores the exams, and provides detailed feedback that supports learning and evaluation of student performance.

Packet Tracer Media Objects are Packet Tracer activities that can act as an interactive media object for multiple choices, drag and drop, and fill in the blank questions. Stidents can performconfiguration review or config tasks in the PTMO activity before answering the exam question.

Older version of Packet Tracer can still be used using the traditional ways to take PTSA and PTMO (with Java plugin installed).

  

Cisco OneIdentity Netacad login

Cisco unified login experience on it's websites using Cisco OneIdentity identity provider.

If you alreadyhad a Cisco account with a different password than your Netacad account, Netacad login is now performed using the Cisco account credentials.

Login instructions :

  • If you have an existing Cisco.com account, use that email and password to login
  • If not, use your NetAcad email (instead of screen-name) and password to login.

Login Issues:

  1. Clear your cache and history, close and relaunch your browser
  2. Use your email instead of screen-name to login
  3. If you are unable to verify your email, contact your instructor or NetAcad support to change your email

Netacad login is still required once per windows session.

 

New PTTP protocol between Cisco Packet Tracer and Cisco CSR routers (unconfirmed)

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.2 could be the first Packet Tracer version able to communicate with Cisco CSR routers, which are basically virtual editions of Cisco ASR router; embedding IOS-XE.

Cisco registered a new PTTP uri-schema with IANA on June 2019. The PTTP protocol is described on IANA website as a new protocol "to transmit an action, parameters, and arguments between Cisco
Packet Tracer and the Cisco CSR platform". The prorocol is reported to be compatible "with Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.2 (or newer) in conjunction with the Cisco CSR platform".

 

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What's new in Packet Tracer 7.3 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 build 0162 has been released for download !  Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 new features.

What's new in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 ?

Packet Tracer 7.3 main new feature is the support of the CCNA 7 package which is not compatible with previous Packet Tracer versions. For CCNA 6 (and older versions), Cisco recommends instructors and students to stay with Packet Tracer 7.2.2. Students learning both CCNA 6 and 7 should use Packet Tracer 7.3.0. 

Packet Tracer 7.3 workspace improvements :

  • New workspace themes
  • Aligned workspace objects
  • Ability to deploy network devices to a specific rack
  • Accessibility update
  • Ability to name a physical rack

Protocol and software improvements :

  • IP OSPF Point-to-Point on Ethernet interface
  • IPv6 OSPF Point-to-Point on Ethernet interface
  • Dynamic ARP inspection
  • WLC GUI fixes and enhancements
  • DHCP snooping fixes and enhancements
  • Section output modifier for show commands
  • Accessibility, security, and usability enhancements and optimizations for all platforms
  • Upgraded PTSA and PTMO support
  • Various enhancements to existing protocols

New devices in Packet Tracer 7.3 :

  • Cisco 4331 Integrated Services Router
  • Cisco Wireless Lan Controller 3504

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.0 splash screen

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 added support for Ubuntu 18.04.3 (Bionic Weaver). Previous Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) version which is no longer supported.

 

New devices in Packet Tracer 7.3

Cisco 4331 Integrated Services Router

The Cisco ISR 4000 Series contains seven hardware platforms: the 4461 4451, 4431, 4351, 4331, 4321 and 4221 ISRs providing throughput capabilities upto 10Gbps. It supports a wide range of WAN connectivity options such as T1, T3/, serial, 10Gigabit Ethernet, and 4G LTE capabilities. It's network programmability capabilities through NETCONF / YANG model allow operationnal cost savings and makes configuration of a large branch offices number easier. NETCONF / YANG is a topic of the new CCNP Enterprise ENCOR exam.

Cisco ISR 4321 router in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3

Cisco ISR 4331 and ISR 4321 are emulated in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3. They feature Cisco IOS image resilience through secure boot-image and secure boot-config commands. The secure boot-image command copies the IOS image in a write-protected flash device not accessible in EXEC mode (It can be viewed in ROMMON mode.) When turned on for the first time, the running image is secured. 

R1(config)# secure boot-image 
.Feb 11 25:40:13.170: %IOS_RESILIENCE-5-IMAGE_RESIL_ACTIVE: Successfully secured running image

R1(config)# secure boot-config 
.Feb 11 25:42:18.691: %IOS_RESILIENCE-5-CONFIG_RESIL_ACTIVE: Successfully secured config archive [flash:.runcfg-20150211-224218.ar]

 

Cisco Wireless Lan Controller 3504

Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is a compact and service-rich wireless LAN controller platform platform that enables next-generation wireless networks for branch office deployments and small to medium businesses; Optimized to enable 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless networks.

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 new device : 3504 Wireless Lan Controller

The 3504 WLC supports :

  • 4-Gbps throughput
  • 150 access points
  • 3000 clients
  • 1x Multigigabit Ethernet interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet), + 4x 1 Gigabit Etherne
  • 4096 VLANs

 

New features in Packet Tracer 7.3

Dynamic ARP Inspection

Based on DHCP snooping, dynamic ARP inspection (DAI) is a security feature rejecting ARP packets in which advertised MAC address does not match any DHCP snooping entry for the switch port on which the ARP packet has been received. This behaviorpreventsman-in-the-middle attacks, where an unfriendly station intercepts traffic for other stations by poisoning the ARP caches of its unsuspecting neighbors.

Packet Tracer 7.3 dynamic arp inspection lab topology

DAI relies on DHCP snooping switch database. DHCP snooping listens to DHCP message between DHCP clients and DHCP servers. It builds a bindings database of valid tuples (MAC address, IP address, VLAN interface).

A sample Dynamic ARP Inspection lab is provided with Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3

 

Install Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3

Packet Tracer 7.3 setup on Ubuntu linux distribution

Download Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 .deb package for Ubuntu 18.04.03 LTS from Netacad website.

As Packet Tracer is now distributed as a Debian .deb package, it can be installed using the dpkg command as any standard Ubuntu package.

sudo dpkg -i PacketTracer_730_amd64.deb

What's new in Packet Tracer 7.3.1 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 build 0162 has been released for download !  Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.2 new features.

What's new in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 splash screen

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 main new feature was the support of the CCNA 7 package which was not compatible with previous Cisco Packet Tracer versions. Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 adds the long awaited "Keep me logged in" feature which removes the need to login to Cisco Netacad at each application launch.

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 supports activities authored in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.0, 7.1, 7.0, 6.3, 6.2, 6.1.1, 6.0.1 and 5.X. There is a small possibility you may encounter some warning messages. If so, you may disregard the message. It is simply a warning that scripts in this file need to be updated for Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 compatibility.

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 splash screen

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 workspace improvements : 

  • “Keep Me Logged In” option that remembers Cisco Netacad authentication for 3 months
  • Changed install path on Mac to use Major.Minor version numbering change to allow for multiple versions of Packet Tracer to be installed at the same time
  • Updated high DPI support 

Protocol and software improvements :

  • Reworked IPv6 behavior
  • Various bug fixes

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 added support for Ubuntu 18.04.3 (Bionic Weaver). Previous Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) version which is no longer supported in Packet Tracer 7.3.1

 

Keep me logged in feature

The netacad login page of Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 has been improved. When Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 is started for the first time, the following screen is displayed. A new "Keep me logged in option" is displayed at the bottom left corner of the page. This new feature improves user experience and application launch time. Netacad login has to be renewed after 3 month.

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