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Old 31st July 2013
Majorix Majorix is offline
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Default Systems/Network Administration Simulator or Game

Yesterday, while studying networks management, I had this idea. I googled some but couldn't find anything relevant.

Does anybody know a game like this (on browser or downloadable), where you administrate a network of computers (or a single one for that matter) that run BSD, Linux, a UNIX-like system, Windows, or even some fictional OS. I would like to tackle all kinds of problems that network admins face everyday; like writing small scripts, changing configurations, installing/upgrading software, or even physical changes (cables, routers, ...), you name.

This would be both fun and educative for me since I am a software engineering student.

Last edited by Majorix; 31st July 2013 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 31st July 2013
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rocket357 rocket357 is offline
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Cisco's Packet Tracer is the closest thing I can think of to that, but it is 1) not anywhere near free, and 2) focuses very heavily on just network-side (it is Cisco, afterall) with very little capability for the OS side (unless you're talking Cisco's iOS, of course). It also, to my knowledge, lacks the ability to bridge into a physical network to allow some pseudo-virtualized "real" network capabilities (a feature I think would make it incredibly useful).

Edit - it's not free, either, but an account on a cloud provider could provide a similar "game" feel, even with realistic internet-based attacks!
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Old 31st July 2013
Majorix Majorix is offline
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Sorry maybe I wasn't clear. I wanted something like a game that would meet the requirements in my first post (like a random task you have to complete using your network administrator skils).
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Old 31st July 2013
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majorix View Post
Sorry maybe I wasn't clear. I wanted something like a game...
I have no knowledge of such a beast existing.

Continuing with rocket357's comments, you may also want to explore Dynamips which also allows network simulation (using Cisco equipment).
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Old 31st July 2013
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LeFrettchen LeFrettchen is offline
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Or NGS : Network Game Simulator, but still not a game.
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Old 31st July 2013
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When I want to test an IT infrastructure technology -- for education, for proof-of-concept, or for problem recreation -- I conduct my tests in a laboratory environment. In many cases, that lab can be a virtual machine, or for network technologies, a suite of interconnected virtual machines.

While its not a "game", I can "play" with quite complicated environments, and not interfere with any production platform. My usual platform for these tests is emulators/qemu on an OpenBSD workstation. You could do the same. The cost (other than time) is $0 if your virtual environment does not require commercial products.
The most complicated virtual lab I've created under qemu was a proof-of-concept for a high availability web application infrastructure. There were web servers, application servers, database servers, and servers for network load balancing. The server farms were at multiple geographic locations, and used IPSec VPNs for site-to-site communication. This entire complex ran on a single i386 workstation with 2 cores and 2 GB of RAM.
Not everything can be tested in a virtual environment. Some things must be tested on physical platforms. As you are a student, it is possible your school may have labs you may be able to use, either aligned with a specific class you are taking, or for use in ongoing research. For the latter, perhaps you can apply for a post with one of your professors as a research assistant.

Last edited by jggimi; 31st July 2013 at 07:53 PM. Reason: clarity
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Maybe Network Simulator, but I didn't try it.

You can also have a look on this page: Looking for a network administrator simulator
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Something like this could work, if you already had Packet Tracer/GNS3 and you wanted to focus on network administration...
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