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03 Apr 2021

How to install Huawei eNSP Network Simulator

Huawei Enterprise Network Simulator platform (eNSP) was developed by Huawei Technology Ltd for the employees, partners and customers to verify their planned network solutions without the need to use expensive physical hardware devices.

Prior to the installation of the software, there are some pre-requisites required to be fulfilled to ensure smooth setup and use of the platform on your Windows 10-based machines. We need the following software bundle as listed below:
eNSP V100R0003C00SPC100 Setup.zip
VirtualBox-5.2.44-139111-Win.exe
WinPcap_4_1_3.exe
Wireshark-win64-3.2.5.exe

Each of the software components has its own functions to play. Oracle VirtualBox provides the virtualization platform for the network devices to be simulated as the real equipment in the network scenario. Wireshark and WinPcap provide packets and frames capturing for troubleshooting analysis while the key software Huawei eNSP is the working environment for the network solution deployment with the pre-bundled network devices as routers, switches, firewalls, WLAN access controllers & access points together with some host machines (eg. desktops, servers and clients) for the live simulated network deployment as per in the cases of proof of concepts, classroom-based training and personal network testing solutions without the costly real hardware. What’s next?

Where shall we get the software bundle to start the pre-deployment testing journey?

How do we install all the required software components to ensure successful setup?

How do we start the pre-deployment testing environment to do proof of concepts (POC), classroom-based personalized network configuration training and learning?

Part 1: Where shall we get the software bundle to kick start?

Step 1.1: Search the software bundle for the exact location using standard web browsers as chrome and Microsoft Edge and download them as suggested.

Select the highlighted link for the download source.
Only select those highlighted files to download for your installation.

Step 1.2: Select and download each highlighted file as shown below.

Only those highlighted files are required for the installation

Note: Only Oracle VirtualBox version 5.2.44 (latest) is recommended to be installed. If your machine has other versions of VirtualBox, kindly uninstall it before this new version installation for the eNSP to work. If your machine has NPcap software, uninstall it before installing WinPcap.

All the required files are downloaded successfully.

Part 2: How do we install all the required installable software files to get started?

The sequence of the installation steps for each software component is very important. Some of the software components are dependent while some of them are independent. The independent software programs are required to be installed first prior to the dependent ones. Huawei eNSP is dependent on VirtualBox, WinPcap and Wireshark for the successful setup. Hence, it is the last software to be installed in the installation steps.

Step 2.1: Install WinPcap software on Windows 10 machine.

Go to the folder in which the software was downloaded. Run the installation as administrator account to get full right for the installation to be successful.

Select the highlighted WinPcap setup file to start the installation.

Step 2.2: Run the setup of WinPcap to begin the installation

Run Setup to begin the installation.
Uncheck the checkbox to disable auto-restart of the machine after installation.
WinPcap setup completed

The first software component is completed. We can now proceed to another independent software as Wireshark application.

Step 2.3: Install the Wireshark application software.

Go to the download folder to begin the Wireshark software installation as shown below.

Run the Wireshark setup to begin the installation.

Take the default settings as shown and proceed.

No change to the settings and proceed with Next.
Proceed with Next if Wireshark desktop icon is not required to appear on desktop screen.
You can take the default installation folder and proceed.
Uncheck the checkbox to stop the installation of Npcap to prevent conflict with WinPcap application.
Proceed with default settings
Wireshark installation is completed. Click Finish to complete it.

Now, you have completed the Wireshark installation. The next software to be installed will be Oracle VirtualBox 5.2.44.

Step 2.4: Install Oracle VirtualBox 5.2.44 on Windows 10

To succeed with the eNSP installation, the version of VirtualBox application is very particularly important to be compatible on Windows 10 platform. We must use the latest version 5.2.44. VirtualBox version 6.x is NOT supported and totally avoided to be installed.

Go to the download folder to locate the software and start the installation as shown below.

Run VirtualBox 5.2.44 installation setup to begin

Step 2.5: Leave the settings as default and proceed with the installation.

Proceed with the default settings for installation
Proceed with default settings
Proceed with default settings to complete the installation

Step 2.6: Preparing for Huawei eNSP installation on Windows 10

Lastly, Huawei eNSP is the last software component to be installed as it depends on the other three application software to work, namely Wireshark, WinPcap and VirtualBox. Before the installation begins, proceed to disable Windows 10 Security Firewall or any third party firewalls.

Disable Windows Defender Firewall prior to the eNSP installation. Open the Windows Defender Firewall to disable the

You can temporarily disable the Windows Defender Firewall before the installation begins.
Turn off Windows firewall functions on both public and private networks.

After the deactivation of Windows Defender Firewall, you can see the settings turned off.

Windows Firewall status is now disabled.

Step 2.7: Extract the compressed eNSP setup file before executing the installation from the download folder.

Downloaded eNSP setup file is compressed and not ready for direct installation.

Extract the zipped eNSP setup file into a specific folder as shown below.

Take note for the folder in which the uncompressed eNSP setup file is stored after extraction

Step 2.8: Installing eNSP network simulator on Windows 10

From the extracted folder, run the eNSP setup file as shown to begin the installation journey.

Double click on eNSP_Setup.exe to begin and proceed with the installation

Before proceeding with the subsequent installation steps, take note for the installation folder. Once the folder is selected, it could not be changed unless you uninstall and reinstall it. You can proceed with the default folder to setup.

Proceed with default settings and continue.

This installation step verifies the dependent modules need to be installed and available before the eNSP installation can be successfully proceeded.

eNSP can be proceeded after detecting the required software installed completely.

The final part of the eNSP installation prompts for the confirmed completion. You can choose to auto start the eNSP upon the completion. You may disable displaying the installation logs.

Final part of installation process for eNSP

Eventually the eNSP application is restarted and open for further configuration settings on the next part.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-46-1024x677.png
Huawei eNSP application start-up window

Step 2.9: Optimizing Huawei eNSP on Windows 10 PC with the virtualized Intel or AMD Architecture

Intel VT-x and AMD-V are sets of hardware extensions developed by INTEL and AMD respectively. They are primarily used to improve resource use and virtual machine performance. Virtualization done by the software can be a slow process which is why using the processor to help in this task
can greatly improve the virtualized application performance.

All modern laptop and desktop machines come with Intel VT Virtualization or AMD Hardware Virtualization Feature on the mainboards. You can activate the feature on the BIOS setup of the machines. To access the BIOS of your own machine, kindly check for your vendor and model of your machine for the boot-up access procedures. Different vendors and models have different access procedure. (Refer to your machine manual guide or web portal for the steps). Depending on your machine processor platform, you can choose Option A or B to follow up. Both options are serving the same functionality to boost up the performance of eNSP running on your hardware.

A) Intel VT-x Virtualization activation

For those are running on Intel-based processor machines, you can access the relevant BIOS setup for Intel-VT feature activation as shown below.

Activating Intel-VT Feature

B) AMD-V virtualization activation

For those are running on AMD-based processor machines, you can access the relevant BIOS setup for AMD-V feature activation as shown below.

Activating AMD-V Feature

Note: The diagrams above show the illustration sample of the process of activating Hardware virtualization function on the Intel or AMD processor-based machines. Different vendors display slightly different screenshots.

Save the changes in the BIOS Setup after the feature selection and confirmation. Subsequently, reboot the machine before opening up the eNSP application again.

Open up the eNSP application to verify the hardware virtualization enabled and is working fine.

Open up Oracle VirtualBox from your Windows 10 machine to verify its simulated hardware devices run with virtualization feature enabled.

Open up VirtualBox to verify and fine tune hardware resource utilization
Select both checkboxes on ENABLE VT-x/AMD-V and ENABLE NESTED PAGING to enable if not checked

Next, move on with your installed eNSP to register and authorize the devices to be run.

Go back to eNSP to register and authorize the simulated devices

Go to MENU, select TOOLS then choose REGISTER DEVICE.

Follow the step as shown below:

Follow the steps to register and authorize the devices

Select all the devices especially the highlighted ones and click REGISTER as shown below:

Select all the items with tick on the checkbox and click REGISTER

You can now test a sample topology with AR series routers to verify their functionality.

Part 3: How do we start the pre-deployment testing environment?

Step 3.1 You can pick a ready-made sample as shown in the diagram below:

Click on Example 1-1RIPv1&v2 to open up the topology.

Power up any of the two AR1220 routers to start the testing. The two routers have been randomly selected to power on as shown below:

Select any devices to test the functionality of the simulated images after registration.

Step 3.2 Double click the power-up router to start the console access of the router when you see the link status turns green in between router connection as shown below.

Double click both AR1 and AR4 routers to start on the configuration when they open up the console access as shown.

Eventually, your eNSP application setup is now successful and ready for deploying simulated solutions.

Final Words:
The first part of How-To series on setting up Huawei eNSP is complete. If the blog does help in clarifying your ambiguity in running the simulator as well as getting your eNSP up and running, kindly show your generosity in giving us a LIKE and SHARE to motivate us to continue with the next series and helping others too. Appreciated for your help.

Blog Author:

YAW HON SING
Huawei certification and training system instructor for Datacom, and Artificial Intelligence track training.
HCIE, HCSI, HCIP & HCIA