I have used Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) pretty extensively as a sandbox lab in my books and classes. I like the fact that it contains all the Cisco images as a bundle, from legacy IOSv to the newer NX-OSv, as well as IOS-XRv, IOS-XE on CSR100v, ASAv, as well as Linux hosts. I believe it is well worth the USD $199 /yr fee for what it offers, and if you are short on fund, Cisco DevNet (https://developer.cisco.com/) also offers free virtual labs based on VIRL (or now the new CML2).
The next iteration of VIRL, re-named to Cisco Modeling Lab 2.0, was officially released a few weeks ago, here is some information about the product:
I have been hearing about it from various sources for a while since Cisco Live 2019 and finally found some time this week to give it a shot. There are many reasons for the upgrade, but the main reasons for me are:
Here is a summary of the VIRL 1.0 to CML 2.0 changes:
I plan to install it on my small NUC host running VMWare ESXi 6.7 Hypervisor. I mainly followed the Quick Start Guide:
David Bombal also has a few detailed installation videos on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1N1x9kt-pY (VMWare Workstation)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW5-jHLygFg (Longer version covering BIOS Intel VT-x, Kali Linux, etc)
As far as I can see, I don't see other articles covering ESXi, even though it is listed as a supported Hypervisor platform on the product page. So here are some of my documented steps, along with a few mistakes I made that can perhaps help others.
So far so good, below are some of the extra notes:
After contacting Cisco (thank you Karlo and Stu!) and revoke the registration token in the system. I deleted the VM, re-install, and tried to register again. It keeps on showing registering so I thought it was failing again:
However, when I open another link, I was surprised to find the product was registered:
At this point, it was good to do. However, the L2 bridging was not working for me, a bit of a search turns out that I need to enable promiscuous mode for the VM Network the CML 2 was attached to:
I still have not tried the API, Python client, breakout, containers, or running third-party VMs. But so far I verified the two biggest factors for me, which was lower resource overhead and easier connectivity to external devices, so I am happy.
I hope this article is helpful for people wanting to run CML 2.0 on ESXi. Leave me a note on your experiences.