If you haven’t checked out all the features available through VIRL, take a look at this features page located on the VIRL website…you can scroll down to the bottom, and under “All Features” click the “OPEN ALL” button. As you can see VIRL is a feature rich environment. One note of interest is the expected release of an updated Nexus switch object later this year…looks like it might include a number of layer 2 features, perhaps even vPC!!
Cisco VIRL Features
I have yet to work with the Cisco Nexus line of switches…just never had the opportunity. I’ve worked a lot over the years with Cisco’s chassis class line of switches (5500’s and 6500’s), and a bunch of their stackable switches (3600’s and 3700’s). So, all of a sudden, I need to learn about Cisco’s 9000 line of Nexus switches…and fast. What to do??
Read…a lot. I spent a fair amount of time this weekend just reading up on a bunch of technical papers from Cisco. Here is a great starting point…scroll down to see a large variety of topics pertaining to the 9000 series…
Cisco Nexus 9000 Line of Switches
The next thing I did was setup a small two-tier Nexus network simulation within VIRL. This is very cool…I am able to check out configurations, learn the NX-OS syntax, and just have some fun playing with the Nexus switches. Topology was straight forward, and I have BGP and OSPF in the mix…(AutoNetkit is your friend)…
Simple Nexus switch simulation running in Cisco VIRL
Now, running a Nexus simulation within VIRL is not perfect…there are still some features that don’t work, such as vPC (Virtual Port-Channel), but it is a good start. And it is sure helping me out a lot.
Note: There is a bug in the NX-OSv VIRL node that ends up creating all of the switch interfaces with the same MAC address (0000.0000.002f). Obviously, nothing works if this is the case. The VIRL team is working on this, but there is a work-around…simply use AutoNetkit to create the switch configs, and each interface will have proper MAC addresses created. If you would rather do most of the configuration yourself, then still use AutoNetkit but choose the “Infrastructure Only” option…you will end up with a minimal starting configuration, but with working MAC addresses. AND…remember to click the “Build Initial Configurations” button before you start the simulation!!
Came across this incredible quote…
“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.” (Charles W. Colson)
A powerful statement if there ever was one!! If you are not familiar with Charles Colson, he was one of several powerful men in President Nixon’s administration, and he was the only one to serve prison time for the Watergate scandal. During this time, he became a Christian and spent the rest of his life ministering to prison populations and their families. His work has touched hundreds of thousand lives.
And then there is little ole’ me. It is difficult to look at my life thus far, and try to measure it against Charles Colson. Come on Brad, get it in gear…
The US-CERT and Homeland Security just released an alert concerning recent ransomware events targeting the medical industry, along with businesses in general…
US-CERT Alert – Ransomware and Recent Variants
This is important information which ALL network engineers should be aware of and act upon! Please…do not delay!!
PS: And no, this isn’t an April Fools joke…I sure wish it was!