Cisco finally released long-awaited personal network simulator VIRL. VIRL is a simulator like Cisco CML – Cisco Modelling Lab released few moths ago which is made available for business network simulations and testing in engineering normal day job. With VIRL we got a personal version of CML with drastically lower price tag aimed to help students preparing for Cisco CCNP and more than that for those preparing CCIE lab exam. VIRL will surely help the engineers managing small business network to proof their configuration change before applying it to real network.
This solution give us a more stable and “official” GNS3 which will save all the time spent troubleshooting lab issues that were really GNS3 issues.
In a world in which every day I hear virtualization at least 50 times it would be very strange that there is some part of our digital environment which is not yet virtualised. Today we can see that almost every piece of our server equipment is going to the cloud hence is being virtualised. That is not a new story, server virtualisation i basically existing for decades now. Todays story is about next step in the virtualization process. There is finally a big desire to do the same thing with networking equipment. That’s obviously the way to go as there are more and more server on one hypervisor or on one cluster in the data centers and that implies that would be too expensive to implement any kind of hardware networking devices for each virtual server instance. And that implies that we are living in a world where switches and routers are more and more becoming part of different virtualisation host kernels or hypervisors.
But now when that virtualization technology is basically a normal way of deploying almost all machines and there is nothing standing in between network devices virtualization and us why there is no way to use that technology and make for us a virtualized modeling tool for network design and troubleshooting to?
GNS3 vs VIRL
Yes, there is GNS3 for years now but to be sincere, I tried to use if for some design and troubleshooting sessions and it is so time-consuming to set everything to work right that is was at the end easier to do it on a piece of paper.