Test drive your router and network design – in the cloud!

Blog Post created by mgrabel on Sep 18, 2015

With the mobile and cloud based applications gaining ground in most enterprises, enterprise networks have become the center-stage of the IT’s strategy. So much so that the ability to conduct business directly depends on whether the network is operational or not – at all times. However, to build a reliable network you have to be very familiar with all features, and you also have to test the design to ensure that it really does what you require it to do.

To fulfill this need, Cisco has the Global Online Learning Delivery (GOLD) labs for Cisco Partners. If it is required to run a custom topology that can also be hosted on a private server, Cisco offers the Virtual Internet Routing Labs (VIRL).  I am excited to tell you about another option with Ravello – the CSR 1000v option on Ravello Repo.

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There is a growing trend amongst enterprises to outsource part of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, and the need to test these hybrid designs is getting bigger each passing day. To address this need,  Cisco has added the free version of the Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000v to Ravello Repo – an online repository of fully functional ‘blueprints’, that prospects can try with a click of a button. Simply open a Ravello trial account, add the CSR 1000v VM to your library and you are up and running.

Ravello Systems is an overlay cloud provider, which enables one to create full-featured virtual networking labs on top of AWS & Google. The biggest value propositions for testing your Cisco Network on Ravello are:

  • Ability to run VMware & KVM versions of CSR 1000v with one click
  • Access to clean Layer 2 network (one has access to multicast, broadcast etc.)
  • Create a network design using either your own Cisco network appliances or ones added from Ravello Repo
  • Cloud independence – one is not tied to a cloud provider

With the CSR1000v now being available on Ravello Repo, anybody can easily test a small network in the cloud and even simulate how their physical datacenter could be extended by adding services that are hosted inside a private  cloud provider. This helps network administrators and architects to implement and operate networks more reliably than ever before!

Testing the CSR1000v on Ravello is only the tip of the iceberg. Ravello offers a generic virtual networking environment that you could run any Cisco virtual appliance and try it out! Here is a short video of how you can create your own CSR 1000v deployment using Ravello.

Happy testing and don’t forget to share your experience with me (@MirkoGrabel).