Learn how to run Cisco Modeling Labs within the Cloud


Did you ever need to run Cisco Modeling Labs however didn’t have the {hardware} or software program to take action? Or have you ever wished to run a topology in your native deployment—however couldn’t since you didn’t have sufficient reminiscence obtainable domestically? What about integrating CML right into a CI/CD pipeline, which incorporates the creation and destruction of your complete pipeline, together with CML?

You may suppose one reply to those issues could be to make use of CML within the cloud. And also you’d be proper. Nonetheless, up till just lately, the one supported platforms to run CML had been both on naked steel servers or on VMware vSphere.

We’ve heard requests to have CML Software program-as-a-Service (SaaS), and we’re working exhausting to make this a actuality sooner or later. Our first step on this path is to supply tooling and automation so you possibly can deploy your CML occasion into Amazon Internet Companies (AWS)! This tooling is accessible as of in the present day on GitHub.

Setting expectations

With this primary step of automation and tooling comes a couple of limitations, together with:

  • Tooling is at the moment solely supported on AWS. We’re engaged on making this additionally obtainable on Azure in a subsequent launch.
  • It solely helps an all-in-one deployment. Subsequent releases might embody deployment of a number of situations to type a CML cluster.
  • This strategy wants a bare-metal taste to help all node sorts. Steel flavors are dearer than virtualized situations; nonetheless, AWS doesn’t help virtualization extensions on their non-bare-metal flavors. That is totally different from Azure.
  • It’s essential convey your individual AWS occasion AND your individual CML license. No pay-as-you-go consumption mannequin is accessible as of in the present day.
  • CML software program and reference platform recordsdata from the “refplat ISO” have to be made obtainable in a bucket.
  • Automation should run domestically in your laptop, notably a Linux machine with Terraform.

As a result of nature of CML’s perform, the flexibility to run it within the cloud won’t ever be low cost (as in free-tier). CML requires quite a lot of assets, reminiscence, disk, and CPU, which comes at a price, no matter whether or not you run it domestically in your laptop computer, in your knowledge middle, or within the cloud. The concept behind the cloud is to simplify operation and supply elasticity however not essentially to save cash.

Assembly software program necessities

The software program necessities you’ll have to efficiently use the tooling embody:

  • a Linux machine (also needs to work on a Mac with the identical packages put in by way of Homebrew)
  • a Bash shell (in case you utilize the add software, which is a Bash script)
  • a Terraform set up
  • the AWS CLI package deal (awscli with the aws command)
  • the CML software program package deal (.pkg) and the CML reference platform ISO from CCO/cisco.com

An current CML controller satisfies the primary two necessities, and you need to use that to put in Terraform and the AWS CLI. It additionally has the reference platform recordsdata obtainable to repeat to an AWS S3 bucket. You additionally should obtain the CML distribution package deal from the Cisco help web site and duplicate it to the AWS S3 bucket.

Choose the distribution package deal circled within the following screenshot (the model could be totally different, however it ends in .pkg.zip), and also you’ll have to unzip it for the add software to acknowledge it

For extra element, check with the “Add script” part of the README.md that’s included within the cml-cloud repository.

Getting up and working

When you’ve put in the necessities and copied the recordsdata, you’ll discover the precise process straight ahead and meticulously documented within the README.md.

Listed below are the elemental steps:

    1. Configure the required S3 bucket, person, insurance policies, secrets and techniques, and guidelines by way of AWS console (as soon as).
    2. Add the binary recordsdata (photos and software program) into the created bucket (as soon as or every time new software program is accessible).
    3. Configure the tooling by enhancing the config.json file (as soon as).
    4. Run terraform plan adopted by terraform apply to convey up an occasion
    5. Wait 5-10 minutes for the system to turn out to be prepared; the deal with of the controller is offered in consequence (“output” from Terraform)
    6. Use CML within the cloud and revenue!

When you’re accomplished, tear down the cloud infrastructure by executing terraform destroy.

Observe: Whereas no price is incurred if you end up not working CML situations, you’ll nonetheless have to pay for storing the recordsdata contained in the created S3 bucket.

Taking the following steps

Whereas CML AWS automation tooling is a primary step towards CML SaaS, the tooling in its present type may not suit your wants precisely due to price for bare-metal situations or the present dependency on AWS. Or you may want a pay-as-you-go service or one thing else. Tell us!

Simply keep in mind subsequent steps are forward! Keep tuned, and inform us what you suppose within the meantime. We’re extraordinarily occupied with how helpful (or not) this primary iteration of cloud tooling is to you and your group and, going ahead, what your particular necessities are. Please attain out to us on the GitHub situation tracker mission.



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