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 needed to run a topology in your native deployment—however couldn’t since you didn’t have sufficient reminiscence obtainable regionally? What about , 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 not too long ago, the one supported platforms to run CML have been both on naked metallic servers or on VMware vSphere.

We now have 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 may deploy your CML occasion into Amazon Net Companies (AWS)! This tooling is out there as of immediately on .

Setting expectations

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

  • Tooling is at present 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 may embody deployment of a number of cases to type a CML cluster.
  • This strategy wants a bare-metal taste to help all node varieties. Steel flavors are dearer than virtualized cases; nonetheless, AWS doesn’t help virtualization extensions on their non-bare-metal flavors. That is completely different from Azure.
  • You have to convey your personal AWS occasion AND your personal CML license. No pay-as-you-go consumption mannequin is out there as of immediately.
  • CML software program and reference platform information from the “refplat ISO” have to be made obtainable in a bucket.
  • Automation should run regionally in your pc, significantly a Linux machine with Terraform.

As a result of nature of CML’s operate, the power to run it within the cloud won’t ever be low cost (as in free-tier). CML requires plenty of sources, reminiscence, disk, and CPU, which comes at a value, no matter whether or not you run it regionally in your laptop computer, in your information middle, or within the cloud. The concept behind the cloud is to simplify operation and supply elasticity however not essentially to economize.

Assembly software program necessities

The software program necessities you’ll must 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 employ the add software, which is a Bash script)
  • a Terraform set up
  • the AWS CLI bundle (awscli with the aws command)
  • the CML software program bundle (.pkg) and the CML reference platform ISO from CCO/cisco.com

An present CML controller satisfies the primary two necessities, and you should utilize that to put in Terraform and the AWS CLI. It additionally has the reference platform information obtainable to repeat to an AWS S3 bucket. You additionally should obtain the CML distribution bundle from the and duplicate it to the AWS S3 bucket.

Choose the distribution bundle circled within the following screenshot (the model could be completely different, nevertheless it ends in .pkg.zip), and also you’ll must unzip it for the add software to acknowledge it

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

Getting up and working

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

Listed here 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 information (pictures and software program) into the created bucket (as soon as or each time new software program is out there).
    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 into prepared; the tackle of the controller is supplied because of this (“output” from Terraform)
    6. Use CML within the cloud and revenue!

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

Notice: Whereas no value is incurred when you’re not working CML cases, you’ll nonetheless must pay for storing the information 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 value for bare-metal cases 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 fascinated 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 venture.

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