The right way to run Cisco Modeling Labs within the Cloud

Did you ever wish 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 out there regionally? What about integrating CML right into a CI/CD pipeline, which incorporates the creation and destruction of all the pipeline, together with CML?

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

Now we have heard requests to have CML Software program-as-a-Service (SaaS), and we’re working arduous to make this a actuality sooner or later. Our first step on this path is to offer tooling and automation so you possibly can deploy your CML occasion into Amazon Net Providers (AWS)! This tooling is on the market as of as we speak on GitHub.

Setting expectations

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

  • Tooling is presently solely supported on AWS. We’re engaged on making this additionally out there on Azure in a subsequent launch.
  • It solely helps an all-in-one deployment. Subsequent releases may embrace deployment of a number of cases to kind a CML cluster.
  • This strategy wants a bare-metal taste to assist all node varieties. Metallic flavors are costlier than virtualized cases; nevertheless, AWS doesn’t assist virtualization extensions on their non-bare-metal flavors. That is completely different from Azure.
  • It is advisable to carry your individual AWS occasion AND your individual CML license. No pay-as-you-go consumption mannequin is on the market as of as we speak.
  • CML software program and reference platform information from the “refplat ISO” have to be made out there in a bucket.
  • Automation should run regionally in your laptop, notably a Linux machine with Terraform.

As a result of nature of CML’s perform, the power to run it within the cloud won’t ever be low cost (as in free-tier). CML requires a number 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 knowledge heart, 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 have to efficiently use the tooling embrace:

  • a Linux machine (also needs to work on a Mac with the identical packages put in through Homebrew)
  • a Bash shell (in case you utilize 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/

An current CML controller satisfies the primary two necessities, and you should use that to put in Terraform and the AWS CLI. It additionally has the reference platform information out there to repeat to an AWS S3 bucket. You additionally should obtain the CML distribution bundle from the Cisco assist web site and duplicate it to the AWS S3 bucket.

Choose the distribution bundle circled within the following screenshot (the model may be completely different, but it surely ends in, and also you’ll have to unzip it for the add software to acknowledge it

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

Getting up and operating

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

Listed below are the elemental steps:

    1. Configure the required S3 bucket, consumer, insurance policies, secrets and techniques, and guidelines through AWS console (as soon as).
    2. Add the binary information (photographs and software program) into the created bucket (as soon as or each time new software program is on the market).
    3. Configure the tooling by enhancing the config.json file (as soon as).
    4. Run terraform plan adopted by terraform apply to carry up an occasion
    5. Wait 5-10 minutes for the system to develop into prepared; the handle of the controller is offered because of this (“output” from Terraform)
    6. Use CML within the cloud and revenue!

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

Observe: Whereas no value is incurred if you end up not operating CML cases, you’ll nonetheless have to pay for storing the information contained in the created S3 bucket.

Taking the subsequent steps

Whereas CML AWS automation tooling is a primary step towards CML SaaS, the tooling in its present kind 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 curious about 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 concern tracker venture.



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