So you’re running Cisco VIRL and you throw up a topology with a few routers, an ASA, a L2 switch, and 2 PC’s and a Server. Easy right. Sure it is. That’s the beauty of VIRL, once you get past the installation process and resizing the disk so you can add 3rd party applications, it’s really pretty simple to drop some devices on the canvas and spin-up a lab. But when you spin a lab like this up, the PC’s and Servers that are stock with VIRL are Ubuntu Linux servers. But I ran into a specific issue where I had to demonstrate how to use CDA for Identity Based Firewalls, but I needed a Windows Server with AD for the Linux-based CDA to connect to. Yes, I could have easily fired up a Windows Server in ESXi and bridged VIRL to the same network, but why can’t I have it all in one interface? I’d prefer to drop everything into the topology and go from there.
So here’s my question. Do you think that it’s too much work to get windows running in a lab environment and do you think Microsoft should start providing Windows images for use in lab environments? If so, what would they look like? How would the be licensed? Or, do we care? Should we not even bother? Is putting a Windows server or desktop in VIRL or any other emulation system pointless?
What are your thoughts?