The long anticipated VIRL is here and there is a buzz about the community around it. Why are people buzzing? Well it could be because of the 199.99 price tag at the standard consumer level, or the 79.99 educational licensing. True you can get GNS3 for nothing, but is it better? Or, is it worth the 199.99 to get a product that is limited to 15 devices but is approved by Cisco? At this point, that remains to be seen, but I want to share my experience thus far with VIRL.
The web site looks cool!
But…it doesn’t really demonstrate for me the real details of how VIRL works. There is no trial version so for me to drop 199.99 on something that I haven’t kicked the tires on is a little hard to swallow.
There is support for multiple OS versions
Yep, according to the cisco site it supports IOSv, IOS XRv, NX-OSv and CSR1000v. But… what about ASA’s? Seems this should be easy to add support for but will it cost me more? How about emulating an IP phone or a WSA? I don’t think I can “Build highly-accurate models of real-world or future networks” without support for these other devices? Maybe I’m asking for a bit too much for a 1.0 product, and that’s fair enough, but I don’t want to get dinged for another 200 bucks when support is added for these products as well. I have a feeling that may happen.
What are the requirements?
The VIRL website says it requires the following resources:
• Host system must be able to access the Internet periodically
• Four CPU cores and 8GB of DRAM – more resources allows for larger simulations
• Intel VT-x / EPT or AMD-V / RVI virtualization extensions present and enabled in the BIOS
• 50GB of free disk space for installation
Not a bit deal here, but why 50GB of free disk space?
What about the requirement of ESXi or VMware fusion Pro? Not a big deal here but if you don’t own one of these VMware products you will have to add the cost of this product on top of the 199.99. For a new license of VMware Fusion Pro your looking at another 104 bucks.
Should I buy it?
It’s hard to say if the value will pan out, but I’d like to believe it will. A 15 node network is good for CCNP level students to mock up complex routing scenarios but I’d really like to see more support for additional devices, specifically in the security area. I’ve hear rumors that internally Cisco is having a hard time getting certain BU’s to buy into it. To those BU’s I can only say… “Get with the program!” Stop trying to impede the delivery of what customers want.
How was the purchasing experience and why don’t you have any screenshots?
As of right now, I don’t have the product. I paid. My credit card was charged. Cisco has a 24/hr turn around (or something to that effect). I assume the product delivery will change in the near future, but still, it seems a bit wonky to me that you demand a premium price for a limited product and then make a buyer wait. This is 2014 (almost 2015) right? If small mom-and-pop businesses can provide instant downloads of digital products then Cisco should be able to as well. I know its version 1.0 of the product AND the site, but still.
Once I finally have the product I’ll do some video reviews of the product and post them here. Until then I’ll be watching my email for the download information. If you’ve already got your copy what do you think? Share you thoughts below.