7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 18, 2017 8:19 AM by Karlo Bobiles RSS

    Has Cisco given up?


      I'd like to open a discussion around the future of Cisco's VIRL/CML. Within the past year we've seen a handful of things that raise alarms:


      - no release updates for the past six months

      - feedback on forums has become very limited

      - broken VMmaestro clients (Ubuntu)

      - monthly webinars have zero focus; our most recent around REST APIs turned into an 1.5 hour 9k deployment troubleshooting session

      - removal of 30 node license with no feedback from Cisco

      - a nasty 'migration' of forums led to a loss of all content previously hosted (support guides for 3rd party devices for instance)

      - Cisco is clearly moving away from OpenStack (Intercloud, for instance)


      In the mean time, the rise of Vagrant and even Juniper's Wistar show the promise of performing the same functionality via open-source.


      What are your thoughts? Will you be renewing your license this year, or will you be taking your labs through another route?

        • 1. Re: Has Cisco given up?

          i think this will be answered from someone from VIRL Team but, even this sounds kind „true“ from the first point of view, i see there a concept change as well and i see it comming more stable, more easier to use, user friendly without exact all these issues you mentioned in your post.


          I think we agree that first versions of VIRL was not running stable and the user, if they pay for something, should not spent more time to repair something as we use it.


          Since, i dont know why people find the license expensive, cause i dont know where you can run, even less then 60, 40 nodes for 199 a year with 0.50$ per hour on top of that with real images like xr6.1.2 9K, csrv, nexus, other routers...and even possibility to implement third party hardware without this has to be hidden...


          i’m looking forward and waiting for the next release. i’m sure some major changes has to be done sometimes to change something to better even it looks like much worst at the beginning. I dont know but i’m kind always positive until i know the the facts.. .:))))

          • 2. Re: Has Cisco given up?

            i am agree with you

            • 3. Re: Has Cisco given up?

              I expect the now all too usual deafening silence from Cisco


              I know that unless thing improve drastically I will not be renewing my subscription when it lapses

              • 4. Re: Has Cisco given up?

                VIRL is based on a complex design with the potential to build and run everything and scale infinitely. The fundament below is hard to design and program. So many things need to be considered and someone needs to take responsibility of. I can only slightly imagine (100+) how many coders are needed to build, scale and improve a project like this.


                I'am new to VIRL and already loving the fact that everything is done with native linux tools and OpenStack.


                Getting into the enjoyment to play not only with Cisco routers but also with a professional built OpenStack environment for commercial use without any restrictions is to be honest even better than the simulation labbing. :-D


                Paying 199€ a YEAR for this kind of setup is pretty cheap. Do you know what a ASR9k or ESXi costs? I don't get how people can even consider not to do it. I guess those people are more like IT beginners which need a clear focus on labbing rather than building a Cloud environment which VIRL is.


                Another not easy to solve issue for complex projects like this is that at some stage of a software you cannot scale / program faster. It doesn't matter how many coders you are throwing at a problem, it won't progress any faster. So a project needs time, even if it would have the largest financial support of the organisation. When VIRL would make more publicity through promotion then they would run into the problem of not having the support team for this scale to help all those new customers with their high-level problems (kinda what CCNA would be about, or non-linux users). So building the support team also needs time as it consumes productive people from other areas.


                Complex things need time, there is no alternative to that.


                By the way I installed VIRL yesterday and it was fairly easy. Took me around 2 hours and didn't encounter a single issue or problem while doing that.

                In regards to "Cisco is moving away from OpenStack", I'am not too certain about this. Yes, they are tending to give up the public cloud market and the OpenStack efforts, but that doesn't mean that they don't use OpenStack anymore. I mean why should they. Besides all the caveats VIRL might had in the starting phase, for me it looks already like a pretty mature product. Again, complex solutions are complex and are hard to bring down to a level easily to administer for low-skilled users. There are many examples of very successful softwares where this applies as well.

                • 5. Re: Has Cisco given up?
                  Karlo Bobiles

                  Greetings packetferret,


                  I just wanted to share some feedback from the VIRL Team:


                  A quick history on VIRL Personal Edition, it started as a little project within an "innovation group” at Cisco. The project has grown, and Cisco has since restructured the project so as to better grow VIRL and CML development program. Most of the same developers are involved in the product development, and, as am I, are excited about growing VIRL, making the product better, more stable, and easier to use. Unfortunately, the transition was a bit bumpy and we are aware of the impact on our users. We are taking steps to address some of these issues.


                  When VIRL PE was first introduced it had limited Virtualized platforms (IOSv and IOS XRv) and with the Cisco commitment to the platform, VIRL now supports many of the latest Cisco virtualized platforms including the Nexus 9000v, XRv 9000, IOS XE (CSR1000v), IOSv L2, ASAv and many other LXCs such as Ostinato, iPerf and Routem.


                  The VIRL Team is committed to providing the best software and a strong virtualization platform to the customers. Openstack continues to be at the heart of the VIRL solution delivering a flexible agile virtualization, and more exciting features. The VIRL Team recently upgraded the infrastructure to OpenStack Mitaka and will continue to invest in the architecture to deliver the features that address the market needs.


                  VIRL PE will continue to be an important virtual modeling offering developed by Cisco and as a product, it will have 3 planned releases a year. There will be a minimum of 1 webinar per each release. Please be sure to bookmark the VIRL Release Notes Index for future release announcements.


                  Also, VM Maestro is an important element of the VIRL solution and the VIRL Team is keen on addressing any issues that come up. If there is a challenging issue, please open a thread so the team can help and address as needed.


                  Lastly, the 3rd party forums were migrated to the CLN VIRL forum and still available. Please use the following link:  https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-30476


                  With the Cisco Learning Network forums, users have the opportunity to see and participate (ask questions, share ideas and connect with other members) not only in the VIRL forum but in other Learning forums as well.


                  We look forward to having all of the VIRL users as participants in the forum and take advantage of all of the collective knowledge they bring.


                  Thank you,


                  • 6. Re: Has Cisco given up?

                    Greatly appreciate the response Karlo. At this time, I haven't been able to use my VIRL instance since upgrading last October (VMmaestro hangs on all seven of my Linux workstations). This, and in combination with the removal of my thirty node license, have led me to conclude that VIRL/CML will not be within my future within my home and enterprise.


                    BTW, was your hyperlink to the 3rd party VMs in VIRL supposed to go somewhere? The link provided looks malformed:


                    <a ___default_attr="30476" data-orig-content="3rd Party VMs in VIRL" jivemacro="document" title="3rd Party VMs in VIRL">3rd Party VMs in VIRL</a>

                    As pointed out in several forum posts, the master page on this new domain still references the deceased predecessor, take a peek at the Juniper posts within 3rd Party VMs in VIRL for instance.

                    • 7. Re: Has Cisco given up?
                      Karlo Bobiles

                      Greetings packetferret,


                      I just updated the link on the original post, don't know exactly what happened there. Thanks for the heads up.


                      I just noticed the old links, let me see what I can do to update those as well.