Hello amanda lallo-cafini,
Thank you for you reaching out! I'll pass your interest to the Product Manager. To summarize, while we don’t have an ETA on this release, it isn’t too far off on the horizon. We do anticipate many current customers desiring to move to the new version, and rest assured that if you have a valid subscription, it will be possible to move your subscription to the new system.
Please note: Versions older than v1.5.145 are not supported anymore with the release of v1.6. PLEASE UPGRADE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Cisco Learning Network
Why can't this be as easy to install and use like Packet Tracer? I agree with the person who was irritated about having to learn tools to manage tools to have an alternative to going out and buying ancient equipment with old and/or insufficient versions of IOS. What we want is just for the software to get out of the way so we can concentrate on studying for our certs. Having to use LANBase or IPBase flavors of IOS doesn't cut it. We're not made of money and few of us have access to the resources to get the full functionality from our home labs.
Is that too much to ask?
On the plus side, I'm really hoping that VIRL 2.0 is what we're hoping for, an aid to help us study that's really useful. I hope Cisco has some UX personnel looking at VIRL 2.0.
Packet Tracer is a very different approach, where it starts from a clean slate, and tries to mimic how a router *should* behave. This means it's all just code - which is much easier to install and much lighter weight to run.
VIRL (and similar products in the space) try and get as close to the "real" equipment as possible, essentially taking the same code that would run on a real router/switch/firewall/etc and making it run without the real hardware. This requires running them as a virtual machine. This is far more realistic - you get many of the features of a real device (and sometimes verbatim feature parity since it's literally the same code), but requires a more complex install since you need to setup an environment to run these.
VIRL1 and VIRL2 (and likewise CML1 and CML2 which run on the same base platform) all run virtual machines inside a virtualisation hypervisor. These are not changed - so the virtual machines with their constraints will remain as-is today. Everything else is new.
The installation requirements, user interface, and middleware of the VIRL2/CML2 platform is entirely new, and is based on many years of customer feedback on forums like these, at Cisco Live, and from speaking with customers. We've tried to capture all of the feedback we've heard, and built a platform that lets us address these points. Initial feedback has been very positive in this regard.
A lot of thought has been put into the UX and workflow, and rebuilding the entire tech stack to make it simple and easy both for people to use the system, but also to continue to improve the system and add new features as the product develops.