Yesterday I received a tweet from Mirek Burnejko @miroburn that he had received
information that Cisco is releasing virtualized XR platform. That certainly
peaked my interested so I started asking around my contacts.
It is already well known that Cisco uses something called IOS on Unix (IOU)
in the CCIE lab. It is a virtualized IOS running on Solaris and can run
both routing and switching. In the future I think the entire CCIE lab will
Cisco has also lately been releasing IOS-XE virtualized which is called CSR.
It is the Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR). You can now get this in a VM
and it’s called CSR1000v. This is great that Cisco is moving in this direction.
Now, not everyone may know that internally Cisco has been running virtualized
XR for a couple of years and I’ve seen it referred to as XR4U. I’m not sure if
that is the official name but now the rumour is that this XR4U might be released
to the public in a VM of some sorts. This would be very big news if true as people
have difficulties finding rack time on XR devices and would certainly be a major
deal for anyone wanting to go for their CCIE SP. I would expect this VM to have
some kind of limitations just like the CSR1000v.
If you read this PDF it is mostly talk about SDN
which may be interesting in itself but the real interesting thing to me is on page 30 and 31
where the Cisco VIRL is introduced. Seems like there should be VMs available for both
IOS XE, IOS XR, IOS and NXOS.
NXOS is available today through the Nexus1000v.
I’m trying to get some more information from Cisco. If this is true it is major news
and could help anyone wanting to learn Cisco do this in a much easier way without
using tools like GNS3 and Packet Tracer etc.