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
be virtualized.

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

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.

Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) – Big things happening at Cisco?
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3 thoughts on “Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) – Big things happening at Cisco?

  • April 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Daniels,i have send a mail to your “[email protected]”,can you pls check it out?Need some advices for preparing lab exam.

  • July 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Hi Daniel – hope you’re well. I’m thinking about going on for the CCIE-SP but the big thing I’m waiting for is an XR4U release (or whatever it will be called when it’s released legit to the public). I hope to build a lab based on what I have for the CCIE R&S, supplemented with CSR1000V and ‘XR4U’. Hopefully all bundled into a VMWare cluster. Anyway – my question – have you come across any developments with this lately?

    • July 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Hi Jamie!

      Sorry but I haven’t heard any release dates or pricing etc. If you are working for a Cisco partner you can access XR4U via the Cisco PEC. You can’t build your own topology though but it’s still pretty cool.


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