Fredrik Holmberg

Network Consultant  

Tag: lab

Connecting our Juniper lab to the world

A young Michael Caine doing Juniper labs.

A young Michael Caine enjoying Juniper labs.

Let’s say you have a Juniper EX switch that you want to connect to your new virtual lab. Maybe you’re training for the JNCIP-ENT. Maybe you need to verify reachability to a production network over an IPsec VPN tunnel. How do you connect your virtual Juniper lab to the world?

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On-demand Juniper labs using Vagrant

If you want user adoption, make your product easily accessible. Allow people to download it and start playing around. Provide study resources and hand out discounts to get people to start taking your certifications. Attract the engineers. Show how you can automate your infrastructure using Ansible. Get them hooked!

One of the first steps to start learning any platform is to set up a lab. Engineers want labs and Juniper want you to run as many virtual routers as you possibly can on your laptop. To make this as simple and streamlined as possible they provide you with their own pre-built Vagrant boxes. These boxes are tiny virtual machines that can run on top of different hypervisors.

In the following example I will show you how to manage the deployment and configuration of these boxes using Vagrant to set up a small Juniper lab.

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Introducing GNSparser

I have used Dynagen/GNS3 for some years now and recently it started to annoy me how much time I had to spend every time on the initial lab setup before I could start with the actual lab or proof of concept scenario.

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GNS3/Dynamips labs with a twist using DigitalOcean

Inspired by +Mikhail Schedrin and his cloud-only GNS3/Dynamips labs, I decided to configure one myself. Thanks to the awesome hosting provider DigitalOcean ( you can have a proper Cisco CCNA/CCNP/CCIE lab running for 0.060 USD per hour (4GB Memory, 2 CPU Cores).

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