Email from someone asking for my opinion on Cisco’s VIRL. Here are some bullet points that I responded with:
- People who use it, and whose opinion I trust ( lots of them ) tell me that VIRL is a waste of time and money.
- I did look into buying for evaluation but the buying process was difficult & confusing.
- None of my clients require me to work on Cisco CLI’s so I have no compelling reason to overcome these challenges.
- I’m not interested in maintaining my Cisco certifications and will be reskilling into other areas e.g. scripting, AWS, Azure etc. Again, limiting my personal need for VIRL.
- Its expensive in terms of compute resources. I might use a NUC but that doesn’t seem to be enough, hard to tell for sure, too much time wasted on this research. Once again, gave up.
- No, I’m not going to rent someone else computers. Thats expensive, I don’t have a sugar daddy to pay for it.
- I read some of the Cisco forums on VIRL website which full of sadness about basic issues. If I pay for something, it should work properly, be easy to use and reliable. Clearly, VIRL is not (see the first point)
So I gave up on having VIRL around in case I ever needed to use it.
What did I do ? I opened a terminal and went back to attempting to learn python and AWS instead. You see, that cost me nothing (extra) at all.
Postscript: Because many people asked, I can suggest looking at the EVE-NG project. Its free, multi-vendor and works on your desktop. Its much more reliable that VIRL too. It actually works.