I was part of the briefing this week from Cisco on VIRL. I won’t have time to write my own impressions for a few weeks but Ivan Pepelnjak says:
The skeptics will say “Yeah, the same thing as ****, only a year later” … and they might be partially right. However, it seems (so far) the VIRL/CML team made all the right choices and generated a fantastic product (I have barely started … wait till I start drooling over the network design/UI features). The last product from Cisco that got me so excited was UCS.
I share Ivan’s excitement. Cisco customers needs tools to test, learn and create networks and be confident about changes. This is the networking equivalent of a compiler or unit testing suite.
Now let’s just hope that someone doesn’t decide to cripple the product between now and FCS (which should be in Winter 2014), and you’ll definitely hear more about it when I manage to get my hands on an actual demo.
Sadly, this is possible. Big companies will allocate resources as they see fit and not always in the customers best interests.
So I want to encourage everyone to send requests to their Cisco Account managers today and demand that they get this tool shipped as soon as possible. Ring up your Cisco TME, talk about it in blogs and social media and create noise. This will help Cisco to understand that VIRL is vital to doing better networking.