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Build Virtual Lab Topology: Dual Stack Addressing, ArcOS and Junos Support

In mid-December I announced a set of tools that will help you build Vagrant-based remote labs much faster than writing Vagrantfiles and Ansible inventories by hand.

In early January I received a nice surprise: Dave Thelen not only decided to use the tool, he submitted a pull request with full-blown (and correctly implemented) ArcOS support. A few days later I managed to figure out what needs to be configured on vSRX to make it work, added Junos support, and thus increased the number of supported platforms to six (spanning five different operating systems).

I always felt that the initial approach to lab addressing was a dirty hack that would have to be fixed in the future… and that future arrived on January 12th when I released a totally refactored address allocation code supporting multiple address pools and IPv6. Now you can build IPv4-only labs, IPv6-only labs, or dual-stack labs (with each link using one or both protocols).

Dave’s enthusiasm ("I’m using the tool daily") also prompted me to document most of what’s available including a lab topology tutorial and a full-blown description of how you define nodes (network devices), links, and address pools.

You can download the tools from GitHub and read the documentation on ReadTheDocs.

What’s Still Missing

A lot of things, including support for virtualization environments other than vagrant-libvirt. After I got that one up and running (you’ll find links to box-building recipes in my installation guide) I lost the willpower to ever touch VirtualBox again… so if you feel like adding your VirtualBox Vagrantfile recipes to the Vagrant templates you’re most welcome.

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