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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).

In the meantime, the netsim-tools project grew beyond my wildest dreams, we renamed it to netlab, and were forced to dropped ArcOS support.

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 or install them as a Python3 package, and read the documentation on ReadTheDocs.

Revision History

2022-08-27
We renamed netsim-tools to netlab
2021-07-12
Updated documentation pointers.

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