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EVE-NG Lab setup

As a lab solution for my CCIE journey, I've chosen EVE-NG. This will allow me to simulate a big chunk of what I'll need to learn. With this I should be able to easily simulate routers and switches, covering Network Infrastructure, Transport Technologies and Solutions, Infrastructure Security and Services and Infrastructure Automation and Programmability.


The most difficult part to simulate will be SD-WAN and DNA Center. But I'll tackle this when we get to this.


As for the hardware I'll be using. Right before the pandemic I had configured a new desktop which should be more than powerful enough to handle all of the simulations (except for maybe DNA Center)

  • MSI X570 Tomahawk

  • 128GB RAM - I had 32GB, but I decided to upgrade just to make sure

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X - 12 Cores, 24 Threads


On my motherboard I had to make sure, it was setup for virtualization. For this I had to go into the advanced settings menu of the BIOS and go to Overclocking (OC) > Advanced CPU Configuration and Enable SVM Mode (Secure Virtual Machine)


Next I've gone with VMWare Workstation as my virtualization platform, this had no specific reason other than it being free.. and it also being mentioned on the download page for EVE-NG.


For EVE-NG I've obviously chosen the free Community edition as this will be used for my personal lab setup.


After having installed EVE-NG, the next step will be to add your Cisco images to the server. If you have a valid Cisco contract, you'll be able to download the necessary images from software.cisco.com , otherwise you'll have to get creative...

To add the images, simply follow the How To documentation on the EVE-NG website, if you have a different version than what is mentioned on the website you can just change it to the version you are using.


For example the EVE-NG website shows documentation for version 19.2.3 for Viptela. However the latest CCIE lab version indicates the lab will be based of off v 20.9. So just change the version number as needed.


I'll be basing my lab setup of off the example topology which can be found on the Cisco Learning Network


So, first step in setting all this up.. learning Cisco SD-WAN



Bonus: How to hide unused

By default EVE-NG will display all nodes that can be added to your lab environment, even though you do not have an image for them.

EVE-NG Node dropdown default

This behaviour can be modified by creating a config.php file it it does not exist already under /opt/unetlab/html/includes/. You can create this by copying the config.php.distribution file.

cp config.php.distribution config.php

The file content should be set as follows:

<?php
// TEMPLATE MODE .missing or .hided
DEFINE('TEMPLATED_DISABLED','.hided')
?>

When set to ".hided", the missing nodes will not be shown in the dropdown.

EVE-NG Node dropdown hidden

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