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Posted: 4/8/2016 10:47:52 PM EDT
2x quad core Xeon with 32GB memory and 4x 300GB HDDs, and (possibly) 2 open bays.  I'm not sure if this was a good buy, or not, but it's done.

I want to load ESXi Free on it.  I'm reading up on it, but is anyone familiar with the limitations on this?  I'm reading about limitations with snapshotting, or backups, possibly?

If anyone is familiar with this, let me know.

Assuming all is okay with ESXi Free, then I'm going to load, at least, 3 servers, and use the rest of the space as a test area.  Is GNS3 good to use in the area for network testing?  Also, can you get legal images of Cisco IOS router images, and, if possible, switch images?  I'm planning on loading a VM of GNS3.

Feedback?  

Are there better ways to go with SDN software?  

What would be the max memory I should be using on the server?

I know that's broad.  I hope I gave enough of a background on usage.  If not, I'll try to provide more info.
Link Posted: 4/8/2016 11:28:53 PM EDT
KVM, the more ram the better. You can get legal Cisco IOS images if you have a service contract or if your cisco id is associated with a contract through work.



With that being said, I run the esxi 5.5 trial when I need it.
Link Posted: 4/9/2016 8:33:34 PM EDT
What do you want to do with SDN?  It's fairly broad in scope.  To really get into the nuts and bolts and gain a thorough understanding you'll want an OpenFlow capable switch, an SDN Controller of some flavor, some client VMs for connectivity and topology testing and you're ready to create some flows and start learning.

I work with SDN R&D and developers every day so if you have any specific questions let me know.  Like I said, it's a broad topic and there are a lot of ways to attack it.  Hell you can fire up a Mininet VM and OpenVswitch and have a basic learning switch and clients exchanging traffic in a few minutes.  Add a little Python scripting and you can start building flows in very little time.

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Link Posted: 4/10/2016 1:06:49 PM EDT
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Quoted:
What do you want to do with SDN?  It's fairly broad in scope.  To really get into the nuts and bolts and gain a thorough understanding you'll want an OpenFlow capable switch, an SDN Controller of some flavor, some client VMs for connectivity and topology testing and you're ready to create some flows and start learning.

I work with SDN R&D and developers every day so if you have any specific questions let me know.  Like I said, it's a broad topic and there are a lot of ways to attack it.  Hell you can fire up a Mininet VM and OpenVswitch and have a basic learning switch and clients exchanging traffic in a few minutes.  Add a little Python scripting and you can start building flows in very little time.

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At this point, I'm looking for a basic understanding, and was hoping to get some Cisco config time in, as well.  Nothing too complex, to begin with, just want to get my feet wet.

I'll try your suggestions.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 6:15:22 PM EDT
I always recommend getting on eBay and getting a switch or two and and a router with a pair of Ethernet interfaces.  There's no substitute for the multiple learning dimensions of hardware and software.  Even just knowing your way around a simple console port and how to connect to it with anything is a useful practical ability.  You'd be surprised how many kids come in to the industry from school and inevitably end up asking why nothing happens when they plug the category 6 network cable between the laptop NIC and the console port.


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Quoted:


At this point, I'm looking for a basic understanding, and was hoping to get some Cisco config time in, as well.  Nothing too complex, to begin with, just want to get my feet wet.

I'll try your suggestions.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
What do you want to do with SDN?  It's fairly broad in scope.  To really get into the nuts and bolts and gain a thorough understanding you'll want an OpenFlow capable switch, an SDN Controller of some flavor, some client VMs for connectivity and topology testing and you're ready to create some flows and start learning.

I work with SDN R&D and developers every day so if you have any specific questions let me know.  Like I said, it's a broad topic and there are a lot of ways to attack it.  Hell you can fire up a Mininet VM and OpenVswitch and have a basic learning switch and clients exchanging traffic in a few minutes.  Add a little Python scripting and you can start building flows in very little time.

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At this point, I'm looking for a basic understanding, and was hoping to get some Cisco config time in, as well.  Nothing too complex, to begin with, just want to get my feet wet.

I'll try your suggestions.



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Link Posted: 4/12/2016 1:29:54 PM EDT
You can still buy refurb CCNA/CCNP lab kits relatively cheap.

http://shop.certificationkits.com/cisco-ccna-super-economy-ccnp-kit/?gclid=CjwKEAjwubK4BRC1xczKrZyj3mkSJAC6ntgrJoqRwUDWC­NGPmp5F54OzyOQDbYvxsmbyj2oJYHPrFBoCHsbw_wcB

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Quoted:
I always recommend getting on eBay and getting a switch or two and and a router with a pair of Ethernet interfaces.  There's no substitute for the multiple learning dimensions of hardware and software.  Even just knowing your way around a simple console port and how to connect to it with anything is a useful practical ability.  You'd be surprised how many kids come in to the industry from school and inevitably end up asking why nothing happens when they plug the category 6 network cable between the laptop NIC and the console port.





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Quoted:
I always recommend getting on eBay and getting a switch or two and and a router with a pair of Ethernet interfaces.  There's no substitute for the multiple learning dimensions of hardware and software.  Even just knowing your way around a simple console port and how to connect to it with anything is a useful practical ability.  You'd be surprised how many kids come in to the industry from school and inevitably end up asking why nothing happens when they plug the category 6 network cable between the laptop NIC and the console port.


Quoted:
Quoted:
What do you want to do with SDN?  It's fairly broad in scope.  To really get into the nuts and bolts and gain a thorough understanding you'll want an OpenFlow capable switch, an SDN Controller of some flavor, some client VMs for connectivity and topology testing and you're ready to create some flows and start learning.

I work with SDN R&D and developers every day so if you have any specific questions let me know.  Like I said, it's a broad topic and there are a lot of ways to attack it.  Hell you can fire up a Mininet VM and OpenVswitch and have a basic learning switch and clients exchanging traffic in a few minutes.  Add a little Python scripting and you can start building flows in very little time.

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At this point, I'm looking for a basic understanding, and was hoping to get some Cisco config time in, as well.  Nothing too complex, to begin with, just want to get my feet wet.

I'll try your suggestions.



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Link Posted: 4/12/2016 5:21:08 PM EDT
That's pretty neat that they package it all up for you like that.  It's really a bit of a shock to think what that gear originally cost along with Smartnet vs. $699 for that kit!

Well, anyone who's serious about certification or even REALLY learning the fundamentals of networking should absolutely get something like this for study and the home lab.  Add a couple of phones and CME (I know I know) and you could even get some hands-on with basic VoIP configuration and concepts.

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Quoted:
You can still buy refurb CCNA/CCNP lab kits relatively cheap.
View Quote

Link Posted: 4/13/2016 7:55:58 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That's pretty neat that they package it all up for you like that.  It's really a bit of a shock to think what that gear originally cost along with Smartnet vs. $699 for that kit!

Well, anyone who's serious about certification or even REALLY learning the fundamentals of networking should absolutely get something like this for study and the home lab.  Add a couple of phones and CME (I know I know) and you could even get some hands-on with basic VoIP configuration and concepts.


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Quoted:
That's pretty neat that they package it all up for you like that.  It's really a bit of a shock to think what that gear originally cost along with Smartnet vs. $699 for that kit!

Well, anyone who's serious about certification or even REALLY learning the fundamentals of networking should absolutely get something like this for study and the home lab.  Add a couple of phones and CME (I know I know) and you could even get some hands-on with basic VoIP configuration and concepts.

Quoted:
You can still buy refurb CCNA/CCNP lab kits relatively cheap.




That's on the list.  I'm hoping to have it within a couple of months.
Link Posted: 4/13/2016 11:08:48 AM EDT
You're just as well served starting small and growing your lab/study kit as you go.

I would look into a Cisco 3550 to start.  I looked them up and there are a ton of them on eBay for $30-$50.  That's a perfect and inexpensive starter for familiarization with IOS command line basics, management IP connectivity, layer 2 concepts like VLAN/802.1q, switch management configuration such as SSH, Telnet, console, and user authentication, firmware backup and upgrade, startup and running configuration backup and restore, and administrative setup like hostname, banners, NTP, etc.

Then add a second switch when money and time permit and setup VTP, 802.1q trunking, link aggregation, etc.

I'd probably recommend this route for someone learning this as a new skill set.  The kits might be overkill or a little overwhelming to start.

Do not use the GUI web interface.  Just. Don't.

"No http server" is a good command for that!

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Quoted:



That's on the list.  I'm hoping to have it within a couple of months.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
That's pretty neat that they package it all up for you like that.  It's really a bit of a shock to think what that gear originally cost along with Smartnet vs. $699 for that kit!

Well, anyone who's serious about certification or even REALLY learning the fundamentals of networking should absolutely get something like this for study and the home lab.  Add a couple of phones and CME (I know I know) and you could even get some hands-on with basic VoIP configuration and concepts.

Quoted:
You can still buy refurb CCNA/CCNP lab kits relatively cheap.




That's on the list.  I'm hoping to have it within a couple of months.



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Link Posted: 4/14/2016 9:54:28 AM EDT
The server came in yesterday.  I got ESXi installed and a VM of RHEL and one in Lubuntu.  I'll install CentOS next.
Link Posted: 4/14/2016 11:53:48 AM EDT
Nice score, for memory its what will fit and what you want to spend.  64 to 128 GB is a good bit for not piggy systems.  if you were running a sharepoint lab or something more, for linux containers less.

Quick warning, servers pull lots of power, you WILL notice it on the bill if you keep the machine busy.  I tend to power them off when not working.  Juniper also has some images and contrails sdn controller out there.  Junos is generally the same on a cheap closet switch as on core or larger.  Its handy to know in a pinch.

most of the vendors like f5 and palo alto make virtual systems available to test with.

good luck.
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 1:40:31 PM EDT
Thanks for the ideas.  This one only has 32GB, but it looks like it will suit my needs.  

I do turn it off when not in use.  I figured that I should when I stetted it up and it sounded like a jet taking off.  
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 1:58:15 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That's pretty neat that they package it all up for you like that.  It's really a bit of a shock to think what that gear originally cost along with Smartnet vs. $699 for that kit!

Well, anyone who's serious about certification or even REALLY learning the fundamentals of networking should absolutely get something like this for study and the home lab.  Add a couple of phones and CME (I know I know) and you could even get some hands-on with basic VoIP configuration and concepts.


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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That's pretty neat that they package it all up for you like that.  It's really a bit of a shock to think what that gear originally cost along with Smartnet vs. $699 for that kit!

Well, anyone who's serious about certification or even REALLY learning the fundamentals of networking should absolutely get something like this for study and the home lab.  Add a couple of phones and CME (I know I know) and you could even get some hands-on with basic VoIP configuration and concepts.

Quoted:
You can still buy refurb CCNA/CCNP lab kits relatively cheap.



I just set up a Raspberry Pi 3 with Incredible PBX.  I'm testing fax today, when my wife gets back to her office.  I have prior conventional pbx experience, but need some  VoIP experience.  I'll definitely get a couple of phones if I get the lab.
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 5:43:53 PM EDT
If you want an interesting practical lab exercise, install Ansible on one of the Linux VM's and push out some configuration changes or package installs to the other servers.  It'll give you some practical insight into automation and it's simple to set up compared to many of the other tools out there.

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Link Posted: 4/17/2016 8:16:13 PM EDT
Or Puppet. That's what we use at work. I've been wanting to look at Ansible, though. Just for the hell of it.
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 8:57:09 PM EDT
I much prefer Ansible to Puppet or Chef.  It has an elegant simplicity to it that I appreciate.  It can be a little annoying to configure for AD/Kerberos but once it's dialed it's almost amusing how easy it is to manage a fairly large amount of physical and virtual servers of all flavors.  

For example, the guy in the news that wiped out his entire hosting business and 1500+ customer websites?  Ansibled those servers with both barrels!

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Or Puppet. That's what we use at work. I've been wanting to look at Ansible, though. Just for the hell of it.
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Link Posted: 4/18/2016 1:36:26 PM EDT
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For example, the guy in the news that wiped out his entire hosting business and 1500+ customer websites?  Ansibled those servers with both barrels!
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Unfortunately I saw a follow-up that it was a hoax. I was bummed. It was a great story.

I'll have to check it out. I've been playing with Puppet at home just because we're moving to it for all of our deployments. I'm not married to it since it just installs my product. It was another group's decision. Ansible sounds nice.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 10:51:30 PM EDT
Give it a whirl.  They both have their strong points and puppet is a great tool.  I just love how simple and effective Ansible is and the configuration syntax is easy to learn and the tool is crazy fast to get into useful action compared to Puppet or Chef.


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Unfortunately I saw a follow-up that it was a hoax. I was bummed. It was a great story.

I'll have to check it out. I've been playing with Puppet at home just because we're moving to it for all of our deployments. I'm not married to it since it just installs my product. It was another group's decision. Ansible sounds nice.
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Quoted:
For example, the guy in the news that wiped out his entire hosting business and 1500+ customer websites?  Ansibled those servers with both barrels!

Unfortunately I saw a follow-up that it was a hoax. I was bummed. It was a great story.

I'll have to check it out. I've been playing with Puppet at home just because we're moving to it for all of our deployments. I'm not married to it since it just installs my product. It was another group's decision. Ansible sounds nice.



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