A little over a year ago Juniper released Juniper vLabs. What vLabs is, is a place where you can safely lab and learn on Juniper virtualized hardware. When it was first launched there where about six labs available:
|OSPF – Single-area
OSPF – Multi-area
|BGP / OSPF
If you check out Juniper vLabs today, you will find 20 labs available across five different topic areas. With these labs, and I did test out a few, you do need to “reserve” them and you get them for about 3-hours. Everyone that I “reserved” was available immediately and ready to go in about 15 minutes. I did receive e-mails when I reserved when the lab was ready, and when I ended it.
Below is a table of all the current labs available as of this writing.
These standalone labs are a great way to get familiar with Junos and the CLI on the devices. They allow you to have a way to safely learn, as well as test, commands. I spun up the vSRX, took about 15 minutes to start up the virtualized environment, but then it was just like a regular SRX with Junos CLI.
BGP Multi AS w/RR
The Routing section has some great ones for people who are prepping for a test, be it a JNCIE or even a JNCIP exam. I spun up the OSPF Single-area to kick the tires, and like the vSRX, it took about 15 or so minutes before it was ready. When I logged into the lab the whole topology was already preconfigured – OSPF, interfaces, everything. From there you can break as much as you like or tweak things to see what the impact is.
|Zone / Policies
NAT – Source & Destination
|IPSEC VPN – Policy Based
IPSEC VPN – Route Based
I spun up the IPSEC VPN – Policy-based to see how it was configured. It was a fairly simple policy-based config, yet it is one that would be easy to build into different policy options. Hmm, maybe a future post 🙂 So if you are unfamiliar with how to configure some of these, these labs are live configurations where you can learn. It is nice that you start with a pre-configured topology, this way if can remove it and re-add it with a way to verify and compare.
|JET for Junos – Automation
|PyEZ for Junos – Automation
The Automation labs really caught my attention, so much so I reserved and spun-up the PyEZ for Junos. Like the other labs, it takes a bit for them to move to the ready state. What I did like about the PyEZ lab was there were instructions, things to try as well as the ability to write your own scripts and experiment. Finding a safe place to try new scripts is always nice 🙂
Telemetry and Analytics
Contrail Enterprise Multicloud
Overall Juniper vLabs are pretty nice and a great way to get familiar with products you may not have worked with before. If I could suggest one thing to Juniper vLabs would be to add some “lessons” to these labs where the user has to complete tasks (like configuring OSPF on vMX1, or the remote side of the IPSEC VPN, etc). Then again, perhaps we should write a Day One guide on labs for vLabs 🙂