Apr
15

The Cloud Services Router, CSR1000v, which was first announced at Cisco Live in San Diego last year is now available for download. For those who have never heard of the CSR1000v, in a nutshell it's an IOS XE image running in a virtualized environment (VMWare support now, Citrix XEN, Amazon, Windows Hypervisor and OpenStack in the near future). The CSR1000v is designed as a virtual router (think Quagga but IOS from Cisco) that resides on the hypervisor server as a client instance and provides any services a normal ASR1000 would provide between the other hypervisor's client instances (Linux servers, Windows servers, etc) and the network infrastructure. This could be something as simple as basic routing or NAT all the way up to advanced technologies like MPLS VPNs or LISP. Basically anything that a real ASR1000 could provide you can do in the CSR1000v with a small exception. This early release only supports 50Mbps throughput due to licensing restrictions. This being the case the specifications from Cisco shows the CSR1000v being capable of pushing 1.17Gpbs max and 438Mbps throughput with an IMIX traffic flow. With the 50Mbps limit it means the CSR1000v at this stage would be deployed more for proof-of-concept as opposed to real production. At this time the throughput is limited by the licensing but I'm sure there are plans to allow for higher throughput licensing in the near future.

If you're interested in a presentation from Cisco covering the CSR1000v you can view the Cisco Live session from London: Cisco’s Cloud Services Router (CSR 1000V): Extending the Enterprise Network to the Cloud (2013 London) Note that you will need to create an account if you don't already have an account to view the session.

Personally I've been testing out the CSR1000v over this past week and to say the least I'm really impressed at not only the product itself but the possibilites for the CSR1000v. The version available for download is IOS XE 3.9.0aS aka IOS Version 15.3(2)S which means basically any feature you want or need is in this release.

IOS-XE1#show version
Cisco IOS Software, IOS-XE Software (X86_64_LINUX_IOSD-ADVENTERPRISEK9-M), Version 15.3(2)S0a, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Technical Support: http://www.cisco.com/techsupport
Copyright (c) 1986-2013 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Sat 30-Mar-13 19:08 by mcpre

IOS XE Version: 03.09.00a.S

Cisco IOS-XE software, Copyright (c) 2005-2013 by cisco Systems, Inc.
All rights reserved. Certain components of Cisco IOS-XE software are
licensed under the GNU General Public License ("GPL") Version 2.0. The
software code licensed under GPL Version 2.0 is free software that comes
with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. You can redistribute and/or modify such
GPL code under the terms of GPL Version 2.0. For more details, see the
documentation or "License Notice" file accompanying the IOS-XE software,
or the applicable URL provided on the flyer accompanying the IOS-XE
software.

ROM: IOS-XE ROMMON

IOS-XE1 uptime is 4 days, 24 minutes
Uptime for this control processor is 4 days, 25 minutes
System returned to ROM by reload
System image file is "bootflash:csr1000v-packages-adventerprisek9.03.09.00a.S.153-2.S"
Last reload reason:

This product contains cryptographic features and is subject to United
States and local country laws governing import, export, transfer and
use. Delivery of Cisco cryptographic products does not imply
third-party authority to import, export, distribute or use encryption.
Importers, exporters, distributors and users are responsible for
compliance with U.S. and local country laws. By using this product you
agree to comply with applicable laws and regulations. If you are unable
to comply with U.S. and local laws, return this product immediately.

A summary of U.S. laws governing Cisco cryptographic products may be found at:
http://www.cisco.com/wwl/export/crypto/tool/stqrg.html

If you require further assistance please contact us by sending email to
export@cisco.com.

cisco CSR1000V (VXE) processor with 1141428K/6147K bytes of memory.
Processor board ID 926O40RARZR
2 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
32768K bytes of non-volatile configuration memory.
4194304K bytes of physical memory.
7774207K bytes of virtual hard disk at bootflash:.

Configuration register is 0x2102

IOS-XE1#
IOS-XE1#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
IOS-XE1(config)#router ?
bgp Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
eigrp Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP)
isis ISO IS-IS
iso-igrp IGRP for OSI networks
lisp Locator/ID Separation Protocol
mobile Mobile routes
odr On Demand stub Routes
ospf Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
ospfv3 OSPFv3
rip Routing Information Protocol (RIP)

IOS-XE1(config)#router bgp 1
IOS-XE1(config-router)#address-family ?
ipv4 Address family
ipv6 Address family
l2vpn Address family
nsap Address family
rtfilter Address family
vpnv4 Address family
vpnv6 Address family

IOS-XE1(config-router)#exit
IOS-XE1(config)#ipv6 unicast-routing
IOS-XE1(config)#router ospfv3 1
IOS-XE1(config-router)#address-family ?
ipv4 Address family
ipv6 Address family

IOS-XE1(config-router)#address-family ipv4
IOS-XE1(config-router-af)#?
Router Address Family configuration commands:
area OSPF area parameters
auto-cost Calculate OSPF interface cost according to bandwidth
bfd BFD configuration commands
compatible Compatibility list
default Set a command to its defaults
default-information Control distribution of default information
default-metric Set metric of redistributed routes
discard-route Enable or disable discard-route installation
distance Define an administrative distance
distribute-list Filter networks in routing updates
event-log Event Logging
exit-address-family Exit from Address Family configuration mode
graceful-restart Graceful-restart options
help Description of the interactive help system
interface-id Source of the interface ID
limit Limit a specific OSPF feature
log-adjacency-changes Log changes in adjacency state
max-lsa Maximum number of non self-generated LSAs to accept
max-metric Set maximum metric
maximum-paths Forward packets over multiple paths
no Negate a command or set its defaults
nsr Enable non-stop routing
passive-interface Suppress routing updates on an interface
prefix-suppression Enable prefix suppression
queue-depth Hello/Router process queue depth
redistribute Redistribute information from another routing protocol
router-id router-id for this OSPF process
shutdown Shutdown the router process
snmp Modify snmp parameters
summary-prefix Configure IP address summaries
timers Adjust routing timers

IOS-XE1(config-router-af)#

I've tested a lot of features (LISP, BGP, NAT, etc) over this past week and haven't stumbled across any issues related to the CSR1000v itself. The only issues I've ran into related to not giving the VM the required 4GB of RAM and it would complain when I started enabling features. The CSR1000v doesn't use much CPU but it does require 4GB of RAM per instance. I've had over 30 CSR1000v instances running on my ESXi 5.1 development server without a problem.

So what does this mean for people preparing for a Cisco certification or just looking to learn networking? I hate to use buzzwords but this really is a game changer. The CSR1000v is like "crack" for a networking addict. You want to learn a technology or a feature then the CSR1000v is really the only way to go if you don't have or want to setup real hardware. I have access to tons of real hardware and I would never consider giving it up for GNS3 or IOU but I would for the CSR1000v. The image is very stable and fast plus has everything you could need. Want to learn LISP? Want to learn OTV? Want to learn MPLS VPNs? What to learn VPLS? Want to learn OSPFv3 for IPv4? The CSR1000v is the way to go.

I'll post a detailed instruction tomorrow on how to install and get it up and running based upon my experience running it in VMWare ESXi and on VMWare Workstation but here are a couple quick notes for those who can't wait. VMWare ESXi Enterprise version has a built in console server which will allow to you via the virtual serial console over the VMWare console.

Brians-MacBook-Pro-3:~ ccie2210$ telnet 10.4.210.100 2004
Trying 10.4.210.100...
Connected to 10.4.210.100.
Escape character is '^]'.

IOS-XE4#
IOS-XE4#show version | in LINUX
Cisco IOS Software, IOS-XE Software (X86_64_LINUX_IOSD-ADVENTERPRISEK9-M), Version 15.3(2)S0a, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
IOS-XE4#

This is really nice to have. If you don't want to fork out the crazy money for the Enterprise licensing from VMWare then you could run the demo for 60 days and then reinstall or you could create a "management" interface in each instance and use it for telnet access. The CSR1000v allows you to create as many interfaces on the router as the host machine will support so creating one dedicated to management isn't a problem.

IOS-XE4#show platform software vnic-if interface-mapping
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Interface Name Short Name vNIC Name Mac Addr
-------------------------------------------------------------------
GigabitEthernet0 Gi0 eth0 (vmxnet3) 000c.2965.dc56
GigabitEthernet2 Gi2 eth2 (vmxnet3) 000c.2965.dc6a
GigabitEthernet1 Gi1 eth1 (vmxnet3) 000c.2965.dc60
-------------------------------------------------------------------

IOS-XE4#
IOS-XE4#show run int g0
Building configuration...

Current configuration : 113 bytes
!
interface GigabitEthernet0
vrf forwarding Mgmt-intf
ip address 10.1.1.4 255.255.255.0
negotiation auto
end

IOS-XE4#

Lastly when you install the CSR1000v it comes with a 60 day license for 50Mbps throughput. After that expires it drops to 2.5Mbps which is still fine if you are using it in a test environment or for learning.

IOS-XE4#show platform hardware throughput level
The current throughput level is 50000 kb/s
IOS-XE4#

As I said earlier, tomorrow I'll post a detailed instructions on how to setup a lab using the CSR1000v along with how I'm using the CSR1000v as my home router ;-)

Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210
About Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210

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