Friday, December 30, 2016

Deploying CSR1000v (Cisco IOS XE) on VMware ESXi

If you haven't installed VMware ESXi yet, go through Installing VMware ESXi & VSphere Client on VMware Workstation post and come here after it is completed.

Basically what I'm going to do here is going install several Cisco CSR 1000v (IOS-XE) routers in VMware ESXi and network them together with a Virtual Switch. Final output topology will be like the following.

With 802.1q trunking, you will be able to connect routers with logical point to point links  to simulate routing without a simulator..

You will need a CSR 1000v ova template from
What I downloaded was csr1000v-universalk9.03.11.04.S.154-1.S4-std-C1-M2560-N3-DS8.ova

For a one CSR1000v router, you will need a 2 GB minimum of RAM..

Open VMware workstation and power up the ESXi server and login using vSphere client..

Go to File > Deploy New OVF Template, Browse for the OVF, select hit Next..

Hit Next again and name your Router (Ex:- CSR-01) and hit Next..

Give Thin Provision if your installing it on your desktop.. Thin Provision means that it will not take dedicated hard disk space from your hard drive, it will allocate hard drive space when it needs only..

Hit Next & Next agin for Network Mapping for it's defaults, we will change these things as we need later..

My final settings were like this before Finishing and deploying..

Hit Finish..

Add another router just like the previous one with a different name (Ex:- CSR-02)
Finally the Virtual Switch default setup will be like following.. (go to Configuration > Networking)

Now power up the routers and and right click > Open Console

After it is booted up, configure them for SSHv2.. If you are not familiar with allowing SSH on Cisco devices please read Enabling SSH on Cisco Routers / Switches for Local Users


According to this topology, you can assign an IP address to any Gig port of the router because we didn't care the network mapping part.
Because we let it be the default, all 3 gig ports of each router now connects to the vSwitch. But in a design you will have to consider which port is actually connected to the vSwitch and assign a matching IP address to the port.
For this basic setup, give the routers the IP addresses of the same subnet which the ESXi is in..
Ex:- my ESXi IP :
CSR-01 Gig 1 IP :
CSR-02 Gig 1 IP :

Now the routers will ping each other and you will able to access the routers through your native PC's SSH clients like SecureCRT..


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