I have attended several of KB’s CCIE tracks and there are frequent questions regarding EVE-NG.
When I began taking KB’s classes I wanted to use network virtualization software but there are multiple options available. KB uses EVE-NG, because it is free to all and it works fine. EVE-NG’s free version is called EVE-NG Community and the paid version is called EVE-NG Pro. You can use other network virtualization software but KB provides the network configurations to import into EVE-NG.
I hope this post helps answer the following questions:
- What version of EVE-NG do I need?
- How do I install EVE-NG?
- What images should I use?
- Where do I get Cisco images and how to install them?
- What hardware requirements are needed?
Here are some tips from my experience.
EVE-NG Community is free and works fine for KB’s classes. For extra features, larger labs, or to support the developers you can pay for the Pro version. Read EVE-NG’s website for specific differences between Community and Pro versions.
EVE-NG’s website has documentation called “Cookbooks” which are easy to follow instructions to install your selected version and platform. For your first time I would estimate ~30 minutes to install EVE-NG.
For L2 and L3 I use Cisco IOL images unless there is a requirement for a specific Cisco model.
Images are downloaded from Cisco using your personal/corporate account. Read EVE-NG’s website for instructions how to install images. The instructions are easy to follow.
EVE-NG can be installed as a VM or as a bare metal install. I have run EVE-NG on ESXi 6.7 and also bare metal installs. My preference is bare metal installs since I don’t have to buy a virtualization license. Here is my hardware experience:
A. Ubuntu Linux is the base OS for EVE-NG. As of this writing Ubuntu v16 for Community and v18 for Pro. Before buying hardware check Ubuntu’s hardware comparability for the hardware you are considering. I purchased an HP G8 server and had many problems and wasted time with EVE-NG Community because Ubuntu v16 didn’t support my HP G8 build.
B. A virtualization license, like ESXi, is not free and will be an added cost.
C. Class labs do not contain 100s of devices. For reference I have had no problems performing class labs and similar labs with ISE (v2.6), ASAs, 9Ks, and L2/L3s using a circa 2012 Lenovo Tiny spec’d: i7 quad core, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD.
D. When selecting hardware think of your goals and your budget. You can spend a lot of money buying the latest hardware. If you want to keep costs down use a bare metal EVE-NG installation because of its lower hardware requirements. If your chosen hardware platform does not have the capacity to run all the nodes at the same time, like 10 Cisco ASR 1000 routers turn some off and work on one leg at a time. If you want to build your own labs running 100s of devices you will want stronger hardware.
I have not ran EVE-NG virtualized in Windows 10. You will probably need an i5/i7, ~32-48 GB RAM, ~500 GB HD/SSD. Read EVE-NG’s Cookbooks for recommended hardware for a given number of nodes to spec your hardware needs.
E. KB currently sells lab time so you can rent his systems when you need ‘extra’ power. Or when you need access to systems/images you don’t have access to.
The hardware and EVE-NG version I currently use:
I run the class labs and make labs similar in size used in class and do not make intensive labs with 100s of devices. I have two active platforms; the circa 2012 Lenovo Tiny i7 quad core, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD runs Community and Pro is on a Lenovo Tiny: i5 Gen 8, 32 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe SSD. I bought a Pro license to support EVE-NG development. For no reason I use the older Lenovo more than the Pro system.
Each learner has their own goals, budget, and access to equipment. This post should have given you information to consider as you make your platform. Good luck!