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I am Val Glinskiy, network engineer specializing in data center networks. TIME magazine selected me as Person of the Year in 2006.

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Thursday, May 03, 2018

NXOS sandbox

  In my previous post I promised to tell how I setup my own NXOS sandbox to experiment with OpenConfig on NXOS. Cisco's DevNet lab is very useful, but they cut you off after an hour or so and you have to start over. One hour is not nearly enough, so having your own sandbox is big help. You'll need Vagrant and VirtualBox. I used Vagrant 2.0.1 and VirtualBox 5.2.10 on Ubuntu 16.04LTS, but should work on OSX too.
First step - download from Cisco's website. Add it to the list of your Vagrant boxes:
vagrant box add --name nxos-sdbx

Clone or download Vagrant file and startup-config from my repo at GitHub.
Create iso file with startup-config (you can find more details here), in the directory where you put Vagrantfile and nxos_config.txt run command:
mkisofs -o nxos-sdbx.iso --iso-level 2 nxos_config.txt
Vagrant will configure VirtualBox to forward sandbox's ssh port to port 5522, http (NX-API) port to 8980 and NETCONF port to 8830.
Now you are ready to power up the switch:
 vagrant up
It will take some time to boot, you can monitor boot progress by looking at output of
ncat -U /tmp/nxos-sdbx
 Once switch is up (you'll see login prompt) you can login by either running:
vagrant ssh
ssh -p 5522 admin@localhost

In first case you'll be dropped into bash shell, type "su - admin" to get familiar CLI prompt. The password is "admin" (no quotes). In the 2nd case, just type "admin" when prompted.
If you want to test OpenConfig models on NXOS, you also need to download RPM files from Cisco's devhub. The file names are almost self-explanatory and include model's name. For example, mtx-openconfig-if-ip-1.0.0-7.0.3.I7.1.lib32_n9000.rpm contains OpenConfig model for IP interface configuration. The space in bootflash is limited, so if you want to try all available models, install one RPM at a time and delete it.
Copy file to the sandbox: 
scp -P 5522 mtx-openconfig-if-ip-1.0.0-7.0.3.I7.1.lib32_n9000.rpm  admin@localhost:
 Now, log into switch by using one of 2 ways above and run following commands:
run bash
sudo su -
cd /bootflash
yum install -y mtx-openconfig-if-ip-1.0.0-7.0.3.I7.1.lib32_n9000.rpm 
now start netconf:
netconfctl start 
Now you can use any NETCONF client and push OpenConfig-compliant XML to the sandbox. I wrote my own simple script which you can find here. Standard disclaimer: use at your own risk, no warranty, yadda, yadda, yadda.