Category: Home Lab

Using Visual Studio Code for creating Network Code

When I started on my network automation journey, I didn’t pay too much attention to what I was using when creating my code. I knew that programmers used Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), but since I was mostly editing smaller text files I kept to simple text editors like Nano or Vi. I attended Red Hat’s AnsibleFest in Austin, TX and saw that many people in the network world (both vendor reps and other network engineers) would use much more advanced text editors. One of the most popular ones being used was Atom. I ended up having a conversation with some other co-workers and a few Red Hat reps, and some suggested trying out Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code (commonly referred to VS Code). After having some time to try out both, I have chosen to stick with VS Code. While this blog post isn’t going to do a side by side comparison of text editors, it will show some of the highlights that led me to choose VS Code when creating network code.

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Fixing Dynamips in Fedora 26 64-bit

GNS3 Problems in Fedora 25

In my first blog post, I setup a Fedora 25 machine running Fedora Server version and GNS3 for network simulation. Unfortunately, during a “dnf update” on the system GNS3 stopped working. This was possibly an issue with the version of GNS3 I was running (1.5.3) and the aiohttp python library. I did see that GNS version 2.1 was supposed to fix the aiohttp library issue (this post), but it was only available on the Fedora 26 repositories. Upgrading from Fedora 25 to 26 is simple, as detailed by this Fedora Magaizne article. In short, all you need to do is run the following commands:

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Network Engineer’s Home Lab

UPDATE (1 Dec 2017): This post utilized Fedora 25. There are some issues in GNS3 that are fixed in version 2.1 which is available on Fedora 26. I would recommend using this guide, but installing Fedora 26. There is also an issue with dynamips on Fedora 26, and I wrote a blog post on how to fix the issue here.

A home lab can be one of the most important tools for a network engineer. It can be used to study for certifications, test designs or ideas, and learn new technologies. In years past most network engineer’s home labs would consist of physical routers, switches, and firewalls. With the exponential growth of virtualization, a network engineer’s home lab can be converted into a single physical server that costs far less than having the physical equipment. This blog post will detail the home lab setup that I have created for my own personal use. Most of my blog posts will be using this setup, so if you are interested in recreating what I have done, this blog post will run through all the steps to set up your own home server, or at least show you the tools that I am working with. This is just the basic setup, and any pieces of software or configuration that I add-on will be documented in later blog posts. Continue reading “Network Engineer’s Home Lab”