Monday, September 30, 2013

The Mad Scientist's Lab

From time to time I need to setup lab devices to troubleshoot particular scenarios. Since it is pretty impractical to have "one of each" I use a lot of virtualization technology for this. Here are some handy pointers if you have ever wanted to setup your own lab to test things out.

VMware vSphere Hypervisor

VMware ESXi is the free version of the popular hypervisor. You can load this on most any hardware and have a system ready to host your virtual lab setup in minutes.

Fortigate / FortiAnalyzer / FortiManager

These and an increasing number of other Fortinet products are available in a VMware version. Head on over to the support site, look for the firmware images section and get yourself a copy. They are valid for 14 days as an evaluation version. Note that FortiOS is limited to a single VDOM when in eval mode.

Vyatta Router

To make things more realistic I tend to throw a router in between two firewalls. Vyatta has a free version of their routing software available which runs nicely inside the ESXi hypervisor. Their CLI is very JunOS like. So if you're already familiar with Juniper gear that helps immensely. It's significantly different from Cisco's IOS but well worth jumping into.

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