Deploy a virtual Cisco CSR Router with IOS

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Summary

This article will show you how to deploy a virtual Cisco CSR1000v inside the VMware vSphere environment. After the Deployment, I will show you how to do the basic configuration in order to use it together with NSX-T (or to build your own network topology using Cisco CSR Routers).

The high-level steps

Below you will find the high-level steps on how to deploy and configure a virtual Cisco CSR Router.

  1. STEP 1) Download the CSR OVA installation file from the Cisco website
  2. STEP 2) Deploy the CSR OVA (either through the ESXi host or vCenter Server)
  3. STEP 3) Manually boot to the CSR image
  4. STEP 4) Perform initial configuration through the console
  5. STEP 5) Connect through SSH to the virtual Nexus Switch

STEP 1) Download the CSR OVA installation file from the Cisco website

First make sure you downloaded the proper files from the Cisco website.

In this example, I am using the following files for the deployment of my Virtual CSR.

  • csr1000v-universalk9.16.03.06 - Original.ovf
  • csr1000v_harddisk.vmdk
  • csr1000v-universalk9.16.03.06.iso

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-2.png

STEP 2) Deploy the CSR OVA (either through the ESXi host or vCenter Server)

I doing this deployment straight from an ESXi host, but the process on the vCenter Server will not be much different.

First right click Virtual Machines and select "Create/Register VM".

Make sure you select "Deploy a virtual machine from an OVA or OVF file".

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-1.png

Provide a name for the Virtual Machine.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-3.png

Make sure you select a proper storage resource.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-4.png

Configure the network interfaces as required. Make sure the first interface is the management interface and the other interfaces can be configured how you want. I am planning to use VLAN ID interfaces so that's why I am connecting them all to a trunk Port Group.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-5.png

Verify the details in the summary before you start the deploy.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-6.png

The deploy has started.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-7.png

STEP 3) Manually boot to the CSR image

Power on the Virtual Machine.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-8.png

Open the console of the Virtual Machine.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-9.png

The OS will start to boot...

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-10.png

And continue to boot...

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-11.png

And continue to boot...

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-12.png

And continue to boot...

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-13.png

By the end of the booting process, you will see a screen similar to the figure below.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-14.png

STEP 4) Perform initial configuration through the console

When you boot the virtual CSR for the first time you will be presented with the following question:

--- System Configuration Dialog ---

Would you like to enter the initial configuration dialog? [yes/no]:no

type "no" en then type "enable" to start the initial configuration.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-15.png

When you are in "enable mode" you can use the commands below for the initial configuration of the hostname, the management IP address and to make the CSR reachable through SSH.

!
configure terminal
!
hostname WAN-CSR
!
uername admin privilidge 15 secret VMware1!
!
interface GigabitEthernet1
ip address 10.1.0.181 255.255.0.0
no shut
!
ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 10.1.0.1
!
line vty 0 4
transport input ssh
login local
!
end
# copy run start

STEP 5) Connect through SSH to the virtual Nexus Switch

It is good practice to reboot the Virtual Machine (CSR) with the "reboot command". When you boot the CSR next time you will be presented with a screen displayed in the figure below. It does not matter what option you choose here.

CSR-DEPLOY-ESXI-16.png

YouTube Video

Comming soon

Technical Reviews

This article was technically reviewed by the following SME's:

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I am always trying to improve the quality of my articles so if you see any errors, mistakes in this article or you have suggestions for improvement, please contact me and I will fix this.