Cisco Portugal Blog

Introduction to Cisco Modelling Lab (CML)

February 11, 2021

The most common concerns when trying to study Cisco technologies are the expensive resources needed and the complex programs to simulate them properly. Fortunately, the Cisco DevNet team listened to us and now we have a proprietary tool that will let us do lab environments with real Cisco IOS images and an easy drag and drop interface.

In this series of articles, we are going to start our Cisco Modeling Lab journey by covering the following topics:

      • What is CML?
      • How to use it for free
      • Deploy a small network
      • Automation


What is CML?

Cisco Modeling Labs or CML is the new version of what was known as VIRL. But it’s not just a rebranding, the main differences are things that we were asking for a long time in VIRL, like:

  • Having persistent labs, where the next time we start a session, the devices and configuration remained intact.
  • A store to access all the needed IOS images and licenses, so we don’t lose time looking for a working one.

And this is not all, let’s review some of their amazing features:

  • Very easy to setup
  • More scalable than other simulation platforms while reducing resource overhead
  • Have an intuitive HTML5 GUI, with a drag and drop interface where we can create topologies from scratch in a simple way.
  • Support most of the major IOS variants, including IOS, IOS-XRv, and NX-OS.
  • Includes utility images like Linux hosts, a WAN Emulator, and Cisco’s TRex traffic generator.


All of this sounds great, but all great things come with a price, right? Well, not always since we can start using the tool for free!

It is possible to reserve CML for up to 4 hours to test it and start using all the great benefits that the tool can provide. Then, if you want to continue after 4 hours, you can download your files and start a new session in order to keep working on your simulation.

From starting your journey into the networking world to preparing for your CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE exam, CML is the best option out there.

Stay tuned for our next post where we will be covering how to start using CML for free.