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Dan Klingler
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Here at DevNet, we are committed to assisting you, the Developer, along your path to discover, use, and build successful solutions using Cisco technologies and associated APIs.  You may come into the process with one or more of the following questions:

  • Do I want to use the technology/API?
  • What value does this technology provide?
  • How do I get started?
  • How do I try it?
  • How do I use it?
  • How do I get help?
  • How do I go to market?

We have answers for each of these questions.

If one of your questions happens to be How do I try it?, then the DevNet Sandbox is the perfect place for you.  We offer a wide range of labs representing a good breadth of Cisco technology that you can try for free, to your hearts content.

We also recognize that there is ‘trying’ a lab or technology - and ‘TRYING’ a lab or technology.  Let me explain.  Some Developers may still not have answered the fundamental question "Do I want to use it?"   These folks may want to get their hands dirty, kick the tires a bit, and see if a technology will meets their needs - without fully investing in a long learning curve.  Then there are those who already know what technology they want/need, and are ready to deep-dive.

The good news is that we have labs for each type of user.  Our Always-On labs are perfect for ‘kicking the tires’, and our Reservation Based Labs a great fit when a Developer needs a private, robust, ‘no rails’ environment.

Let's take a quick look at each type of lab.

Always-On Labs:

  • These are systems that have a public address on the internet, and can be reached from any connected device, 24/7.
  • They are shared environments - meaning that other users can be accessing the system at the same time as you (but you likely won't know it).
  • You will generally be making RESTful API calls to these systems, or logging into a system console.
  • You will not have admin access to these systems, so the operations you can perform may be limited.
  • These labs/systems are perfect for a quick and easy way to test-drive the features and functionality of a technology and API.
  • Always-On Labs in the Sandbox catalog are indicated by the 24hr icon and the "Always-On" button.

Blog-AO-Example.png

Reservation Based Labs:

  • These labs require a reservation.  At the start of the reservation your lab will be created on a private network, and VPN credentials will be emailed to you once the lab is fully provisioned.  After you establish a VPN connection to your lab, you will have full control of all of its systems for the duration of the reservation.
  • These are private environments.
  • You will have Administrative access to all (or most) systems in your lab.
  • You can reserve these labs for up to 7 days at a time.
  • Several of our Reservation Based Labs have a full set of REAL hardware in then.
  • These labs are perfect for deeper investigation, exploration, or full blown solution development.
  • Reservation Based Labs are indicated by the calendar icon, and the "Reserve" button.

Blog-RES-Example.png

Depending on the technology and inherent constraints, we may offer only one lab type or the other.  However, many of our technologies will have both types of labs. So we recommend that you start with Always-On labs to get a feel for the API, and use Reservation Based labs for a deeper, ‘no rails’ environment.

One last related thought in closing; you should view our Reservation Based Sandbox Labs as just that - a Sandbox where you can explore, learn, fail occasionally, and try dangerous things (within reason). Our automation will clean up the pieces if you mess up a configuration, or even brick a system.  Just make a new reservation to get a clean, pristine lab and continue on.

while(!(succeed=try()));

-Dan

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