With 2020 getting off to a slow start thanks to another lockdown, there’s no better time to sharpen your networking skills. I’ve recently been looking at EVE-NG as a tool to use within my business to not only help sharpen skills but to also replicate customer networks in a safe environment in order to provide assurances around proof of concepts and proposed network changes.
Recently EVE-NG approved use of AMD Ryzen 3900 processors for use with their product:
Whilst it’s safer and easier (but more expensive) to head down the Intel Xeon route for guaranteed compatibility with all things virtual I needed a challenge (plus I had some spare components which needed a new home). The price point of the Ryzen processors and the number of cores available makes this processor a very tempting choice for a lab of this kind.
Using the spare components I had along with a shiny new 16 core Ryzen processor I managed to get EVE-NG working on an ESXi 7.0 host, the core components I used are listed below:
- Ryzen 3950X 16 Core 32 Thread Processor
- Crucial 64GB DDR4 3200 Memory
- Gigabyte Aorus X570I (mini ITX)
- Iron Wolf 500Gb SSD
Please note the following with this build:
- The onboard NIC on this motherboard was compatible with ESXi 7.0 which was critical for the build as there are no PCIe expansion slots on Mini ITX builds
- The free edition of ESXi 7.0 only supports 8 CPUs per virtual machine, in order to get the most from EVE-NG and the Ryzen processor you need to get your hands on a licensed version which comes at a cost
So far I have managed to get the following devices functioning concurrently on EVE-NG using the build above without any issues:
- 2x Nexus 9000
- 2x FortiGate Firewall
- 2x Palo Alto Firewall
- 2x Cisco CSR 1000v
- 1x Windows 10 Node
For more details on how to get various network nodes running head on over to the Eve-ng website, there’s plenty of documentation available to get you up and running.
I’ll update this post to let you know how well this box performs and how many nodes it can handle under load.