Hardware Limitation and Planning for My MacBook Virtual Network

LAB Diagram and Devices BOM

My intention is to build and test the labs presented in MPLS in SDN Era Book:

As shown in the network diagram the BOM consist of:

  • 10 x Junos Logical Systems Devices: 2xH, 2xCE, 2xPE, 2xBR, 1xRR, 1xP
  • 4 x IOS XRv Virtual Routers Devices: 2xPE, 1xRR, 1xP

Note: H/CE/BR devices can be built also using simple instance-type virtual routers as no additional inside virtualization is needed.

  • 6 x Junos Routing Instances instance-type virtual routers: 2xH, 2xCE, 2xBR
  • 4 x Junos Logical Systems Devices: 2xPE, 1xRR, 1xP
  • 4 x IOS XRv Virtual Routers Devices: 2xPE, 1xRR, 1xP

Available Resources and Resource Allocation

The lab will be hosted on a MacBook PRO with the following resources:

Device Memory CPU
MacBook Host 16GB 4 CPU with HT
SWAP Memmory ~2GB N/A

Junos and IOS MIX Maximum Resources

Device Memory CPU Run order
vMX Ubuntu Host 12GB 4 OK
IOS RXv-1 VM 3GB 1 OK
IOS RXv-2 VM 3GB 1 OK
IOS RXv-3 VM 3GB 1 Memmory error
IOS RXv-4 VM 3GB 1 Memmory error

Junos Only Maximum Resources

Device Memory Logical Systems Virtual Routers
vMX Ubuntu Host 12GB max 15 unknown limit
Clone of vMX Ubuntu Host 12GB  N/A Memory Error

Note: When I try to start a second vMX Ubuntu Host I get the following memory error: ” To fix this problem, power off other virtual machines or decrease the memory size of this virtual machine to 7060 MB.

IOS Maximum Resources

Device Memory CPU Run order
IOS XRv-1 VM 3GB 1 OK
IOS XRv-2 VM 3GB 1 OK
IOS XRv-3 VM 3GB 1 OK
IOS XRv-4 VM 3GB 1 OK
IOS XRv-5 VM 3GB 1 OK
IOS XRv-6 VM 3GB 1 Memory error

Note: My MacBook supports maximum 5  OS XRv VMs.

Not Enough Memory Error

I power ON the vMX Ubuntu Host, vMX Virtual Router inside Ubuntu and 2 IOS XRv Virtual Routers. Activity Monitor tool shows me I am at the limit of my resources.

I try to power ON the third IOS XRv VM, namely IOS-XRv-3 and I get “Not Enough Memory” error.

SWAP Files and/or Paging

One idea is to check if I can and how to increase swap files.

I have enough hardware memory for swap files on Macintosh HD:

  • Capacity: 999.25 GB
  • Available: 646.22 GB (4.96 GB purgeable)

The swap files are ~2GB:
I think I have reached my MacBook physical limit.

Interesting articles about MacBook and Sierra performance:

On MacRumors: https://www.macrumors.com/2001/09/10/increase-os-x-performance-swap-partition/

On Medium.com: https://medium.com/@ayltai/need-for-speed-how-to-squeeze-every-last-drop-out-of-macos-sierra-7ac17b680c98

Hardware Limitation Workaround

For my LAB, I will build different versions of the lab where I will place the two IOS XRv Virtual Routers in two different roles. This is how I will test interoperability of the two vendors but also the flexibility of the automation solution.

2 thoughts on “Hardware Limitation and Planning for My MacBook Virtual Network

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  2. Good blog post. Some tips i would like to contribute is that pc memory should be purchased if the computer still cannot cope with what you do with it. One can install two RAM boards of 1GB each, for example, but not one of 1GB and one of 2GB. One should always check the car maker’s documentation for the PC to be sure what type of storage it can take.

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