This blog is the first in a series of blogs focusing on DevNet Sandbox and the awesome free access to Cisco and Open Source technologies it provides all our DevNet users.

I’m a developer. I’m also somewhat an architect, manager and evangelist which makes life super fun, but pretty fast paced. For the most part, I love having my hands dirty in code and tech.

When I want to learn something new, I want to get hands on with it. And generally, I want to do that fast as there’s a whole bunch of other stuff on my plate. I don’t want to have to wait for delivery of hardware, licence keys or other devices to show up at my office to get started. I also want to pay as little up front as possible while I test things out and see if it is right for me, if it has the right functionality, if it’s right for my solution or application and if I can integrate the way I want to!

And if I can’t get hands on quickly, I tend to quickly drift to some other solution or method of filling my needs or solving my problems.

Now, I’d go out on a limb here and say that’s pretty much the same as any other developer. You want easy access to solutions and tools quickly, before you commit to them!

This is why DevNet Sandbox exists at Cisco.

DevNet Sandbox provides our fantastic ever-growing community of customer, partner and ISV developers super simple, fast, on-demand access to a world of Cisco technology, third party solutions and developer tools. For FREE!

We have over 60 technology packed Sandboxes for you to choose from and they are all available today through the Sandbox Portal, which you can navigate to right now at https://developer.cisco.com/Sandbox.

There’s also overviews, documentation and links to our latest blogs and developer community forums on the portal to get stuck into later.

But to get started and jump right into a Sandbox, just create yourself an account, which takes seconds, then select the Sandbox Catalog.

The Catalog presents up all the different Sandboxes you can choose from, handily colour coded (‘colour’ split the UK way – I’m British, see – and I’m drinking tea while writing this for stereotype value) to make it easy for you to identify the technology category you’re looking for.

Our technology categories are extensive. They range from what you might expect – Data Center and Networking (I’ll spell ‘Center’ the US way, to even things out) – but far beyond to our extensive collaboration portfolio, IoT & Security solutions, Cloud and of course open source tech we help out with in the wider communities.

Once you’ve found the technology you want instant access to, you might find you have two options…Always-On or Reserved.

Always-On Sandboxes provide instantaneous access to that technology through the details that you can find by selecting the tile for that Sandbox. They’re very much a shared environment, with any number of users playing into that sandbox at any one time. For that reason, they are best for quick tests, learning and familiarisation.

Reservation based Sandboxes provide you with an environment entirely to yourself. They are spun up for you on-demand and require VPN access, which we set up for you and provide the details in an email straight to your account. You’ll need a VPN client like AnyConnect or OpenConnect, which we provide details on how to use in each Sandbox. At that point they are yours alone!

That allows us, on the whole, to give you complete admin access to hardware, virtualised infra and software in reservation sandboxes. It makes them ideal for development, testing, deeper learning and innovating upon. Once again, more instructions about any particular sandbox can be accessed by clicking on the sandbox tile of your choosing.

To reserve a Sandbox, hit the ‘reserve’ button. That will bring up a dialogue box, where in the simplest case, you just need to select a duration (up to a week) and hit the reserve button and boom – we’ll send you emails of confirmation, when your Sandbox is ready and VPN details to connect!

That should get you started!

In the second blog of this mini-series, I’ll talk around options when reserving, email alerts, other advanced Sandbox features, hello world example, Learning Labs and much more!

Until then … enjoy!

We’d love to hear what you think. Ask a question or leave a comment below.
And stay connected with Cisco DevNet on social!

Twitter @CiscoDevNet | Facebook | LinkedIn

Visit the new Developer Video Channel


Tom Davies

Manager, DevNet Sandbox

Developer Experience