I am in the process of setting up my lab using ESXi on an HP Proliant server with 2 Xeon quad core 2.66GHz CPUs and 16GB of RAM. I will be using CSR 1000v.
Is the 16GB of RAM enough to run the v5 topology?
no, because CSR 1000v requires at least 2.5GB RAM memory,you need to run around 20 instances of routers for v5 topology.
so we are talking about 50GB of RAM.
also do not forget to keep some of memory for the ESXI server.
I think a machine of 64GB RAM will be fine.
If you were wanting to go through the Advanced Technology Labs, then your machine with 16GB would probably work fine because you only need 10 router instances running at once. Also, the Foundation Labs (at least the one released - Lab 1) only requires 10 routers and 4 switches so you may be able to complete those as long as you have the switches along with the ESX server. I'm guessing you might run into resource issues with the Troubleshooting and Full-Scale Practice Labs which you could just do rack rentals for.
Just an FYI - 20 CSR1000v's and 1 Win2008 Server VM's is taking about 27GB of memory. 10 CSR1000v's and 1 Win2008 Server takes about 11GB.
I installed 10 CSR 1000v's and was able to run them with nothing else running on the esxi server. The issue I ran into was starting more than 3 instances at the same time. If I boot up the 10 CSR 1000v's instances at the same time the esxi box would simply crash (tried it multiple times). I decided to upgrade the ram to 32gb and tested it last night and all 10 instances are running smoothly.
When it is go-time, I will use rack rentals for the troubleshooting and full-scale practice labs. By the way, where can I find the INE topologies for those? I haven't seen any INE topology with 20 routers yet.
That's great that you were able to get it running. The troubleshooting and full-scale labs haven't been released yet so there are no topologies available up to this point. Once they are released though, based on history, they will appear in your members portal.