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Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G Shell

Release date: June 2019

Shell version: 3.0.0

Document version: 1.0

Important Note: shell versions >= 3.0.0 requires python3 which was introduced in CS 9.3. If you are using CloudShell < 9.3 please use IxNetwork controller shell version 2.2.0.

In This Guide

Overview

A shell integrates a device model, application or other technology with CloudShell. A shell consists of a data model that defines how the device and its properties are modeled in CloudShell, along with automation that enables interaction with the device via CloudShell.

Traffic Generator Shells

CloudShell's traffic generator shells enable you to conduct traffic test activities on Devices Under Test (DUT) or Systems Under Test (SUT) from a sandbox. In CloudShell, a traffic generator is typically modeled using a chassis resource, which represents the traffic generator device and ports, and a controller service that runs the chassis commands, such as Load Configuration File, Start Traffic and Get Statistics. Chassis and controllers are modeled by different shells, allowing you to accurately model your real-life architecture. For example, scenarios where the chassis and controller are located on different machines.

For additional information on traffic generator shell architecture, and setting up and using a traffic generator in CloudShell, see the Traffic Generators Overview online help topic.

Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G Shell

The Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G shell provides you with connectivity and management capabilities such as device structure discovery and power management for the Ixia IxNetwork Controller.

For more information on the Ixia IxNetwork Controller, see the official Ixia product documentation.

The Ixia IxNetwork Controller provides automation commands to run on the chassis, such as Load Configuration, Start/Stop Traffic, Get Statistics. For more information on the Ixia Chassis shell, see the following:

Standard version

The Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G shell is based on the Traffic Generator Controller Standard version 2.0.0.

For detailed information about the shell’s structure and attributes, see the Traffic Shell standard in GitHub.

The Client Install Path attribute is not relevant for the Ixia IxNetwork Controller.

Supported OS

Windows

Requirements

Release: Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G

IxNetwork API Server: 8.0.1 GA and above

IxNetwork Connection Manager (Windows and Linux): 8.40 EA and above

CloudShell version: 8.3 GA Patch 3, 9.0 Patch 2, 9.1 GA and above

Automation

This section describes the automation (driver) associated with the data model. The shell’s driver is provided as part of the shell package. There are two types of automation processes, Autoload and Resource. Autoload is executed when creating the resource in the Inventory dashboard, while resource commands are run in the sandbox.

For Traffic Generator shells, commands are configured and executed from the controller service in the sandbox, with the exception of the Autoload command, which is executed when creating the resource.

Command Description
Autoload Discovers the chassis, its hierarchy and attributes when creating the resource. The command can be rerun in the Inventory dashboard and not in the sandbox, as for other commands.
Load Configuration Loads configuration and reserves ports.
Set the command input as follows:
* Ixia config file name (config_file_location (String)): Full path to the Ixia configuration file name.
Start ARP/ND Send ARP/ND for all protocols.
Start Protocols Starts all protocols.
Stop Protocols Stops all protocols.
Start Traffic Starts L2-3 traffic.
Possible values:
* Blocking:
- True: Returns after traffic finishes to run
- False: Returns immediately
Stop Traffic Stops L2-L3 traffic.
Get Statistics Gets view statistics.
Possible values:
* View Name: Port statistics, Traffic item statistics, Flow statistics, etc.
* Output type: CSV, JSON. If CSV, the statistics will be attached to the blueprint csv file.
Run Quick Test Runs Quick test.
Set the command inputs as follows:
* QuickTest Name: Name of quick test to run.

Downloading the Shell

The Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G shell is available from the Quali Community Integrations page.

Download the files into a temporary location on your local machine.

The shell comprises:

File name Description
IxiaIxnetworkControllerShell2G.zip IxNetwork Controller 2G shell package
ixia_ixnetwork_controller_gen_2_offline_requirements.zip Shell Python dependencies (for offline deployments only)

Importing and Configuring the Shell

This section describes how to import the Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G shell and configure and modify the shell’s devices.

Importing the shell into CloudShell

To import the shell into CloudShell:

  1. Make sure you have the shell’s zip package. If not, download the shell from the Quali Community's Integrations page.
  2. In CloudShell Portal, as Global administrator, open the Manage – Shells page.
  3. Click Import.
  4. In the dialog box, navigate to the shell's zip package, select it and click Open.

The service can now be added to a blueprint from the Apps/Service catalog's Networking category.

Offline installation of a shell

Note: Offline installation instructions are relevant only if CloudShell Execution Server has no access to PyPi. You can skip this section if your execution server has access to PyPi. For additional information, see the online help topic on offline dependencies.

In offline mode, import the shell into CloudShell and place any dependencies in the appropriate dependencies folder. The dependencies folder may differ, depending on the CloudShell version you are using:

Adding shell and script packages to the local PyPi Server repository

If your Quali Server and/or execution servers work offline, you will need to copy all required Python packages, including the out-of-the-box ones, to the PyPi Server's repository on the Quali Server computer (by default C:\Program Files (x86)\QualiSystems\CloudShell\Server\Config\Pypi Server Repository).

For more information, see Configuring CloudShell to Execute Python Commands in Offline Mode.

To add Python packages to the local PyPi Server repository:

  1. If you haven't created and configured the local PyPi Server repository to work with the execution server, perform the steps in Add Python packages to the local PyPi Server repository (offlinemode).

  2. For each shell or script you add into CloudShell, do one of the following (from an online computer):

    • Connect to the Internet and download each dependency specified in the requirements.txt file with the following command: pip download -r requirements.txt. The shell or script's requirements are downloaded as zip files.

    • In the Quali Community's Integrations page, locate the shell and click the shell's Download link. In the page that is displayed, from the Downloads area, extract the dependencies package zip file.

  3. Place these zip files in the local PyPi Server repository.

Setting the python PythonOfflineRepositoryPath configuration key

Before PyPi Server was introduced as CloudShell’s python package management mechanism, the PythonOfflineRepositoryPath key was used to set the default offline package repository on the Quali Server machine, and could be used on specific Execution Server machines to set a different folder.

To set the offline python repository:

  1. Download the ixia_ixnetwork_controller_gen_2_offline_requirements.zip file, see Downloading the Shell.

  2. Unzip it to a local repository. Make sure the execution server has access to this folder.

  3. On the Quali Server machine, in the ~\CloudShell\Server\customer.config file, add the following key to specify the path to the default python package folder (for all Execution Servers):
    <add key="PythonOfflineRepositoryPath" value="repository full path"/>

  4. If you want to override the default folder for a specific Execution Server, on the Execution Server machine, in the ~TestShell\Execution Server\customer.config file, add the following key:
    <add key="PythonOfflineRepositoryPath" value="repository full path"/>

  5. Restart the Execution Server.

Updating Python Dependencies for Shells

This section explains how to update your Python dependencies folder. This is required when you upgrade a shell that uses new/updated dependencies. It applies to both online and offline dependencies.

Updating offline Python dependencies

To update offline Python dependencies:

  1. Download the latest Python dependencies package zip file locally.

  2. Extract the zip file to the suitable offline package folder(s).

  3. Terminate the shell’s instance, as explained here.

Updating online Python dependencies

In online mode, the execution server automatically downloads and extracts the appropriate dependencies file to the online Python dependencies repository every time a new instance of the driver or script is created.

To update online Python dependencies:

  • If there is a live instance of the shell's driver or script, terminate the shell’s instance, as explained here. If an instance does not exist, the execution server will download the Python dependencies the next time a command of the driver or script runs.

Associating a CloudShell Service to a Non-Global Domain

In order to expose a service to users of a domain that is not the Global domain, you must associate the service to the domain. To do this, you need to associate the service to a category that is assigned to the domain.

When you import a service shell, most shells are automatically assigned a default service category which is associated with the Global domain. For custom shells, this may not be true.

To associate the Ixia IxNetwork Controller 2G service to a domain:

Note: The association process differs depending on the type of shell - second generation (2G) shell or first generation (1G) shell. The instructions below detail the steps for a 2G service shell.

  1. (Optional) To associate the service to a new service category(s):

    Note: If you do not want to add a new category(s) to this shell, you can use the default category that comes out-of-the-box (if it exists).

    • Modify the shelldefinition.yaml file to add a service category(s) to the shell. See the CloudShell Developer Guide’s Associating categories to a service shell article. Note that when importing the shell into CloudShell, the new categories will be linked automatically with the Global domain.

  2. Associate the shell’s service category (either the out-of-the-box category or the new category you created in step 1) to a non-Global domain.

    1. In the Manage dashboard, click Categories from the left sidebar, or Domains if you are a domain admin.

    2. Select Services Categories.

    3. Click the service category that is associated with your service shell.

    4. In the Edit Category dialog box, from the Domains drop-down list, select the desired domain(s).

    5. Click Save.

Typical Workflow

Workflow 1 - Using the IxNetwork controller to run IxNetwork traffic

  1. In CloudShell Portal, in the top left section of the Blueprint Catalog, click + Create Blueprint.

  2. In the blueprint toolbar, click Resource and drag the Ixia Chassis resource into the diagram.

    1. Add the required number of Ixia Chassis resource ports to the blueprint. The number of Ixia Chassis resource ports in the blueprint should match the number of ports in the IxNetwork configuration. For example: if you have a configuration with two ports:

            

    2. Hover over the Ixia Chassis resource and select More Options>Add sub-resource from the context menu.

    3. Use the search and filtering options to find the port resources you want to use.

    4. Select the port resources from the pane and drag them into the workspace. The ports are displayed in the Resource Structure tab of the chassis resource.

                  

  3. In the blueprint toolbar, click App/Service>CS_TrafficGeneratorController and drag the Ixia IxNetwork Controller Shell 2G service into the diagram.

  4. Reserve the blueprint.

  5. Edit the Ixia IxNetwork Controller Shell 2G service parameters if required.

      

  1. Map the configuration ports to the blueprint ports. For each port in the IxNetwork configuration, assign a physical port from the ports in the blueprint.

    1. Hover over the Ixia chassis resource and select Structure from the context menu. The Resource Structure side pane is displayed, listing the resource's ports.
    2. For each port, click the down arrow and select Attributes.
    3. Set the Logical Name to the port name in the IxNetwork configuration.

          

References

To download and share integrations, see Quali Community's Integrations.

For instructional training and documentation, see Quali University.

To suggest an idea for the product, see Quali's Idea box.

To connect with Quali users and experts from around the world, ask questions and discuss issues, see Quali's Community forums.

Release Notes

For release updates, see the shell's GitHub releases page.

Known Issues

Performance: REST API performance is very poor. Loading a configuration and reserving ports may take a number of seconds, depending on your particular setup. You are advised to start idle connections on the Connection Manager to reduce startup time.

No available connection on the connection manager: If there is no connection available on the Connection Manager, you must login to Connection Manager, close zombie connections or create new connections.

Licensing: If the License server on the Connection Manager/API server is not configured, Load Configuration may run successfully, however the ports state will be Down and any further operations will fail.

Reserved ports: If ports are reserved by other users, Load Configuration may run successfully, however the ports state will be Down and any further operations will fail.