How to build a FIBRE island (II)

This is the second post about the building process of the i2CAT’s FIBRE island. In the previous post we presented the several choices we were considering about the hardware to purchase. In this one we show the installation and configuration of the purchased equipment.

This equipment will enhance the actual existing OFELIA i2CAT testbed by adding a new island for FIBRE and later connection them both. The deployment will consist in a set of five servers and three switches plus, possibly a set of distributed wireless stations.

The five SuperMicro SuperServer 6016T-T servers have been named Desclot, Serafi, Papasseit, Martorell and Guimera, following DANA’s common practice of naming the servers as Catalan writers. The three switches are OpenFlow enabled Pronto 3290 and finally, four Linksys WRT54GL wireless routers which we plan to complete with a subset of three or four more routers to be deployed along one floor of a building in the UPC Campus in Castelldefels.

Once purchased and delivered the servers and switches in i2CAT’s premises in the labs at Castelldefels – after a little delay in customs house –, they are deployed in their rack and switched on. We can now proceed to configure them.

SW installation

Introducing Debian CD in Desclot server

First of all, Debian Squeeze is installed in all five servers. All servers HDs are configured as RAID1. Guimera will keep the production control framework of the testbed.

After the OS, XEN is installed and configured. XEN hypervisor is a tool that will be used by the Control Framework to create user’s Virtual Machines. XEN is easy to install through the apt-get install LINUX utility. Then, some scripts are copied and configuration files modified in order to define the desired configuration. That is, an interface through a VLAN for control network and any number of experimentation virtualized interfaces for users’ experimentation.

Physical links

The physical links between servers and switches define two networks. On one hand there are the uplinks. Each server is connected to at least one switch and also each switch is connected to the next one. These uplinks are connected in the upper ports of the switches and in eth1 interfaces of the servers and will not be accessible to the testbed’s users.

On the other hand, each switch is connected to the other two at the lower ports, and each server is connected to two switches through interfaces eth2 and eth3 forming a mesh OpenFlow network that will allow the users to define any virtual topology on the testbed during experimentation.

Next figure shows a picture of FIBRE servers (top) and switches (bottom) with the uplinks on the right side and the data links on the left side.

FIBRE servers and switches


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