Monday, 16 January 2012

Citrix NetScaler VPX Cloud Bridge: Install Walkthrough Part 1/2: Setting Up the Demo Lab

The following lab is going to run through the steps to build a working NetScaler Cloud Bridge demo setup from scratch. The lab aims to demonstrate that a guest machine in Site A on Site A's subnet, can successfully communicate with a machine on Site B's network but with an IP address from Site A's subnet, and vice versa.

1: Prerequisites

i: NetScaler VPX appliance
Presently, the NetScaler VPX Platinum Evaluation is available at http://www.citrix.com/NetScaler and registering for the trial will provide access to downloads for NetScaler VPX on XenServer, VMware, and Hyper-V; and a license code for a 90 day evaluation.
*The following lab used the NetScaler VPX on VMware version 9.3-52.3

ii: 2x NetScaler Platinum Edition License Codes
Applying for the NetScaler VPX Platinum Evaluation twice will provide the two required Platinum Edition License Codes.
*The license keys will be obtained later after obtaining the MAC addresses of the NetScaler VPX appliances.
*Source www.citrix.com : Cloud Bridge is also included as part of the larger NetScaler Platinum Edition on either-NetScaler SDX™, MPX™ or VPX™ appliance platforms.

iii: A login for Citrx.com
It is free to register for an account which will later allow for download of license keys for the NetScaler VPX appliances.

iv: A suitable hypervisor
This can be either Citrix XenServer, VMware ESX(i), VMware Workstation 8, or Hyper-V.
The NetScaler VPX Appliances come pre-configured with 2GB, 2 processors, and 20GB disk (about 350MB with thin-provisioning,) and would recommend the hypervisor has at least 6 GB free memory to play with, and 6 GHz available processing power.
*This lab uses VMware Workstation 8 which can open OVF templates (Workstation 7 could not open OVF templates,) and this was running on top of a Windows 7 Workstation with 6 GB memory and an AMD Phenom 9950 Quad-Core 2.6GHz Processor.

iv: 4x Network Segments
More detail in Section B.

v: A router to simulate traversing the internet
*This lab uses a virtual Windows Server 2003 system running Routing and Remote Access.
*To demonstate the Cloud Bridge in action, using a point-to-point type link is not totally sufficient since two NetScalers connected across a point-to-point type link can work as a capable standard bridge without needing Cloud Bridge; hence a router is introduced into this lab setup.

vi: 2x Suitable Endpoints to Test the CloudBridge
Essentially, just something to ping with and reply to ping packets; may be useful to have an internet browser too.
*The following lab uses Windows XP virtual machines

2: The Lab Setup

i: The Networks

Site A (LAN): VMnet1 with Subnet IP 10.10.10.0, Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0, Gateway 10.10.10.2
Site B (LAN): VMnet2 with Subnet IP 10.10.20.0, Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0, Gateway 10.10.20.2
Site A (WAN Side): VMnet3 with Subnet IP 192.168.30.0, Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Site B (WAN Side): VMnet4 with Subnet IP 192.168.40.0, Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
CloudBridged Network: Subnet IP 10.10.10.0 (or Site A's LAN)
*Note that the VMnet1 and VMnet 2 networks, are configured as "Host-only" networks, and that the "Connect a host virtual adapter to this network" option is ticked for VMnet1 and VMnet2 (this allows the host workstation – which takes an X.X.X.1 IP address – access to the NetScalers' GUI for configuration purposes, and later we can uncheck this option to prove no traffic is travelling via the host.)

ii: The Virtual Machines
Site A:

WXPWSA
(Windows XP Workstation A)
NIC1 on VMnet1
> IP 10.10.10.10

NSVPXA
(NetScaler VPX A)
NIC1 on VMnet1 for
> NSIP 10.10.10.5
> SNIP 10.10.10.15
NIC2 on VMnet3 for
> MIP 192.168.30.15
> IP 192.168.30.5 (for the Cloud Bridge)

The "Internet":

ROUTER
(Windows 2003 Server running Routing and Remote Access)
NIC1 on VMnet3 for
> IP 192.168.30.1
NIC2 on VMnet4 for
> IP 192.168.40.1

Site B:

WXPWSB
(Windows XP Workstation B)
NIC1 on VMnet2
> IP 10.10.10.20

NSVPXB
(NetScaler VPX B)
NIC1 on VMnet2 for
> NSIP 10.10.20.5
> SNIP 10.10.10.25
NIC2 on VMnet4 for
> MIP 192.168.40.15
> IP 192.168.40.5 (for the Cloud Bridge)

Additional Notes:
*NSIP = NetScaler Management IP
*SNIP = Subnet IP
*MIP = Mapped IP
*The 192.168.30.5 & 192.168.40.5 addresses are not specifically assigned/configured on NIC2; the NetScaler is intelligent enough to link the routers IP address in its ARP table as being available via NIC2, and – with the addition of a route to traverse the router – knows to send remote 192.168.30/40.X traffic down NIC2 to the router

3: Basic Configuration of the NetScalers
*This section continues from having imported two NetScaler VPX appliances into whatever hypervisor environment is being used; and having configured the networks, endpoints, and router, similarly to the above.

3.1: Basic Configuration
1) Power on NSVPXA
2) Via the console, complete the prompts to configure IPv4 address of 10.10.10.5, Netmask of 255.255.255.0, and Gateway of 10.10.10.2; and then select option 4 and press enter to save the changes.
*To re-run the basic IP setup configuration from CLI, at the > prompt type config ns
3) Using an internet browser; log in to the NetScaler GUI on http://10.10.10.5 using the default credentials (User Name = nsroot, Password = nsroot)
Run through the setup wizard > provide the Host Name of NSVPXA, provide the SNIP Address of 10.10.10.15 with Netmask of 255.255.255.0 : Next > Next > Finish > Exit
*The Setup Wizard can be re-initiated at any time via the NetScaler GUI

3.2: Licensing
1) Log in via the console or using SSH (PuTTY), with the default credentials of:
login = nsroot
Password = nsroot
2) At the > prompt type: shell
3) At the root@NSVPXA# prompt type: lmutil lmhostid -ether
- and record the host ID (MAC address) from the output
root@NSVXPA# lmutil lmhostid -ether
lmutil - Copyright (c) 1989-2007 Macrovision Europe Ltd. and/or Macrovision Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
The FLEXnet host ID of this machine is "000c29c00fe5"
root@NSVPXA#
4) Go to www.citrix.com and log in choosing the destination "Licensing Management," and obtain the license file (Allocate -> Don't see your product? > Enter license code : Continue > Host Name Warning : Continue > Enter Host ID : Continue > Confirm > OK to download the .lic file)
5) Use WinSCP or similar to copy the .lic file to the NetScaler's /nsconfig/license folder
6) At the root@NSVPXA# prompt, type: exit
*to get back to the > prompt
7) At the > prompt type: save ns config
8) At the > prompt type: shutdown -r now
- and type Y at the prompt for "Are you sure ... ?", then press enter
9) After the restart, log in via the console or using SSH
10) At the > prompt type: enable ns feature CloudBridge
11) At the > prompt type: enable ns mode l2
12) At the > prompt type: save ns config

3.3: NSVPXB

2 comments:

  1. Very nice staff :) Still, I was not able to make it work. Isnt it possible that there are some mistakes? E.g. shouldnt wxpwsb's IP be 10.10.20.20 and nsvpxb's SNIP 10.10.20.25? That would make more sense. I also do not really understand the routes.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous. WXPWSB's IP is correct as we are stretching the 10.10.10.X LAN from Site A. I'd recommend running through the material at:
      http://blogs.citrix.com/2011/12/05/the-recorded-version-and-materials-from-the-techtalk-webinar-%E2%80%98how-to-bridge-your-data-centre-to-the-cloud%E2%80%99-is-now-available/ for more information.
      Cheers!

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