Most every big Networking company has announced something related to SDN. Whether simple marketing to concrete legit solutions, its a question of time until the market is filled with SDN-related products. It is thus essential to start getting familiar with it, and you know damn well there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty. So here are some helper-notes on getting started with sandboxing OpenFlow (OF) environments.
To do so I’m using Mininet – a VM created part of an OpenSource Project to emulate a whole complete environment with a Switch, an OF Controller, and even three linux hosts. Also note I’m using my desktop as a Host, with VirtualBox.
So what you’ll need:
- If you don’t have it yet, download VirtualBox, or another PC hyper-visor Software such as VMware Player. VirtualBox has the advantage of being free for Windows, Linux and Mac.
- Download Mininet VM OVF image.
- After decompressing the image, import the OVF.
- In order to establish terminal session to your VM, you’ll need to add a Host-only Adaptor on the Mininet VM. So first (before adding the adaptor on the VM itself) go to VirtualBox > Preferences. Then select the Networking tab, and add and adaptor.
- Next edit Vm Settings, and add an Host-only Adaptor. Save it and boot the VM.
- User: mininet Password: mininet
- Type sudo dhclient eth1 (or if you haven’t added another adaptor and simply changed the default Adaptor from NAT to Host-only adaptor then type eth0 instead of eth1) to enable DHCP service on that interface.
- Type ifconfig eth1 to get the IP address of the adaptor.
- Establish an SSH session to the Mininet VM. Open terminal, and type ssh -X [user]@[IP-Address-Eth1], where the default mininet user is “mininet” and IP address is what you got after ifconfig. So in my case it was: ssh -X firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mininet has its own basics tutorial – the Walkthrough. Also interesting is the OpenFlow tutorial.
The Mininet Walkthrough is designed for less than an hour tutorial. Here are some simple shortcuts to speedup your playing around:
- Type sudo mn –topo single,3 –mac –switch ovsk –controller remote. This will fire up the emulated environment of the switch, OF controller, and 3 linux hosts.
- Type nodes to confirm it. “h” stands for hosts, “s” for switch and “c” for controller. If you want, for instance, to now the addresses of a specific node such as Host2, type h2 ifconfig. If you want to establish a terminal session to the same host, type xterm h2. Note that xterm command only works if you first established ssh session by typing ssh -X …
This should already get you started.