$DayJob we make use of Dell S4048-ON Switches for 10G Top-of-Rack (ToR) switching and
also sometimes 10G Aggregation/Core for smaller deployments. They’re fairly flexible devices with a high
number of 10G ports, some 40Gs and they can do L3 ports and L2 ports. You can also run them either Stacked
or in VLT mode for redundancy purposes.
In addition these things use ONIE (Open Network Install Environment) and can run different firmware images - though we almost exclusively run these with DNOS 9 which is the Force10 FTOS code that Dell acquired some time ago rather than DNOS 10.
One evening, I was tasked with an “emergency” build request. We had some kit being shipped to a remote PoP the following day and the intended routers were delayed, so we needed to get something quickly and temporarily in place to take a BGP Transit Feed and deliver VRRP to the rest of the kit. A spare S4048 we had lying around would do the job sufficiently for the time period needed. I figured it wouldn’t take too long to get the base config needed and get it ready to be shipped with the rest of the kit.
So I got the Datacenter to rack/cable/console it so that I could begin configuration then set aside some time in the evening to do the work.
As I was watching the switch boot up I noticed something odd. Turns out the last engineer who had used this device had chosen to install the OpenSwitch OPX ONIE firmware on it instead of the usual DNOS9 firmware. So much for my quick and easy config.
At this point, I could have just reloaded the device into the ONIE installer environment and installed DNOS9 and been done with it all. But, I had a fairly open evening, and I’d not yet really played about much with any of the alternative ONIE OSes, so armed with my Yak Sheers, I thought I’d have a look around.
(After all this, I then re-imaged the device onto our standard deployment image of DNOS9 and completed the required config work that I was supposed to be doing.)
I found the OpenSwitch OPX Configuration Guide and started having a read.
TL;DR: It’s a Debian box, use
/etc/network/interfaces to configure
So I added an IP address to 1 of the interfaces (
e101-001-0 for the first 10G interface on
the device) and some default routing and brought up the link, something like:
ip addr add 192.0.2.2/30 dev e101-001-0 ip route add 0.0.0.0/0 via 192.0.2.1 ip link set dev e101-001-0 up
And lo-and-behold, my switch now had internet access..
admin@OPX:~$ ping 18.104.22.168 PING 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.199) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=1 ttl=119 time=1.31 ms ^C --- 184.108.40.206 ping statistics --- 1 packets transmitted, 1 received, 0% packet loss, time 0ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 1.313/1.313/1.313/0.000 ms admin@OPX:~$
Now I could ssh to it and have a look around.
Logging in drops you into a fairly standard debian shell and we can learn a bit about the device:
admin@OPX:~$ lscpu Architecture: x86_64 CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit Byte Order: Little Endian CPU(s): 2 On-line CPU(s) list: 0,1 Thread(s) per core: 1 Core(s) per socket: 2 Socket(s): 1 NUMA node(s): 1 Vendor ID: GenuineIntel CPU family: 6 Model: 77 Model name: Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU C2338 @ 1.74GHz Stepping: 8 CPU MHz: 1750.071 BogoMIPS: 3500.14 Virtualization: VT-x L1d cache: 24K L1i cache: 32K L2 cache: 1024K NUMA node0 CPU(s): 0,1 Flags: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 sse4_2 movbe popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes rdrand lahf_lm 3dnowprefetch epb kaiser tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid tsc_adjust smep erms dtherm arat admin@OPX:~$
admin@OPX:~$ free -m total used free shared buff/cache available Mem: 3937 516 2460 13 961 3189 Swap: 0 0 0 admin@OPX:~$
admin@OPX:~$ df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on udev 2.0G 0 2.0G 0% /dev tmpfs 394M 14M 381M 4% /run /dev/mapper/OPX-SYSROOT1 6.8G 1.7G 4.8G 26% / tmpfs 2.0G 0 2.0G 0% /dev/shm tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock tmpfs 2.0G 0 2.0G 0% /sys/fs/cgroup /dev/sda4 6.8M 2.0M 4.2M 33% /mnt/boot /dev/sda2 120M 13M 99M 12% /mnt/onie-boot admin@OPX:~$
It’s got a fairly weak ATOM CPU, and 4G of RAM, approximately the same as what you’d get in a cheap £10/month VPS. Disk space is basically non-existent at less than 5GB.
Nothing to write home about here, but that’s ok - this is just the management plane, it doesn’t need to be performant. Infact, I’d be disappointed if it was, as it would be a waste in a device like this.
Lets have a look around some more with opx and see what we can see.
There are a whole bunch of
opx- prefixed commands to interact with the hardware:
root@OPX:~# opx-show- opx-show-alms opx-show-interface opx-show-log opx-show-packages opx-show-stats opx-show-transceivers opx-show-vrf opx-show-env opx-show-interface-stats opx-show-mac opx-show-route opx-show-system-status opx-show-version opx-show-global-switch opx-show-lag opx-show-mirror opx-show-sflow opx-show-transceiver opx-show-vlan root@OPX:~# opx-config- opx-config-beacon opx-config-global-switch opx-config-interface opx-config-log opx-config-mirror opx-config-sflow opx-config-vlan opx-config-vxlan.py opx-config-fanout opx-config-hybrid-group opx-config-lag opx-config-mac opx-config-route opx-config-switch opx-config-vrf root@OPX:~#
The output of these seems reasonably friendly and usable:
root@OPX:~# opx-show-version OS_NAME="OPX" OS_VERSION="3.1.0" PLATFORM="S4048-ON" ARCHITECTURE="x86_64" INTERNAL_BUILD_ID="OpenSwitch blueprint for Dell 1.0.0" BUILD_VERSION="220.127.116.11-rc1" BUILD_DATE="2018-12-19T12:31:44-0800" INSTALL_DATE="2019-11-21T16:38:13+00:00" SYSTEM_UPTIME= 28 minutes SYSTEM_STATE= running UPGRADED_PACKAGES=no ALTERED_PACKAGES=no root@OPX:~#
root@OPX:~# opx-show-transceiver Port 1 Present: yes Type: SFP+ 10GBASE-SR Vendor: FS Vendor part number: SFP-10GSR-85 Vendor revision: 0000 Serial number: G1234567890 Qualified: yes Temperature: 31.0 deg. C Temperature state: nominal Voltage: 3.29099988937 V Voltage state: nominal High power mode: no Port 2 Present: yes ... Port 52 Present: yes Type: QSFP+ 40GBASE-CR4-1.0M Vendor: FS Vendor part number: QSFP-PC005 Vendor revision: 4100 Serial number: C1234567890-1 Qualified: yes Temperature: 0.0 deg. C Temperature state: nominal Voltage: 0.0 V Voltage state: nominal High power mode: yes ... root@OPX:~#
root@OPX:~# opx-show-transceiver --port 1 Port 1 Present: yes Type: SFP+ 10GBASE-SR Vendor: FS Vendor part number: SFP-10GSR-85 Vendor revision: 0000 Serial number: G1234567890 Qualified: yes Temperature: 31.0 deg. C Temperature state: nominal Voltage: 3.29099988937 V Voltage state: nominal High power mode: no root@OPX:~#
root@OPX:~# opx-ethtool e101-001-0 Settings for e101-001-0: Channel ID: 0 Transceiver Status: Enable Media Type: SFP+ 10GBASE-SR Part Number: SFP-10GSR-85 Serial Number: G1234567890 Qualified: Yes Administrative State: UP Operational State: UP Supported Speed (in Mbps): [1000, 10000] Auto Negotiation : off Configured Speed : 10000 Operating Speed : False Duplex : full root@OPX:~#
root@OPX:~# opx-ethtool -e e101-001-0 Show media info for e101-001-0 ... base-pas/media/port-type = 1 base-pas/media/wavelength-pico-meters = 850000 ... base-pas/media/slot = 1 base-pas/media/port = 1 ... base-pas/media/category-string = SFP+ base-pas/media/capability = 4 base-pas/media/diag-mon-type = 104 base-pas/media/channel-count = 1 base-pas/media/type = 5 ... base-pas/media/tx-power-low-warning-threshold = -7.99970722198 base-pas/media/insertion-timestamp = 140016931634256 ... base-pas/media/display-string = SFP+ 10GBASE-SR base-pas/media/vendor-pn = SFP-10GSR-85 base-pas/media/current-temperature = 31.0 ... root@OPX:~#
root@OPX:~# opx-show-env Chassis ... Vendor name: DELL Service tag: xxxxxxx PPID: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Platform name: Product name: S4048ON Hardware version: A02 Number of MAC addresses: 256 Base MAC address: 00:11:22:33:44:55 Power supplies Slot 1 Present: Yes Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Vendor name: Service tag: AEIOU## PPID: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Platform name: Product name: Hardware version: A00 Input: AC Fan airflow: Reverse Slot 2 ... Fan trays Slot 1 Present: Yes Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Vendor name: Service tag: AEIOU## PPID: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Platform name: Product name: Hardware version: A00 Fan airflow: Reverse Slot 2 ... Slot 3 ... Fans Fan 1, PSU slot 1 Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Speed (RPM): 10320 Speed (%): 57 Fan 1, PSU slot 2 ... Fan 1, Fan tray slot 1 Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Speed (RPM): 10121 Speed (%): 53 Fan 2, Fan tray slot 1 ... Fan 1, Fan tray slot 2 ... Fan 2, Fan tray slot 2 ... Fan 1, Fan tray slot 3 ... Fan 2, Fan tray slot 3 ... Temperature sensors Sensor CPU board sensor, Card slot 1 Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Temperature (degrees C): 31 Sensor NPU board sensor, Card slot 1 Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Temperature (degrees C): 35 Sensor system-NIC board sensor 1, Card slot 1 Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Temperature (degrees C): 33 Sensor system-NIC board sensor 2, Card slot 1 Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Temperature (degrees C): 31 Sensor NPU temp sensor, Card slot 1 Operating status: Up Fault type: OK Temperature (degrees C): 48 root@OPX:~#
Ok, so we’ve got basic connectivity, but what about if we wanted to do more, like BGP?
The configuration guide says:
apt-get installcommand to install the latest Debian 9 (stretch) release of the FRR package.
apt you say…
The guide suggested installing the .deb by hand, but I figured it would probably work properly via apt:
apt-get update apt-get install apt-transport-https curl -s https://deb.frrouting.org/frr/keys.asc | sudo apt-key add - export FRRVER="frr-stable" echo deb https://deb.frrouting.org/frr stretch $FRRVER | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/frr.list apt-get update apt-get install frr
And it actually installed.
At this point, a normal network-person would have then probably continued to look at
and getting it working (I’m sure it works reasonably well, I didn’t look).
I’m not a normal network-person. I also like to play about with servers as well.
So armed with the knowledge that
apt worked… I decided to try installing
docker… because of course that’s the next thing you try to install on a network switch.
curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/debian/gpg | sudo apt-key add - echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/debian stretch stable" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list apt-get update apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io
And it worked. Docker was installed. And seemingly working.
root@OPX:~# docker ps CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES root@OPX:~#
So the next obvious thing, what can I run to test this?
How about… this blog?
root@OPX:~# docker run shanemcc/blog.dataforce.org.uk Unable to find image 'shanemcc/blog.dataforce.org.uk:latest' locally latest: Pulling from shanemcc/blog.dataforce.org.uk cbdbe7a5bc2a: Pull complete c554c602ff32: Pull complete eda7f6504221: Pull complete 08afec60697d: Pull complete Digest: sha256:fd3c2e1d0a8ab6e9af30f4293135cffa2dba644aded797fe79188307f2ae0a2d Status: Downloaded newer image for shanemcc/blog.dataforce.org.uk:latest
Well, it seemed to be running:
root@OPX:~# docker ps CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES 02399b6f09b9 shanemcc/blog.dataforce.org.uk "nginx -g 'daemon of…" 55 seconds ago Up 53 seconds 80/tcp pensive_kapitsa root@OPX:~#
But didn’t seem to actually work. Maybe it was too good to be true?
Oh wait - the networking on this is probably a bit weird, maybe the docker bridge/NAT stuff doesn’t work… What if we try host-based networking?
root@OPX:~# docker run --rm --network host --name shaneblogtest shanemcc/blog.dataforce.org.uk 192.0.2.253 - - [29/Oct/2020:20:09:49 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 32706 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.59 Safari/537.36" "-" 192.0.2.253 - - [29/Oct/2020:20:09:49 +0000] "GET /css/allStyles-b2de97faf57b5af84d20b6bbcd1f47ab.css HTTP/1.1" 200 25159 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.59 Safari/537.36" "-" 192.0.2.253 - - [29/Oct/2020:20:09:49 +0000] "GET /wp-content/uploads/2016/05/header.png HTTP/1.1" 200 7938 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.59 Safari/537.36" "-" 192.0.2.253 - - [29/Oct/2020:20:09:49 +0000] "GET /wp-content/uploads/2016/05/ShaneNewColour.png HTTP/1.1" 200 5866 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.59 Safari/537.36" "-" ...
That worked, and then I was able to see this blog in all it’s wonder, served from a switch!
(Some of you will note that I didn’t actually expose a port properly in the first command, so it may well have worked if I’d done it correctly, I didn’t try any further)
I was greatly amused at the idea of this, mainly because it’s so stupid (running the blog on a £3k Switch that’s no more powerful than a £10/month VPS).
But also thinking about it more, this is quite exciting.
ONIE/OPX can run on x86 hardware or in a VM with KVM/QEMU/VAGRANT etc so you can actually have local
test environments that function similarly to your live production switches, and with docker you can run
applications on these devices to handle configuration/automation etc and get all the advantages of a modern
development pipeline with reproduceable builds and an easy installation process (
Or you could run a blog. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯