CDRouter Support

NTA1000v3 Quick Start Guide

quick-start-guide version 10.4

A Note About NTA1000 Hardware Versions

The NTA1000 system has evolved from its original version (v1) to v2, v3, v4, and is now at v5. The v1, v2, v3, and v4 models are no longer being shipped. This document refers to the third version NTA1000 (v3). Although the model name has not changed and the four versions look similar, there are key differences that should be noted. If you’re not sure which model you have, please refer to this page:

Throughout the remainder of this document the NTA1000 v3 will be referred to simply as the NTA1000.

If you are not using a v3 NTA1000 system, please instead refer to the appropriate Quick Start Guide.

Introduction

The NTA1000 from QA Cafe is a turn-key hardware appliance optimized for use with CDRouter - the CPE industry’s leading functional test verification tool. The NTA1000 is equipped with a variety of test interfaces offering tremendous flexibility in a compact 1U form factor.

If at any time you have additional questions or would like additional assistance, please contact support@qacafe.com.

nta1000v3.jpg

What’s in the box?

Here’s what you’ll find in the box:

  • (1) NTA1000 v3 system
  • (2) dual band antennas
  • (2) magnetic antenna mounts
  • (1) documentation pack
  • (1) power cord
  • (2) 19 inch rack mount ears

Quick setup

The NTA1000 is very easy to install and use. Simply unpack the NTA1000, set it up in a convenient location, plug the power cable in, connect the MGMT port on the front panel to your corporate LAN, and turn it on. In a few minutes the NTA1000 will be fully booted and will display the MGMT port’s DHCP IP address on the LCD screen. At this point you can load CDRouter’s web interface and begin testing, or perform operating system administration and maintenance locally (by connecting a monitor, keyboard, and mouse) or remotely via SSH (credentials provided below).

More detailed information on the NTA1000 is provided in the sections below. If at any point you have any questions, please contact support@qacafe.com.

Hardware overview

The NTA1000 is based on an advanced Intel Core i5-660 CPU with 8 GB of RAM and a small 128 GB SSD for the operating system and a larger 4 TB hard disk for data. For a complete list of hardware specifications, please see the NTA1000 data sheet:

Power supply

The NTA1000 includes a full-range 300W ATX power supply. Specifically, the operating conditions supported by the NTA1000 are:

  • Voltage: 100 - 240 VAC
  • Frequency: 50 - 60 Hz
  • Current demand (max): 3 - 6 A

Ethernet interfaces

The NTA1000 is equipped with seven Gigabit Ethernet ports accessible from the front panel. Of these seven ports, six are available for use as CDRouter test interfaces, and one is reserved for management access.

The six CDRouter test ports are labeled ETH1 through ETH6. The management port is labeled MGMT(ETH0). The MGMT port supports both DHCP and static addressing, as discussed in the section below. By default, the MGMT port is configured for DHCP. Ports ETH1 through ETH6 have all been configured for use as CDRouter test interfaces.

Note: The seven Ethernet ports map directly to the same interface names within the operating system (eth0 through eth6). The MGMT port maps to eth0 within the operating system.

Wireless interface

The NTA1000 also includes an Intel 7260HMW mini PCI-Express card, which provides dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless functionality. This wireless adapter has been configured for use as a CDRouter test interface and is accessible on the rear panel of the NTA1000 via two RP-SMA connectors.

If you plan to use the NTA1000’s wireless interface you must attach suitable antennas to the two RP-SMA connectors on the rear panel. Two magnetic dual-band antennas with six foot pigtails are provided with the NTA1000 . We recommend using these antennas with your NTA1000. The six foot pigtails provide some flexibility for antenna placement. Signal quality will generally be better if the antennas are in close proximity to the device under test (DUT).

Note: The wireless adapter maps to the interface name wlan0 within the operating system.

LCD screen

The NTA1000 also includes a front panel LCD screen. The LCD keypad is not enabled. However, the LCD will display the installed version of CDRouter and the IP address of the MGMT port. This allows you to install and access the NTA1000 without the use of a monitor. Just connect the MGMT port to your network and power the NTA1000 on. After the system boots the management port’s IP address will be displayed. At this point you can connect to the system remotely via SSH or load the CDRouter web interface to begin testing.

Console port

The NTA1000 is also equipped with a front panel serial console port, which can be used for local administration of the operating system. The serial console port is active after the operating system loads; BIOS and bootloader information is not displayed. The console port has the following settings:

  • Speed: 115200
  • Data bits: 8
  • Parity: none
  • Stop bits: 1

You can connect to the serial console port using a standard DB9 or USB to DB9 serial adapter. The system authentication is the same as the rest of the system, and is listed later in this document.

Software overview

The NTA1000 ships with a slightly modified 64-bit CentOS 6.5 operating system. The only modifications made to the stock CentOS distribution are:

  • 3.10.47 (long-term) kernel
  • The addition of some packages required by CDRouter
  • Removal of some packages and services not required by CDRouter
  • Configuration of the MGMT port, six Ethernet test interfaces, and wireless test interface
  • Minor cosmetic tweaks
  • SSH and BuddyWeb services are allowed through the IP Firewall, all other ports closed
  • SELinux disabled
  • Driver for the Intel wireless card built and installed as a kernel module.
  • Firmware for the Intel wireless card installed as well.
  • Latest wireless regulatory database installed.

Partitioning

The NTA1000 includes two internal disks: one for the OS and one for data.

The OS disk (/dev/sda) is a 128 GB SSD, partitioned as follows:

  • /dev/sda1: approximately 1 GB; the /boot directory is mounted here
  • /dev/sda2: approximately 4 GB; swap
  • /dev/sda3: approximately 114 GB; the / directory is mounted here

The data disk (/dev/sdb) is a 4TB hard drive, partitioned as follows:

  • /dev/sdb1: approximately 4 TB; the /userdata directory is mounted here

The /home and /usr/buddyweb areas are bind mounted to the /userdata partition, allowing them to make full use of this space.

The /home and /usr/buddyweb directories have been isolated from the main operating system to allow for multiple recovery options in the event of a software failure or OS disk crash. All CDRouter configs, packages, and test results are stored in the /usr/buddyweb directory. Likewise, we recommend that any custom tests or buddy CLI driven test results be stored somewhere in the /home directory.

These partitions require no action on the part of the user. The disk layout and partitioning scheme is presented for information only.

Administration and default login credentials

The NTA1000’s default login credentials are:

  • Login: qacafe
  • Password: cdrouter

These credentials can be changed at your discretion and are required for local or remote administration of the operating system. Local administration is possible at any time via the front panel console port or by connecting a standard monitor to the front panel VGA port and a keyboard and mouse to the USB ports on the front panel.

Remote administration is available via SSH on the MGMT port. The LCD screen will display the IP of the MGMT port making it possible to remotely administer the system without needing a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Network interfaces

The seven physical Ethernet ports that are accessible on the front panel of the NTA1000 map to the same respective interface names within the operating system. The integrated wireless adapter maps to the interface wlan0. The eth0 interface is reserved for management, while all other interfaces (eth1 through eth6 and wlan0) are reserved for use as CDRouter test interfaces. The MGMT port has been specially configured within the operating system and should not be used as a CDRouter test interface under any circumstances.

Firewall

The NTA1000 is shipped with the firewall completely disabled. We have made this decision because the NTA1000 is often protected in a lab network, and configuring the firewall is an advanced system administration procedure.

You are free to implement the firewall according to any corporate guidelines. The firewall is Linux iptables.

A simple firewall shell script is included here for reference. You can paste this text into a script and test it before committing to its effects.

#!/bin/bash

# This is a firewall script for the NTA1000.  It denies all traffic except
# for SSH, ICMP (ping, et al), and BuddyWeb.

# We must clear the existing rules.  
iptables -F

# Default policies can be only DROP or ACCEPT
iptables -P INPUT DROP
iptables -P OUTPUT DROP
iptables -P FORWARD DROP

# Allow all ICMP traffic, including pings.
iptables -A INPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT
# Allow ssh, buddyweb, and buddyweb's talkback port.
iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 8015 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 8080 -j ACCEPT

# Allow packets associated with services we have explicitly allowed
# (This tells iptables to dynamically allow the connections that go
# in the opposite direction, which have random port values)
iptables -A OUTPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

# Catchall rule - REJECT will send a message that the
# port is refused.  This makes debugging easier for everyone.
# Remove this rule to invoke the default policy rule of DROP,
# which silently discards packets.
iptables -A INPUT -j REJECT

Copy this script into a new file on your system. Set the execute bit. Run the script as the root user or with sudo permissions.

Example:

  • Log into the NTA1000 as root
  • run “nano firewall.sh”
  • Copy the file into the editor
  • Save the file
  • run “chmod u+x firewall.sh”
  • run “./firewall.sh”

To make the changes permanent, you can add a line to /etc/rc.local which invokes the script in the location you have saved it.

This example is a very simple firewall. To integrate with the CentOS firewall, please see http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/Network/IPTables

Management port configuration

By default, the NTA1000 uses the NetworkManager service to automatically configure the MGMT port’s IP address and update the system’s DNS and default gateway information using DHCP.

If instead you’d like to assign a static IP address to the MGMT port, you must disable the NetworkManager service and update the system configuration files with the appropriate network address information for your local network by following the steps below.

(Note that any changes you make will not take effect until the next system reboot)

  • Use the chkconfig command to turn the NetworkManager service off for all run levels:
# chkconfig NetworkManager off

You can use this command to turn NetworkManager “on” again, or check the status of the setting.

# chkconfig --list NetworkManager
NetworkManager  0:off   1:off   2:off   3:off   4:off   5:off   6:off
  • Edit the following two files with a simple text editor in order to update the system’s network configuration and IP address information for the MGMT port:

Be sure to reboot the NTA1000 after making these changes in order for them to be applied properly.

$ gedit /etc/sysconfig/network
NETWORKING=yes
NETWORKING_IPV6=no
HOSTNAME=nta1000.localdomain
GATEWAY=10.0.0.1

$ gedit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
DEVICE=eth0
HWADDR=00:03:2D:1A:CB:9D
NM_CONTROLLED=no
ONBOOT=yes
IPADDR=10.0.0.128
BOOTPROTO=none
NETMASK=255.255.255.0
DNS1=10.0.0.1
DOMAIN=lan

The above settings are provided only as an example. The IPADDR, DNS1, DOMAIN, and GATEWAY options must all match your desired static IP configuration.

Operating system updates

QA Cafe maintains a separate software repository for security and feature updates. QA Cafe’s Support Team may advise you to perform a specific update that utilizes this repository.

It is of particular concern that Linux kernel updates may break the functionality of your CDRouter software. CDRouter interacts with the kernel directly and the specific version shipped with your NTA1000 has been verified as compatible. QA Cafe will publish newer kernels to its software repository as security and feature requirements are determined. If a new kernel is installed, a new kernel module for the Intel 7260HMW wireless card must also be built.

Rebuilding the Intel 7260HMW wireless driver

The kernel module driver needed for the Intel 7260HMW wireless card will typically need to be rebuilt if a new kernel is used. Rebuilding the driver is easy. The source code should already be on the system. Simply follow these steps:

su
cd /usr/src/backports-3.15.1-1
make clean
make defconfig-iwlwifi
make
make install

Once finished, you will then need to reboot the NTA1000.

CDRouter software updates

The NTA1000 ships with the most recent released version of CDRouter pre-installed and ready to run. QA Cafe periodically makes new major, minor, and maintenance releases of CDRouter available. QA Cafe’s Support Team will notify all active customers of new CDRouter software releases via email. Updated CDRouter software can be downloaded from the Customer Lounge (login required). Upgrade instructions can be found here.

System recovery

The initial factory configuration of your system was installed using a set of disk images, one for each disk. If for some reason you need to revert either of your disks back to their original state e.g., due to a disk failure, you can download and use these same disk images. Please refer to this document for more details.

If the either disk is rebuilt, it will be necessary to reinstall CDRouter. The CDRouter installer is available from the QA Cafe Customer Lounge, which is a binary installer that will automatically discover and index all previous CDRouter data.

WARNING: Please be aware that the process of replacing the OS hard drive will change the system-id, and CDRouter will not load until QA Cafe’s Support Team has been alerted and the new system-id is registered. Please contact support@qacafe.com before opening or replacing any of the NTA1000’s hardware components.

If the data disk is rebuilt, you will then need to restore previously backed up data to both the /usr/buddyweb and /home areas.

The necessity of performing regular backups

The NTA1000, like any industrial tool, is not immune to software or hardware failure, and it is the responsibility of the customer to perform regular backups of all user data on the system to ensure quick, complete recovery in the aftermath of a system incident.

To be able to completely rebuild an NTA1000 after a data disk failure, it is important to regularly back up the /home and /user/buddyweb areas. The OS disk should have no user data on it, so rebuilding that should not involve restoring data after the rebuild.

Getting started with CDRouter

Getting started with CDRouter is easy! You can start exploring by opening a web browser and pointing it at port 8015 on your NTA1000’s management port IP address:

http://<NTA1000 IP address>:8015

We recommend starting with the CDRouter Quick Start Guide. Detailed information on CDRouter and all CDRouter add-ons can be found in our User Guides.

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