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 QA Cafe Support.
This document refers to the NTA1000v7. If you are not using an NTA1000v7 or are unsure which version you have, please refer to NTA1000 Versions
What’s in the box?
Here’s what you’ll find in the box:
- NTA1000v7 system (1)
- Ethernet cables (8 or 10 depending on configuration)
- dual band antennas (5, 7, 9, or 11 depending on configuration)
- magnetic antenna mounts (5, 7, 9, or 11 depending on configuration)
- documentation pack (1)
- power cord (1)
- SMA finger wrench (1)
- USB stick for rebuilding the internal drives (1)
The NTA1000v7 is very easy to install and use. Simply unpack the NTA1000v7, set it up in a convenient location, plug the power cable in, connect the eth0 port on the front panel to your corporate LAN, and turn it on. When the NTA1000v7 has fully booted, it will display the eth0 port’s 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).
Please note that the NTA1000v7 does not come with rack rails. In order to install it into a rack, it must sit on a rack shelf. Rack rails can be purchased separately. Please contact QA Cafe Support.
More detailed information on the NTA1000v7 is provided in the sections below. If at any point you have any questions, please contact QA Cafe Support.
IMPORTANT! To ensure all components boot properly, always keep the power switch of the NTA1000v7 in the ‘on’ position and then apply power to the system by plugging in the power cord.
The latest NTA1000v7M can be purchased in either the S or the 10G configuration. The S configuration packs in 3 wireless interface cards, all available for wireless testing. The 10G configuration comes with 2 wireless interface cards and a dual port 10Gb/s Ethernet card.
Currently shipping NTA1000v7 systems have an “M” designation and use the AsiaRF AW7915-NP1 wireless 802.11ax card: NTA1000v7M-S, NTA1000v7M-10G
Note: The NTA1000v7 systems are no longer shipped with the Intel AX200 wireless 802.11ax card. The update to the AsiaRF AW7915-NP1 allows CDRouter to simulate multiple virtual 802.11ax clients during testing.
The NTA1000v7 is based on an Intel® Core™ i7-7700 CPU @ 3.60GHz CPU with 64GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD for the operating system, and a 4TB hard disk for user data. For a complete list of hardware specifications, please see the NTA1000v7 data sheet:
The NTA1000v7 includes a full-range 250W ATX power supply. Specifically, the operating conditions supported by the NTA1000v7 are:
- Voltage: 100 - 240 VAC
- Frequency: 50 - 60 Hz
- Current demand (max): 2 - 4 A
The NTA1000v7 is equipped with eight Gigabit Ethernet ports accessible from the front panel. Of these eight ports, seven are available for use as CDRouter test interfaces, and one is reserved for management access.
The seven CDRouter test ports are labeled ETH1 through ETH7. The management port is labeled eth0. The eth0 port supports both DHCP and static addressing, as discussed in the section below. By default, the eth0 port is configured for DHCP. Ports ETH1 through ETH7 have all been configured for use as CDRouter test interfaces.
Note: These seven test ports map directly to the same interface names within the operating system (eth0 through eth7).
If you have purchased the 10G configuration, there will be two 100M/1G/2.5G/5G/10G Ethernet ports on the back of the NTA1000v7. These are not labeled, but are named eth8 and eth9, where eth8 is on the left when facing the back.
The number and type of wireless interface cards depends on the configuration of the NTA1000v7 (S or 10G).
Both configurations come with a Compex WLE900VX (Atheros QCA9880) mini PCIe card, which provides dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless functionality. This card is named wifi0-acn within the operating system.
Both configurations come with a dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax card, named wifi1-ax within the operating system. NTA1000v7M-S and NTA1000v7M-10G systems use the AsiaRF AW7915-NP1 (Mediatek MT7915AN) mini PCIe card. NTA1000v7-S and NTA1000v7-10G used the Intel AX200 mini PCIe card.
The S configuration comes with a Compex WLE1216v5-20 (Atheros QCA9984) mini PCIe card, which provides 5GHz 802.11 a/n/ac-wave2 wireless functionality. This card is named wifi2-ac2 within the operating system.
If you plan to use the NTA1000v7’s wireless interfaces, you must attach suitable antennas. Dual-band antennas are provided with the system. The antennas can be connected directly to the RP-SMA connectors on the back of the unit. Alternatively, they can be connected to the included magnetic bases. The ends of the six foot leads from the magnetic bases can then be connected to the RP-SMA connectors on the back of the unit. Using the magnetic bases allows for greater flexibility of antenna placement. Signal quality will generally be better if the antennas are in close proximity to the device under test (DUT).
The NTA1000v7 also includes a front panel LCD screen. There are several screens that you can scroll through using the UP and DOWN buttons. The default screen shows the IP address of the eth0 interface. Other screens display various system information.
The IP address of the eth0 port allows you to access the NTA1000v7 without the use of a monitor. Just connect the eth0 port to your network and power the NTA1000v7 on. After the system boots, the eth0 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.
The NTA1000v7 ships with a slightly modified 64-bit Rocky Linux 8 operating system. Some of the changes to the stock Rocky Linux distribution include:
- Custom disk partition layout
- custom kernel
- Custom firmware for the wireless cards
- Full dnf update
- Installation of some packages required by CDRouter
- Removal of some packages and services not required by CDRouter
- Configuration of the eth0 port, Ethernet test interfaces, and wireless test interfaces
- Cosmetic modifications to the desktop and qacafe home area
- SELinux disabled
- firewall disabled
- Various other system modifications
The NTA1000v7 includes two internal disks: one for the operating system and one for data.
The operating system disk (/dev/nvme0n1) is a 512GB SSD, partitioned as follows:
- /dev/nvme0n1p1: 1 GiB; the /boot directory is mounted here
- /dev/nvme0n1p2: 4 GiB; swap
- /dev/nvme0n1p3: rest of disk; the / directory is mounted here
The data disk (/dev/sda) is a 4TB hard drive, partitioned as follows:
- /dev/sda1: entire disk; the /userdata directory is mounted here
The /usr/cdrouter-data directory is bind mounted to the /userdata/cdrouter-data directory, allowing it to make full use of the large data disk.
The /usr/cdrouter-data directory has been isolated from the main operating system to allow for multiple recovery options in the event of a software failure or disk crash. All CDRouter devices, configs, packages, and test results are stored in the /usr/cdrouter-data directory on the large 4TB drive.
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 NTA1000v7’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 by connecting a standard monitor to the VGA port on the back and a keyboard and mouse to the USB ports on the front.
Remote administration is available via SSH on the eth0 port. The LCD screen will display the IP of the eth0 port making it possible to remotely administer the system without needing a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
The NTA1000v7 is shipped with the firewall completely disabled. We have made this decision because the NTA1000v7 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.
Please note that the firewall must be started before it can be configured. To enable the firewall, enter this command as root in a terminal:
systemctl enable firewalld.service
This will enable the service to start at the next reboot. To start the service now, enter:
systemctl start firewalld.service
You can refer to this document for information related to the firewall.
Management port access and configuration
The eth0 management interface of the NTA1000v7 is used exclusively for remote access to the CDRouter GUI and to login to the NTA1000v7 CLI via SSH. The default SSH login user and password are:
- Username: qacafe
- Password: cdrouter (this is also the default “root” password)
By default, the eth0 interface is controlled by the NetworkManager service, which automatically configures the system’s IP address via DHCP when you connect it to the network. If DHCP is not available on your corporate/lab network, you will need to reconfigure eth0 with a static IP address.
The following Knowledge Base article describes how to configure the
management interface with a static IPv4 address, enable IPv6, and
make other changes:
How to configure the NTA1000 eth0 Management Interface
Please note that if the eth0 address is changed or if the address is configured after CDRouter has started, you will need to restart CDRouter in order to access the CDRouter web GUI.
By default, the hostname of the NTA1000v7 is nta1000. You can change this (as root) with the following command:
hostnamectl set-hostname newname
If DHCP is used to get the IP address, you should also change the DHCP_HOSTNAME field in the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 file.
You should reboot for these changes to take effect.
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 NTA1000v7 has been verified as compatible. QA Cafe will publish newer kernels to its software repository as security and feature requirements are determined.
CDRouter software updates
The NTA1000v7 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.
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 use these same disk images. A USB stick was included in your NTA1000v7 shipment. You can also download the USB image and create your own recovery USB stick. For more details, please refer here:
If the operating system disk is rebuilt, it will be necessary to reinstall CDRouter. The CDRouter RPM is available from the QA Cafe Customer Lounge. It 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 email@example.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 (if any) to the /usr/cdrouter-data area.
The necessity of performing regular backups
The NTA1000v7, 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 failure.
To be able to completely rebuild an NTA1000v7 after a data disk failure, it is important to regularly back up the /usr/cdrouter-data directory. The operating system drive should have no user data on it, so rebuilding that should not involve restoring data after the rebuild.
Refer here for more information on backups.
Getting started with CDRouter
Getting started with CDRouter is easy! You can start exploring by opening a web browser and pointing it to your NTA1000v7’s eth0 IP address or simply to localhost if working locally on the system:
http://<NTA1000v7 IP address> http://localhost