API programming with python for HP VAN SDN Controller

Part One: Getting your API lab up and running
DISCLAIMER: You can only trust a mad scientist so much!

If you’re an occasional visitor to this blog then you will know that I have a “thing” for API’s, or Application Program Interfaces. Seems everybody has one these days so why not learn how to take advantage of them. Before we get started we will need a test lab where we can test our creations without bringing down the production network, a career limiting move (CLM).
api_dc
So without spending any money, you can build a virtualized lab to run a couple Virtual Machines right on your laptop (recommend you have minimum 8 gig of RAM). You will need to run two VM’s. One will be the HP VAN SDN controller and the other will be a L.A.M.P. (Linux, Apache, MySQL and Php) server.
lamp_plat
Luckily, I have these to VM’s prebuilt and sitting on my ftp server in a huge zip file with lots of other goodies. The following picture shows the ftp location and credentials. Once you get this downloaded (sorry if you’re still using 56k dial up) we can take the next step to getting the lab up and running.
demo_lab
OK, got the zip file, check….It has been extracted to some folder on your computer, check….you have identified the two “OVA” files we will import into Oracle Virtual Box (“HP VAN SDN Controller 2.3.5.ova” and “My New DevOps Box.ova”), check…..You have Virtualization Technology enabled you your PC…….do it now!!!!…..check…..You have the latest copy Oracle Virtual Box downloaded and installed……OK, I’ll wait…….you think you would have done this by now…OK…check. We are ready to import the OVA’s into Oracle Virtual Box (OVB).
Open OVB and from the main menu select File>>Import……check!
ovb_1
Once you have selected to VM to import click on NEXT and IMPORT…Just a few secs to wait here.
ovb_2
Now we have just a few changes to make to the VM settings to get this VM to be a part of our network. We will set the NIC (Network Interface Card) to be bridged mode. This is handy if you are running DHCP on the host network. You will do this for both virtual machines. The following picture will guide you through this process.
ovb_3
Now that we have the NIC configured properly we can start up the virtual machines and log in and take a look around. You will repeat the process depicted with both VM’s.
ovb_4
Now for a little bad news…the VM’s that you just started are Linux distros of Ubuntu. One with a GUI and the other without. The HP VAN SDN Controller will have a user of sdn and a password of skyline and the LAMP server will have a user of rick with a password of siesta3.
You will need a bare minimum of linux chops to complete this tutorial so here they are.
sudo
I will leave you here at this spot so you can practice your linux commands. On the desktop of the LAMP server is an icon for a MATE terminal. Double-click it and a terminal window will appear. Enter the command ifconfig and look at the IP address your LAMP server is assigned ….write it down. On the SDN controller there is no GUI so from the initial prompt enter ifconfig to see what IP address it was assigned and write it down.
Finally, to check to see if your SDN controller is operational lets go to the LAMP server and from the application menu, slide down to Internet then over to Chromium Web Browser. Once the browser launches enter https://ip_address_of_sdn_controller:8443/sdn/ui. It should look like the picture below.
sdn
Enter the credentials from above and navigate some of the menus. You are now ready to take the next step..stay tuned.

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