You Could Use A Rest!

So you have a far flung enterprise network that requires care and feeding to keep things up and running. You know you can’t do it alone and your personnel resources are stretched thin already. You need to start working smarter and not harder. During the last meeting with your HP networking team you find out about a great new network management solution called IMC, Intelligent Management Center.

You like what you see. A network management application that not only let’s you monitor and manage network products from HP, but many other vendors as well. You also discover how IMC can help with network services like AAA, its ability to do compliance checking, and position you to take advantage of Software Defined Networking (SDN) all from a single pane of glass.

After getting IMC up and running, things start to get a little simpler. You like simple. Need to push out a new set of SNMP community strings to 500 switches and routers; you easily finish the task in fifteen minutes. Need to verify you didn’t miss any default community strings? You can set up a compliance check and run it against all the devices in your network with very little effort.

Now that you have IMC doing the heavy lifting for you, taking care of the day to day tasks of backing up all the configurations on your network, base lining software revisions, and keeping an eye on everything else, you deserve a Rest. Not like a siesta, but more like a new innovation to take you to the next level.

RESTful API’s are what I am talking about. With the release of IMC 5.0, HP opened up the eAPI’s for third party applications to integrate with IMC. This results in the ability to have scripts that run outside of IMC get information stored in IMC and push changes into IMC. That’s a lot of IMC! The first time I heard of this I thought, “Hey, I have a new use for my Python chops” and I started to think about the possibilities.

RESTful API’s are basically HTTP calls in the form of PUT, GET and POST. You have probably seen them a thousand times in the top of your web browser and never even noticed them. By using the RESTful API’s you can use a POST to the IMC server to make a change. Perhaps you want to move a single device from one vlan to the next by simply entering the device’s MAC address and a vlan number. Wrap it up in RESTful API script and the job is done. There are multiple client languages that are supported.  Java and Python are my personal favorite.

OpenStack for Idiots

So, being somewhat savvy with the teknical stuff, I thought I would explore the world of Openstack. At first I was thinking that this was similar to OpenFlow. NOT. OpenFlow is the language that is used by the Software Defined Network (SDN) Controller to establish flow tables in Openflow enabled switches…what to know more go to Openstack is the environment where compute, storage and networking are virtualized……OK, I’ll wait while you google it…

Moving on…I wanted to know more about this teknology so I did what I always do, buy a book and start reading. It is absolutely amazing what is in those things…

I picked up OpenStack Cloud Computing Cookbook by Kevin Jackson. It’s a great resource but if you are trying to use it as a step by step guide, I wish you good luck. There are a lot of moving parts to OpenStack like Nova, Glance, Keystone, Swift and it requires some general knowledge of what these are. When I saw Keystone I thought of that beer commercial with “Keith Stone”, I can’t get that out of my head.

I used Oracle’s Virtual Box as a base platform and tried to set it up as instructed by the book but soon ran into things that were obsolete. Seems that nova-manage has been replaced with keystone..(I’m getting thirsty, again!).

Eager to see the Horizon dashboard, I went to the ultimate source of knowledge, Google. It wasn’t long until I discovered DevStack. It could not get any simpler to set up a Openstack dev environment. Here’s how I did it.

Set up a generic Linux Virtual Box VM. I use VDMK as the disk file type. Then, using this ( as a resource, I just followed the simple instructions.

I picked up a copy of the minimal Ubuntu image at
It’s only 35M and it’s a quick setup in Virtual Box. Once you get logged into the VM just issue these commands.

apt-get update
apt-get install -qqy git
git clone
cd devstack
echo ADMIN_PASSWORD=password > localrc
echo MYSQL_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo RABBIT_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo SERVICE_PASSWORD=password >> localrc
echo SERVICE_TOKEN=tokentoken >> localrc

HIPTIP of the week: If you issue the command “sudo bash” without quotes on the command line, ubuntu will prompt for your password. Now you do not need to start every command with sudo.

Keep an eye on the when its finished, it will give instructions on how to access the dashboard.

Congratulations you now have a OpenStack dev platform to play with and just took you first step into the world of Software Defined Networking.

I scream, You Scream

I have an interesting idea. I want to load an 802.1x test client on an Android device. Trouble is I don’t have one. I do have VirtualBox, so I started asking myself if there is a way to run Android in it. A quick trip to the Google and I found a couple of interesting resources.

First I loaded an Android image for VMWare and it didn’t do a whole lot. There must be more! Finally my luck panned out by finding this;


I posted the downloads here as well.


Android ISO

And unless you’re really clever, you will need instructions. I copied them and put them into a word file that you can print out.


When you get to the part about accessing the Terminal Emulator, I used the fly wheel on my mouse and found it. I guess in Android there is a search function as well.

Other than that it is a very stable version of Ice Cream Sandwich running on your desktop.

Discliamier: This is totally unsupported by me or anybody I know. I am offering this as is. I will be doing my client install (Hopefully) later this week.

Comware 7 Basic Config

You might not know this but over at HP Networking they have released the new version of Comware, the command line based switch operating system. Comware 7 is now shipping on HP 5900 switches with more to follow. There are a ton of new features that will be available in Comware 7, but to use them you must first get the switch online. There are some minor differences between Comware 5 and Comware 7 and I will attempt to guide you through getting ssh enabled and other basic tasks.

If you’re like me and believe the devil is in the details by all means look at this document!

If you just want to get things going, by all means let’s get going.

You will need to eatablish a console session with the serial port on the switch, I will not cover that proceedure in this post. It’s easy…..go ahead get one going….I’ll wait…..

OK! Now we’re connected to the console session there will be a prompt. Something like. In order to configure the 5900, there is no need to issue the “Config Term” command. No, just enter system-view and the promt will change to [Switch], letting you know you can start to configure the switch. Please be aware that in my examples I show the system-view command but if you are already at the square bracket prompt, there is no need to enter the system-view command.

First things first, enable the ssh server.

In this example, I am going to guide you through configuring “ssh”, so disregard the telnet server enable for now.

The next step is to generate a public key, just accept the defaults if you don’t know what all the settings are for.


Comware command line is very similar to other popular command lines, so some of this might be very intuitive. In Comware we have a Virtual Interface concept which is very similar to Cisco’s CLI.
We will test this a little later; let’s move on to the user-interface configuration. The user-interface is where the ssh session will terminate. These are commonly called vty ports. The following configuration walks through the setup. Please note that by issuing the protocol inbound ssh command, you will not be able to also use telnet.
The “authentication-mode scheme” tells the switch to use local authentication. That means we will have to create a local user as well.
For this exercise we will use the “service-type ssh”. The “network-admin” role give the user the ultimate privileges on the switch. By default, network-admin is specified on the console user interface, and network-operator is specified on any other user interface. Here is a graphic that explains what different roles are available in Comware 7.
In order to manage the switch with HP’s Intelligent Management Center, we will need to configure some SNMP parameters.
The last part of the basic configuration will be the default route. This should look familiar. The IP address at the end is the IP address of the default gateway.
Now that we have finished the configuration let’s do a couple of things. Let’s test the network connectivity. Make sure you have at least one cable plugged into a port on vlan 1.
If you see the ping results are good, then don’t for get to SAVE the configuration. From the command prompt issue the [Switch]save command. Follow the prompts for the filename.
The new Comware 7 switch should now be ready for access via ssh.

Hidden Messages

No for something completely different. We all have seen those black and white cubes with three black squares. These things are called QR codes. If your half awake you have probably noticed one or two. If you are a geek at heart like me, you have probably downloaded the App on you smartphone to read these things. QR codes come in all shapes and sizes. During a discussion with a fellow engineer, we talked about using QR codes to load bulk information into IMC, HP’s network management platform.

The next logical question in my mind was how to you make such things? The answer? Head on over to and they have a very nice QR code generator. You can type in text, URL’s or just about anything you can think of and will create your QR code dynamically.

Simply download or use Windows snipping tool to get the image into a .JPG file and use it where ever you care.

Secret Message

These things are like a virus!

I am in big trouble.

I have no idea how this happened but I am getting overrun with Korg synths! It’s a long sordid story but somehow these things are multiplying! 2x Korg Trinity Rack, 1xKorg Triton Rack, 1x Korg M3R……
That’s not the worst part of it. There is a Korg Trinity Pro-61 key synth on its way to the studio as we speak!


Too many Korgs

Lifetime Warranty!

Here’s a quick way to get a slice of history. Koss Pro4/AA headphones are incredible and they are built like a tank. Many a great albums were engineered with these workhorses. So here’s a little secret that is not widely known. These headphones come with a lifetime warranty.

I just bought a pair on eBay for $24.00. I spent $8.00 shipping back to Koss and included a check for $8.00 to ship them back. Koss will either refurbish them back to factory condition or send you a new pair! SO for my $40.00 investment, I get a brand new pair of headphones. I remember when I was 16, and at my friend’s house, his dad had a pair of these and when I put them on I was blown away by their clarity.

Did I mention how similar this is to HP’s lifetime Warranty? HP even pays for the shipping!

Used pair of Koss Pro4AA eBay ~$30.00
New pair ~ $120.00

Ubuntu 12.04 Web Development Platform L.A.M.P.P.P?

I have been doing a bit of Python programming lately. Why, it’s because HP has released RESTful API’s for its Intelligent Management Center. The release of the eAPI’s allow for third-party scripts or applications to interact with IMC and provide additional automation to managing the network. Here’s a use case the I created a Python/HTML solution for. IMC has the ability to do real-time location-based on MAC address or IP address. This is accomplished by searching for the item “one at a time”. There could be a case when multiple MAC addresses need to be located quickly so I developed a script that presents an HTML page to capture a list of MAC addresses separated by commas. Next, the script uses the eAPI’s to query IMC for the device location and port that the MAC addresses are plugged into. Finally it present a repot to print out.

To facilitate this development I created an Ubuntu server (sorry no GUI) When installing Ubuntu I told the install script to build a LAMP server. LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl. I had to use Python so my server is now a LAMPPP. Nonetheless, it is a complete web development server and something every geek should have access to.

I run the server in Oracle’s Virtual Box and the you can login with “rick” and the password is “siesta3” you can then su to bash and enter “siesta3” again and be root for as long as you like.

If you’re interested to know more about HP’s RESTful api’s then just comment on this post. Oh!!! I also loaded Open vSwitch but will talk about that next week.

User = chewie1234
Password = Imn0taj3di (I’m not a jedi)


Ubuntu 1204