Installing a Virtual Pod (CORD-in-a-Box)

This guide walks through the steps to bring up a simplified virtual CORD POD, running in multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. For instructions on setting up a full physical pod with multiple servers, please see Install a Physical Pod.

The virtual pod is also known as CORD-in-a-Box (or just CiaB). The purpose of this virtual POD is to enable those interested in understanding how CORD works to examine and interact with a running CORD environment. There is also a Development Workflow: Virtual Pod that allows for a tighter loop when developing the XOS core or services.

What you need (prerequisites)

You will need a target server, which will run both a build environment in a Vagrant VM (used to deploy CORD) as well as CiaB itself.

Target server requirements

  • 64-bit AMD64/x86-64 server, with:
    • 48GB+ RAM
    • 12+ CPU cores
    • 200GB+ disk
  • Access to the Internet (no enterprise proxies)
  • Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS freshly installed with updates
  • User account used to install CORD-in-a-Box has password-less sudo capability (e.g., like the ubuntu user)

Target server on CloudLab (optional)

If you do not have a target server available that meets the above requirements, you can borrow one on CloudLab. Sign up for an account using your organization's email address and choose "Join Existing Project"; for "Project Name" enter cord-testdrive.

NOTE: CloudLab is supporting CORD as a courtesy. It is expected that you will not use CloudLab resources for purposes other than evaluating CORD. If, after a week or two, you wish to continue using CloudLab to experiment with or develop CORD, then you must apply for your own separate CloudLab project.

Once your account is approved, start an experiment using the OnePC-Ubuntu14.04.5 profile on the Wisconsin, Clemson, or Utah clusters. This will provide you with a temporary target server meeting the above requirements.

Refer to the CloudLab documentation for more information.

Building CiaB

There are a few steps to building CiaB:

  • Bootstrap the server by installing software dependencies and checking out the CORD code
  • (Optional) Customize the build (change source and configuration)
  • Build and deploy the CORD software using make
  • (Optional) Run End-to-End tests

NOTE: If you are connecting to a remote target server, it is highly recommended that you run the commands in a tmux session on the target server, or use mosh to connect to the target rather than ssh. Without one of these, interrupted connectivity between your local machine and the remote server during a build may cause the CiaB installation to hang.

Bootstrap the server

See Required script for instructions for running the bootstrap script to download the CORD source tree and optionally downloading patches from Gerrit. You must specify the -v option to this script in order to install Vagrant, which is required to build a CiaB.

(Optional) Customize the build

You can now modify your CORD source tree that has been checked out in ~/cord, if required, or download patches manually from gerrit using repo.

Build and deploy the software

Once the system has been bootstrapped, run the following make commands to launch the build:

cd ~/cord/build
make PODCONFIG=rcord-virtual.yml config
make -j4 build |& tee ~/build.out

The output of the build will be displayed, as well as saved in ~/build.out. Also logs for individual steps of the build are stored in ~/cord/build/logs.

The make -j4 build step takes a long time (at least 1 hour) to run. Be patient - if it hasn't completely failed yet, then assume all is well!

(Optional) Bring up more virtual compute nodes

The build brings up a single virtual compute node by default. If your system has enough resources, you can bring up two more virtual nodes as follows:

cd ~/cord/build
make compute2-up
make compute3-up

Note that, due to a limitation in CiaB, compute nodes need to be brought up sequentially as shown above.

(Optional) Run End-to-End (E2E) tests

If the build completed without errors, you can use the following command to run basic end-to-end tests:

cd ~/cord/build
make pod-test

NOTE: This test can only be conducted on the rcord-virtual profile. Other profile tests are still WIP.

The output of the tests will be displayed, as well as stored in ~/cord/build/logs/<iso8601_datetime>_pod-test.

Inspecting CiaB

CiaB creates a virtual CORD POD running inside Vagrant VMs, using libvirt as a backend. You can inspect the status of the VM's by setting the VAGRANT_CWD environmental variable to ~/cord/build/scenarios/cord and running vagrant status:

~$ cd cord/build
~/cord/build$ export VAGRANT_CWD=~/cord/build/scenarios/cord
~/cord/build$ vagrant status
Current machine states:

corddev                   running (libvirt)
head1                     running (libvirt)
compute1                  running (libvirt)
compute2                  not created (libvirt)
compute3                  not created (libvirt)

This environment represents multiple VMs. The VMs are all listed
above with their current state. For more information about a specific
VM, run `vagrant status NAME`.

corddev VM

The corddev VM is a build machine used to drive the installation. It downloads and builds Docker containers and publishes them to the virtual head node (see below). It then installs MAAS on the virtual head node (for bare-metal provisioning) and the ONOS, XOS, and OpenStack services in containers. This VM can be entered as follows:

ssh corddev

The CORD source tree is mounted at /opt/cord inside this VM.

head1 VM

The head1 VM is the virtual head node of the POD. It runs the OpenStack, ONOS, and XOS services inside containers. It also simulates a subscriber devices using a container. To enter it, simply type:

ssh head1

Inside the VM, a number of services run in Docker and LXD containers.

vagrant@head1:~$ docker ps --format "table {{.ID}}\t{{.Names}}\t{{.Image}}"
CONTAINER ID        NAMES                                 IMAGE
84c09b156774        rcord_xos_gui_1                       docker-registry:5000/xosproject/xos-gui:candidate
52e477e9b188        rcord_xos_ws_1                        docker-registry:5000/xosproject/xos-ws:candidate
10a54a4a4f03        rcord_xos_chameleon_1                 docker-registry:5000/xosproject/chameleon:candidate
257f4c29967d        rcord_xos_tosca_1                     docker-registry:5000/xosproject/xos-tosca:candidate
b2c78cf4de7b        rcord_xos_ui_1                        docker-registry:5000/xosproject/xos-ui:candidate
526a4282610d        rcord_xos_core_1                      docker-registry:5000/xosproject/xos-ui:candidate
0783438bba1e        rcord_vtr-synchronizer_1              docker-registry:5000/xosproject/vtr-synchronizer:candidate
e66bd071bdba        rcord_vsg-synchronizer_1              docker-registry:5000/xosproject/vsg-synchronizer:candidate
961ce2793217        rcord_onos-synchronizer_1             docker-registry:5000/xosproject/onos-synchronizer:candidate
7d4b66291c37        rcord_exampleservice-synchronizer_1   docker-registry:5000/xosproject/exampleservice-synchronizer:candidate
a918b5dc6f72        rcord_volt-synchronizer_1             docker-registry:5000/xosproject/volt-synchronizer:candidate
6bc841f6c888        rcord_vrouter-synchronizer_1          docker-registry:5000/xosproject/vrouter-synchronizer:candidate
c99b203f5a7e        rcord_vtn-synchronizer_1              docker-registry:5000/xosproject/vtn-synchronizer:candidate
6fef0cffae83        rcord_openstack-synchronizer_1        docker-registry:5000/xosproject/openstack-synchronizer:candidate
26f8cd2e32df        rcord_fabric-synchronizer_1           docker-registry:5000/xosproject/fabric-synchronizer:candidate
d99b09ec8e2c        rcord_xos_db_1                        docker-registry:5000/xosproject/xos-postgres:candidate
2a22f4836172        rcord_xos_redis_1                     docker-registry:5000/redis:candidate
ba4e6640a4f0        onosfabric_xos-onos_1                 docker-registry:5000/onosproject/onos:candidate
35517eec96e1        onoscord_xos-onos_1                   xos/onos:candidate
b591fd1c406f        mavenrepo                             docker-registry:5000/opencord/mavenrepo:candidate
c4a772babeb6        switchq                               docker-registry:5000/opencord/maas-switchq:candidate
c79f358d03c9        automation                            docker-registry:5000/opencord/maas-automation:candidate
c02fd40982f6        provisioner                           docker-registry:5000/opencord/maas-provisioner:candidate
9b4b481bf2f5        allocator                             docker-registry:5000/opencord/maas-allocator:candidate
2276a0f258ad        generator                             docker-registry:5000/opencord/maas-generator:candidate
4475dddba35a        harvester                             docker-registry:5000/opencord/maas-harvester:candidate
30d4996337bd        registry                              registry:2.4.0
21289d8b63ff        registry-mirror                       registry:2.4.0

The above shows Docker containers launched by XOS (container names starting with rcord). Containers starting with onos are running ONOS. There is also a Docker image registry, a Maven repository containing the CORD ONOS apps, and a number of microservices used in bare-metal provisioning.

vagrant@head1:~$ sudo lxc list
|          NAME           |  STATE  |             IPV4             | IPV6 |    TYPE    | SNAPSHOTS |
| ceilometer-1            | RUNNING | (eth0)              |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| glance-1                | RUNNING | (eth0)              |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| juju-1                  | RUNNING | (eth0)              |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| keystone-1              | RUNNING | (eth0)              |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| mongodb-1               | RUNNING | (eth0)             |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| nagios-1                | RUNNING | (eth0)              |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| neutron-api-1           | RUNNING | (eth0)              |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| nova-cloud-controller-1 | RUNNING | (eth0)             |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| openstack-dashboard-1   | RUNNING | (eth0)             |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| percona-cluster-1       | RUNNING | (eth0)              |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| rabbitmq-server-1       | RUNNING | (eth0)             |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |
| testclient              | RUNNING | (eth0.222.111) |      | PERSISTENT | 0         |

The LXD containers ending with names ending with -1 are running OpenStack-related services. These containers can be entered as follows:

ssh ubuntu@<container-name>

The testclient container runs the simulated subscriber device used for running simple end-to-end connectivity tests. Its only connectivity is to the vSG, but it can be entered using:

sudo lxc exec testclient bash

compute1 VM

The compute1 VM is the virtual compute node controlled by OpenStack. This VM can be entered from the head1 VM. Run cord prov list to get the node name (assigned by MAAS). The node name will be something like bony-alley.cord.lab; in this case, to login you'd run:

ssh ubuntu@bony-alley.cord.lab

Virtual machines created via XOS/OpenStack will be instantiated on this compute node. To login to an OpenStack VM, first get the management IP address (172.27.0.x):

vagrant@head1:~$ source /opt/cord_profile/
vagrant@head1:~$ nova list --all-tenants
| ID                                   | Name                    | Status | Task State | Power State | Networks                                          |
| 3ba837a0-81ff-47b5-8f03-020175eed6b3 | mysite_exampleservice-2 | ACTIVE | -          | Running     | management=; public=          |
| 549ffc1e-c454-4ef8-9df7-b02ab692eb36 | mysite_vsg-1            | ACTIVE | -          | Running     | management=; mysite_vsg-access= |

The VM hosting the vSG is called mysite_vsg-1 and we see it has a management IP of Then run ssh-agent and add the default key (used to access the OpenStack VMs):

vagrant@head1:~$ ssh-agent bash
vagrant@head1:~$ ssh-add

SSH to the compute node with the -A option and then to the VM using the management IP obtained above. So if the compute node name is bony-alley.cord.lab and the management IP is

vagrant@head1:~$ ssh -A ubuntu@bony-alley.cord.lab
ubuntu@bony-alley:~$ ssh ubuntu@

# Now you're inside the mysite-vsg-1 VM


You can access the MAAS (Metal-as-a-Service) GUI by pointing your browser to the URL http://<target-server>:8080/MAAS/. E.g., if you are running on CloudLab, your <target-server> is the hostname of your CloudLab node. The username is cord and the auto-generated password is found in ~/cord/build/maas/passwords/maas_user.txt on the CiaB server. For more information on MAAS, see the MAAS documentation.


You can access the XOS GUI by pointing your browser to URL http://<target-server>:8080/xos/. The username is and the auto-generated password is found in /opt/credentials/ on the head node.

The state of the system is that all CORD services have been onboarded to XOS. You can see them in the Service Graph represented in the Home page. If you want to see more details about the services you navigate to Core > Services, or searching for Service in the top bar (you start searching just pressing f)

A sample CORD subscriber has also been created. You can see the Service Graph for subscribers by selecting the Service Graph item in the left navigation.

Here is a sample output: Subscriber Service Graph

NOTE: the Service Graph will need to be detangled and can be organized by dragging the nodes.

Kibana Logging GUI

The Kibana web interface to the ElasticStack log aggregation system can be found at: http://<target-server>:8080/kibana/.

On initial login, you will be asked to create an index for the logstash-* files - do this and then access the main logging interface under Discover. More information on using Kibana can be be found in its documentation.

Test Results

After CORD-in-a-Box was set up, a couple of basic health tests were executed on the platform. The results of these tests can be found near the end of ~/build.out.


This tests the E2E connectivity of the POD by performing the following steps:

  • Sets up a sample CORD subscriber in XOS
  • Launches a vSG for that subscriber on the CORD POD
  • Creates a test client, corresponding to a device in the subscriber's household
  • Connects the test client to the vSG using a simulated OLT
  • Runs ping in the client to a public IP address in the Internet

Success means that traffic is flowing between the subscriber household and the Internet via the vSG. If it succeeded, you should see some lines like these in the output:

TASK [test-vsg : Output from ping test] ****************************************
Thursday 27 October 2016  15:29:17 +0000 (0:00:03.144)       0:19:21.336 ******
ok: [] => {
    "pingtest.stdout_lines": [
        "PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.",
        "64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=47 time=29.7 ms",
        "64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=47 time=29.2 ms",
        "64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=47 time=29.1 ms",
        "--- ping statistics ---",
        "3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 2003ms",
        "rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 29.176/29.367/29.711/0.243 ms"


This test builds on test-vsg by loading the exampleservice described in the ExampleService. The purpose of the exampleservice is to demonstrate how new subscriber-facing services can be easily deployed to a CORD POD. This test performs the following steps:

  • On-boards exampleservice into the CORD POD
  • Creates an exampleservice tenant, which causes a VM to be created and Apache to be loaded and configured inside
  • Runs a curl from the subscriber test client, through the vSG, to the Apache server.

Success means that the Apache server launched by the exampleservice tenant is fully configured and is reachable from the subscriber client via the vSG. If it succeeded, you should see the following lines near the end the make pod-test output:

TASK [test-exampleservice : Output from curl test] *****************************
Thursday 27 October 2016  15:34:40 +0000 (0:00:01.116)       0:24:44.732 ******
ok: [] => {
    "curltest.stdout_lines": [
        " Service Message: \"hello\"",
        " Tenant Message: \"world\""


If the CiaB build fails, you may try simply resuming the build at the place that failed. The easiest way is to do is to re-run the make build command. It will skip over the steps that have already completed.

If you need to force make build to re-run steps that have already completed, remove the appropriate file in the milestones directory prior to re-running.

More troubleshooting information can be found in the Troubleshooting section.

For more information about how the build works, see Build Internals.

Failed: TASK [maas-provision : Wait for node to become ready]

This issue occurs when the virtual compute node is not automatically enrolled in MAAS. It may be useful to attach to the console of the compute node to see if there are any messages displayed.

  • Create an SSH tunnel that forwards port 5902 from the local machine to the CIAB server: ssh -L 5902:localhost:5902 <ciab-server>

  • Connect a VNC client (e.g., VNC Viewer) to localhost:5902 on the local machine. There is no password.

If you see a stack trace or error message, please post it to the CORD Slack channel.

Failed: TASK [maas-provision : Wait for node to be fully provisioned]

This means that the node has enlisted in MAAS but something has gone wrong with the provisioning process. In the head1 VM look in /etc/maas/ansible/logs/node-<id>.log for the step that has failed. Post it to the CORD Slack channel to get help.


If you got this far, you successfully built, deployed, and tested your first (virtual) CORD POD.

You are now ready to bring up a multi-node POD with a real switching fabric and multiple physical compute nodes. The process for doing so is described in Installing a Physical POD.

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