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Step by Step guide to install Nuage SD-WAN lab in KVM – Part 1

Step by Step guide to install Nuage SD-WAN lab in KVM – Part 1

You are here because you wanted to learn about Nuage SD-WAN and its lab setup.

For me, I don’t like to read more of theory when it comes to learning new technologies. I would instead do a lab first and make some mistakes and learn from them. By the time I finish the lab, I would know more about the technology.
At this point when I start reading the theory part, it would be a whole lot easier to understand the concept.

When initially I wanted to learn SD-WAN, I used to start reading about all the technical documents RFC’s and stuff, but it made me more confusing than making sense of the technology.

I was like, Oh,! It’s not easy as I thought it would be.
Does it sound like you too? Then don’t worry, I have good news for you, you are not alone. Everyone faces the same problem, including myself.

but I didn’t give up, I decided to build up the Nuage SD-WAN lab myself, and eventually, after many trial and errors, I built my lab in KVM.

Now I am more comfortable to set up a nuage lab if I need to.

Hopefully, I have given some motivation for you to start the lab now 🙂

Note: If you wanted to skip this guide and wanted to see this in video series step by step, I have created them here, you may check them out.

Not Many Resources out there

Do you know what the other big issue about these new technologies?

Let’s say you are stuck at a troubleshooting issue and not familiar with what to do next, you also wanted to fix the issue faster, what would you do?

You go to google and search for the solutions or similar issues that others have faced in the past, right? Unfortunately, you cannot find many issues on google with the new technologies.

The only way out is you better become an expert on the technology.

If you wanted to be a subject matter expert or supporting a particular SD WAN product, you must need to know in and out of the product, the best way I can think of is by getting hands-on.

I still remember the days when I was trying to understand the Nuage SD-WAN. It went out of my head, all the overlays, underlays, vxlans, controllers, it was too much to understand within a few days.
If you are on the same boat as I am, then bear with me for a couple of blogs, where I would try to show you step by step guide on installing the Nuage SD-WAN lab.

Once you install them, it’s just a matter of practice and time. I also learned that the only way I could get everything to my head is to get my hand dirty by doing the lab again and again.

Nuage SDN Solution – Traditional vs software-defined networking.

As you may know, Nokia Nuage SDN is Nokia’s flavor of Sofware Defined Networking. They followed the SDN path by separating each component of network device planes. Unlike traditional networking, all the components such as management, control, and data planes are in the same box.

comparison of traditional network vs software defined networking

In traditional networking, all the Management Plane, Control Plane, and the Data Plane are in the same box, if you add more networking devices there would be the same number of these planes.

comparison of traditional network vs software defined networking

However on the Software-defined networking only data plane would be installed at the branch site or in the data center, all the core management, and control plane decision is taken by separate devices that sits in a separate centralized location. It could be in your datacenter or cloud.

What if you wanted to add a branch site or expand switches in a datacenter?
Simply add a router or switch that takes care of the just data plane functionality to the respective sites and it then connects to its controllers and the management planes.

How do Nuage SDN components connected?

There are two versions of Nuage SDN, one is VCS ( Virtualized Cloud Services) that is for the datacenter and the other one is VNS (Virtualized Network Services) which takes care of the WAN side connectivity, below are the components of these two.

Nuage VCS vs VNS
  • VSD – Virtual Services Directory — Management plane
  • VSC – Virtual Services Controller — Control plane
  • VRS – (Virtual Routing and Switching) and NSG (Network Services Gateway) — Data plane

The main differences between the VNS and the VCS are its components, In VNS, it uses NSG for the WAN connectivity whereas VCS, the VRS would take care of the data center data plane connectivity.

The NSG and VRS are the same Openvswitch but NSG supports IPsec, of course, it has to connect to the internet for the SD-WAn connectivity, However, VRS doesn’t support IPsec because it uses internally in the datacenter.
Note: We will be focusing on the SDWAN lab in this blog.

As you can see below

  • the VSD and the VSC are connected with the XMPP protocol
  • NSG and VRS connect via VSC using the OpenFlow protocol.
  • NSG and VRS don’t talk to the VSD directly it talks to VSC and then VSC will talk to the VSD.

Nuage SD-WAN lab setup guide

Luckily to setup an SD-WAN lab for Nuage, you don’t need to buy any physical hardware (of course, except the Server and the switch). All the components required for the lab setup are all VM’s. You’ve got to download the VM’s and follow this guide.

A small disclaimer: I am using multiple products from different vendors such as Nokia nuage, Cisco and HPE. To get the images required for this lab to complete you may have to contact each vendor for specific software.
Unfortunately due to legal reasons I cannot provide any of these images nor trail licenses to you to download.
So before you continue, make sure you have them all 🙂 and let’s get started.

However, you can still go through this blog as there are lot of technologies covered on these.

I even have seen people have set up the lab within their laptop, but the laptop should have 32gig of ram and a proper CPU configuration.

I also had the nuage lab up and running in gns3 successfully as well, working on creating that guide, if you wanted to get an update on that, please subscribe to my email, I would keep you posted on when it’s available.

Prerequisite for the lab

  • Nuage SD-WAN vm components
    • VSD
    • VSC
    • Utility VM – Proxy and Notification VM
    • NSG.
  • Server with a minimum of 32 gig memory, and 12 core CPU.
  • Layer 3 Switch – take care of the lab network (Underlay Network)

This LAB I have built on Server connected to a switch, the switch would provide the network, and the Server can take care of the Nuage component VM’s and its core virtualized networks.

Here we are going to concentrate on each component at a time, just like a layered approach, that would be the easiest way.

First focus on the SDWAN underlay network, and Nuage SD-WAN components one by one, once you verify each component working perfectly then go for the next one.

Below is our plan, you can click on each component, and that would take you right to the guide.