Installing Avi Vantage for a Linux Server Cloud

This article describes how to install Avi Vantage in a Linux server cloud. Avi Vantage is a software-based solution that provides real-time analytics and elastic application delivery services, including user-to-application timing, SSL termination, and load balancing. Installing Avi Vantage directly onto Linux servers leverages the raw horsepower of the underlying hardware without the overhead added by a virtualization layer.

Notes:

  • Avi Networks recommends that users disable hyperthreading (HT) in the BIOS of the Linux servers upon which Avi runs prior to installing Avi Vantage on them. It doesn’t get changed often, but RHEL, OEL and CentOS may map physical and hyperthreaded cores differently. Rather than basing its decision on the behaviour or characteristics of a core, Avi Vantage has a predictive map of the host OS via which it skips or ignores hyperthreaded cores. When an OS gets upgraded, this map might change, which means we might be utilizing a HT core instead of a virtual core, which in turn will impact performance.

Docker Container

The Avi Vantage Linux server cloud solution uses containerization provided by Docker for support across operating systems and for easy installation.

Deployment Topologies

Avi Vantage can be deployed onto a Linux server cloud in the following topologies. The minimum number of Linux servers required for deployment depends on the deployment topology. A three-Controller cluster is strongly recommended for production environments.

Deployment Topology Min Linux Servers Required Description
Single host 1 Avi Controller and Avi SE both run on a single host.
Separate hosts 2 Avi Controller and Avi SE run on separate hosts. The Avi Controller is deployed on one of the hosts. The Avi SE is deployed on the other host.
3-host cluster 3 Provides high availability for the Avi Controller.

A single instance of the Avi Controller is deployed on each host. At any given time, one of the Avi Controllers is the leader and the other 2 are followers.

Single-host Deployment

Single-host deployment runs the Avi Controller and Avi SE on the same Linux server. This is the simplest topology to deploy. However, this topology does not provide high availability for either the Avi Controller or Avi SE.

Note: In single-host mode, in-band management is not supported.

Avi Vantage single-host deployment in a Linux server cloud

Two-host Deployment

Two-host deployment runs the Avi Controller on one Linux server and the Avi SE on another Linux server.

Avi Vantage two-host deployment in a Linux server cloud

Three-host Cluster Deployment

Three-host deployment requires a separate instance of the Avi Controller on each of 3 Linux servers. Avi Vantage three-host deployment in a Linux server cloud

In a 3-host cluster deployment, one of the Avi Controller instances is the leader. The other 2 instances are followers. If the leader goes down, one of the followers takes over so that control-plane functionality for users is continued.

Deployment Prerequisites

This section lists the minimum requirements for installation.

Hardware Requirements

Each Linux server to be managed by Avi Vantage must meet at least the following physical requirements:

Docker local storage (default /var/lib/docker) should be at least 18 GB to run Avi containers. If the Avi SE is instantiated through the cloud UI, add 5 GB to run the Avi SE.

Component Minimum Requirement
CPU Intel Xeon with 8 cores
Memory 24 GB RAM
Disk 64 GB
Network Interface Controller (NIC) 1 x 10 Gbps Intel NIC
Note: For DPDK mode, 82599, X520, X540, X550, X552, X710, and XL710 are the supported NICs.
Starting with 17.2.12, and 18.1.3, Avi Vantage supports Mellanox ConnectX-4 (25G and 40G) NICs.

Software Requirements

Installation of Avi Vantage for a Linux server cloud also requires the following software:

Software Version
Avi Vantage (distributed by Avi Networks as a Docker image) 16.2 or greater
Docker (image management service that runs on Linux) 1.6.1 or greater
Operating system (OS) Refer to the Ecosystem Support article

Note: You can place the Avi Controller and Service Engine containers on the same host starting only from RHEL version 7.4. If co-located on the same host, restarting either container will fail for RHEL versions prior to 7.4.



Default port assignments are as shown below. If these are in use, chose alternative ports for the purposes listed.

Ports Purpose
5098 SSH (CNTRL_SSH_PORT)
8443 Secure bootstrap communication between SE and Controller (SYSINT_PORT)
80, 443 Web server ports (HTTP_PORT, HTTPS_PORT)
161 SNP MIB walkthrough
5054 shell CLI

Supported Kernel Versions

The following are the supported Kernel versions for Linux server cloud deployment:

3.8.x versions 3.10.x verions
3.8.13-118.10.2.el7uek.x86_64
3.8.13-16.2.1.el6uek.x86_64
3.8.13-98.7.1.el7uek.x86_64
3.10.0
3.10.0-514
3.10.0-514.16.1.el7.x86_64
3.10.0-514.el7.x86_64
3.10.0-693 (CentOS 7.4)
3.10.0-862 (CentOS 7.5)
3.10.0-862.3.2.el7.x86_64 (CentOS 7.5)
3.10.0-862.11.6.el7.x86_64 3.10.0-862.9.1.el7.x86_64
3.10.0-862.6.3.el7.x86_64
3.10.0-862.3.3.el7.x86_64
3.10.0-862.2.3.el7.x86_64
3.10.0-862.el7.x86_64
3.10.0-862-14.4.el7.x86_64
4.1.x verions 4.4.x verions (Ubuntu 16) 4.15.x verions (Ubuntu 16)
4.1.12 (OEL 7.x)
4.1.12-94 (OEL 7.4 - UEK kernel)
4.4.0
4.4.0-21-generic
4.4.0-59-generic
4.4.0-62-generic
4.4.0-66-generic
4.4.0-70-generic
4.4.0-72-generic
4.4.0-112-generic
4.4.0-116-generic
4.15.0-1017-gcp

Installation

To install Avi Vantage, some installation tasks are performed on each of the Linux hosts:

  • Avi Controller host — The installation wizard for the Avi Controller must be run on the Linux server that will host it. If deploying a 3-host cluster of Avi Controllers, run the wizard only on the host that will be the cluster leader. (The cluster can be configured at any time after installation is complete.)

Installation Workflow

Avi Vantage deployment for a Linux server cloud consists of the following:

  1. Install the Docker platform (if not already installed). On Ubuntu, the command line would be: apt-get install docker.io
  2. Install the NTP server on the host OS.
  3. Install the Avi Controller image onto a Linux server.
  4. Use the setup wizard to perform initial configuration of the Avi Controller:
    • Avi Vantage user account creation (your Avi Vantage administrator account)
    • DNS and NTP servers
    • Infrastructure type (Linux)
    • SSH account information (required for installation and access to the Avi SE instance on each of the Linux servers that will host an Avi SE)
    • Avi SE host information (IP address, DPDK, CPUs, memory)
    • Multitenancy support

    The SSH, Avi SE host, and multitenancy selections can be configured either using the wizard or later, after completing it. (The wizard times out after a while.) This article provides links for configuring these objects using the Avi Controller web interface.

Detailed steps are provided below.

1. Install Docker

Refer to the Docker Installation article, which covers

  • Docker Editions
  • Getting the installation images for various Linux variants
  • Selecting a storage driver for Docker
  • Verifying your Docker installation

2. Install NTP Server on Host Operating System

Install NTP server using the following command: sudo yum install ntp

3. Install Avi Controller Image

  1. Use SCP to copy the .tgz package onto the Linux server that will host the Avi Controller:
    scp docker_install.tar.gz root@Host-IP:/tmp/
  2. Use SSH to log into the host:
    ssh root@Host-IP
  3. Change to the /tmp directory:
    cd /tmp/
  4. Unzip the .tgz package:
    sudo tar -xvf docker_install.tar.gz
  1. Run the setup.py script. It can be run in interactive mode or as a single command string.
    • If entered as a command string, the script sets the options that are included in the command string to the specified values, and leaves the other values set to their defaults. Go to Step 6.
    • In interactive mode, the script displays a prompt for configuring each option. Go to Step 7.
  1. To run the setup script as a single command, enter a command string such as the following:
    ./avi_baremetal_setup.py -c -cc 8 -cm 24 -i 10.120.0.39

    The options are explained in the CLI help:

    avi_baremetal_setup.py [-h] [-d] [-s] [-sc SE_CORES] [-sm SE_MEMORY_MB] [-c] [-cc CON_CORES] [-cm CON_MEMORY_GB] -i CONTROLLER_IP -m MASTER_CTL_IP-h, --help show this help message and exit
    -d, --dpdk_mode Run SE in DPDK Mode. Default is False
    -s, --run_se Run SE locally. Default is False
    -sc SE_CORES, --se_cores SE_CORES
    Cores to be used for AVI SE. Default is 1
    -sm SE_MEMORY_MB, --se_memory_mb SE_MEMORY_MB
    Memory to be used for AVI SE. Default is 2048
    -c, --run_controller Run Controller locally. Default is No
    -cc CON_CORES, --con_cores CON_CORES
    Cores to be used for AVI Controller. Default is 4
    -cm CON_MEMORY_GB, --con_memory_gb CON_MEMORY_GB
    Memory to be used for AVI Controller. Default is 12
    -i CONTROLLER_IP, --controller_ip CONTROLLER_IP
    Controller IP Address
    -m MASTER_CTL_IP, --master_ctl_ip MASTER_CTL_IP
    Master controller IP Address
  1. To run in interactive mode, start by entering avi_baremetal_setup.py. Here is an example:
    ./avi_baremetal_setup.pyWelcome to AVI Initialization ScriptDPDK Mode:
    Pre-requisites(DPDK): This script assumes the below utilities are installed:
    docker (yum -y install docker)
    Supported Nics(DPDK): Intel 82599/82598 Series of Ethernet Controllers
    Supported Vers(DPDK): OEL/CentOS/RHEL - 7.0,7.1,7.2Non-DPDK Mode:
    Pre-requisites: This script assumes the below utilities are installed:
    docker (yum -y install docker)
    Supported Vers: OEL/CentOS/RHEL - 7.0,7.1,7.2Caution : This script deletes existing AVI docker containers & images.Do you want to proceed in DPDK Mode [y/n] y
    Do you want to run AVI Controller on this Host [y/n] y
    Do you want to run AVI SE on this Host [n] n
    Enter The Number Of Cores For AVI Controller. Range [4, 39] 8
    Please Enter Memory (in GB) for AVI Controller. Range [12, 125] 24
    Please Enter directory path for Avi Controller Config (Default [/opt/avi/controller/data/])
    Please Enter disk (in GB) for Avi Controller config (Default [30G])
    Do you have separate partition for Avi Controller Metrics? If yes, please enter directory path, else leave it blank
    Do you have separate partition for Avi Controller Client Log? If yes, please enter directory path, else leave it blank
    Please Enter Controller IP 10.120.0.39
    Run SE : No
    Run Controller : Yes
    Controller Cores : 8
    Memory(mb) : 24
    Controller IP : 10.120.0.39Disabling AVI Services...
    Loading AVI CONTROLLER Image. Please Wait..
    kernel.core_pattern = /var/crash/%e.%p.%t.coreInstallation Successful. Starting Services...
  1. Start the Avi Controller on the host to complete installation:
    sudo systemctl start avicontroller
  1. If deploying a 3-host cluster, repeat the steps above on the hosts for each of the other 2 Controllers.

Note: Following reboot, it takes about 3 to 5 minutes before the web interface becomes available. Until the reboot is complete, web interface access will appear to be frozen. This is normal. Starting with Avi Vantage release 16.3, reboot is not required.

Next Steps

To continue with the initial setup wizard and to add Avi Service Engine hosts to the Linux server cloud, read Configuring Avi Vantage for Application Delivery in Linux Server Cloud.

If you clicked through the SSH or Avi SE host pages of the wizard, see the following articles to complete installation: