OpenLMI Networking

The networking support in OpenLMI is designed to configure and manage multiple NICs on a server. A representative configuration would be a server with a NIC on the motherboard which is used for management functions and a quad (four port) GbE or 10 GbE NIC for network and storage traffic.

Let’s look at configuring such a server, where we have a management NIC and a quad GbE NIC that we want to configure with two bonded ports on one subnet for network traffic and two ports on a different subnet used for storage traffic.

A typical workflow for configuring such a network would be:

  • Connect to the managed server through the management network. Note that if you are connecting to the system it means that this NIC is already configured. You usually avoid making changes to the management network, as it is easy to make the system unreachable.

  • Enumerate network devices. This gives you a listing of the network devices and some key information like the device name and manufacturer. You can tell which NIC is being used for the management plane and which NIC should be used for production networking traffic.

  • Choose the devices to be used for network traffic.

    • Get the parameters of the network devices (MAC address, link up/down status)

    • Get the current IP configuration for each device (IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, netmask, default gateways, DNS)

    • Make any needed changes. Set the IP address, netmask, dns and gateway for the NICs used for networking This can be either IPv4 or IPv6 addresses..

      • Combine the two NICs into a bond group for increased performance

    • Bring up the networking NICs

  • Choose the devices to be used for storage. Follow the same configuration process as used for the networking devices.

  • You will receive notification about changes in network devices and settings – created, modified, deleted – as you go through the configuration process.

All of this is straightforward and is routinely done as part of server configuration. The difference is that OpenLMI allows you to query and configure the network without interactively logging in to the managed server and either running local tools or editing configuration files.

Further, LMIshell provides a friendly environment for CLI and scripting that makes these tasks even easier. We will cover LMIshell in a future post.

About Russell Doty

A technology strategist and product manager at Red Hat, working on the next generation of open source systems.
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