Installing OpenSwitch


First, disclaimer: I’m an HP employee. HP’s a major contributor to the OpenSwitch project. Just thought you should know in case you think that affects my opinion here.

If you need more info on the OpenSwitch project, you can check out the first post in this series here.

Getting our hands dirty

This section comes down into three steps, if you don’t follow these steps, you won’t succeed. I’m not going to go into details on these steps as I’m assuming you can figure this out if you found this blog. 🙂 

– Install Virtual Box

– Install Vagrant

– Install Docker Toolbox

I’m running OpenSwitch on a Windows box in this case as the documentation covers the ‘IX build. I’m running on this natively on OSX which also means that I’ve got to install the docker toolbox plugin to get docker containesr to work. I’m  also assuming that you’ve already installed Virtual Box and Vagrant for the following section.

Installing Vagrant Plugin

From a terminal window, run the vagrant plugin install vagrant-reload command from the CLI. This should show the following output.

Screen Shot 2015 10 20 at 8 28 45 PM

Installing the OpenSwitch Dev Environment

For this section, I’m assuming you have already downloaded the vagrant files from here into your working directory.

Running the Docker Toolbox Plugin

Run the Docker QuickStart Terminal application and wait for the virtual box image to come to a running state. You should be able to see the following 

Screen Shot 2015 10 20 at 8 30 50 PM

Vagrant up!

From the terminal, navigate to where you have unzipped the OpenSwitch vagrant files that you downloaded from here.  Run vagrant up command from the CLI. At this point some magic happens ( read more on Vagrant here if you’ve never worked with this tool before. Magic is obviously not magic, but I just don’t feel like explaining the whole process in this post. )


On a OSX box, you’re not running as root so you may end up with the following window

Screen Shot 2015 10 20 at 8 33 27 PM

If you hit this, don’t worry, just SUDO it! 

Screen Shot 2015 10 20 at 8 36 39 PM

 Accessing the OpenSwitch

From the same terminal window issue the sudo vagrant ssh command to be able to access the shell (CLI) of the OpenSwitch. 


If you are successful, you should see the following output. Notice the shell has changed to vagrant@switch

Screen Shot 2015 10 20 at 8 39 21 PM

Accessing the network interface

From the vagrant@switch prompt, issue the sudo vtysh command and you will now have access to an industry standard hierarchical CLI like we all know and love!

Screen Shot 2015 10 20 at 8 41 36 PM

 My thoughts so far

Getting this up and running has been relatively painless. There were a couple of small things to get it running that were particular to OSX which was not covered on the OpenSwitch quick start guide. Nothing that a little patience and google didn’t help me cover in a few minutes though.  The install experience was pretty easy.  The guides were pretty accurate and the getting this up and running should be something most of us can follow without much trouble.

OpenSwitch doesn’t have what I would call a robust network stack at this point in time, but we’re still really early in this world.  Now that I’ve got it up and running, I’m looking forward to starting to look at the alternate interfaces such as OVSDB and REST as described here

Anyone else got this up and running yet? Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!



Getting started with OpenSwitch

First, disclaimer: I’m an HP employee. HP’s a major contributor to the OpenSwitch project. Just thought you should know in case you think that affects my opinion here.

This is the first in some blog posts that detail my experience with the new OpenSwitch project. It’s an interesting project and i’m hoping that it’s got some legs on it. Imagine, if we actually had the whole industry started to focus around a common network operating system that they could contribute to . Any one could fix bugs or write documentation and feel like you’re helping to drive the whole industry forward. It’s a pretty ambitious project, but something that I think could be very very interesting. So it’s time to get dirty and start to dig into it.

What is OpenSwitch?

According to the webpage “The OpenSwitch Platform is an open source, Linux-based network operating system (NOS) platform. Built under the open source model, OpenSwitch offers the freedom of innovation while maintaining stability and limiting vulnerability.”

You can read more on it here

Mailing Lists

One of the best ways to keep up with what’s going on with any OpenSource project is to subscribe to the mailing list. You can subscribe to the OpenSwitch mailing list by clicking on the following links.

Infra OpenSwitch Infrastructure and Operations Team
Ops-dev OpenSwitch Developers

Kicking the tires

It looks like the OpenSwitch project has put out a version that will work with a combination of VirtualBox, Vagrant, and Docker.

The documentation looks pretty complete and is available here.

What’s next

This idea of a community drive NOS is something that’s been kicked around for awhile. Great time to kick the tires and see how much work has been done and what’s currently available.

Look for more posts soon!


A Tale of Two Companies: Apple loses it’s shine

Trust is a huge reason that we buy from a company. We know a brand, we trust a brand, we are more likely to buy from that brand. Right?

In the last couple of months, I’ve had two issues with a couple of my devices and had two very different experiences. 

Issue 1

I noticed my fitbit surge, smart watch extraordinaire, had a small mechanical issue with it. I tweeted up them up to ask what I could do about it. They suggested I open a support case and send me the link. I was hoping there might be a quick solution, but at least I didn’t have to look for the support link.

Long story short: I opened the support case and I was stunned when the reply came back which told me they would be sending me a new watch right away.  WOW.  This is a $350 item and they just sent me a new one. 

Wow. I couldn’t say enough great things about Fitbit at this point. Great products. Amazing support. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who’s interested in gear to help you track your fitness goals. 

Issue 2


Apple iOS 9.0 comes out. I updated on my iPhone and iPad and everything went ok. So I decided to update my son’s iPad mini which was working fine up until that point.  The initial 9.0 ended up completely crashing the device. Yup. Totally crashed. I crashed so bad I couldn’t even finish the install. It was just the bricked iPad screen showing the glowing Apple logo and the lightning connector letting me know I had to connect it to an Laptop to reinstall the iOS version.   

I tried this on my MacBook Air, my MacBook Pro, as well as my Mac Mini.  ( I’m an apple fan ).  None of them worked.   A few days passed and iOS 9.01 was released.  Still nothing.

I opened up a support case with Apple the day a couple of days later. By this time, iOS 9.02 was released. ( Seriously did they test the software before it was released? Two patches in a week?) 

I did manage to get 9.02 installed, but then the iPad kept locking up and would only recover with a full hard reset. ( hold the power and the home button at the same time. ) 

I had an appointment at the Apple store, and given the behaviour, I decided I’d go in anyways.


When I arrive at the Apple store, the iPad mini had already crashed ( woo-hoo! how many times do you take something in and it actually has the problem you’re trying to get fixed! ).  The Apple Genius technician decides that we’ll reinstall iOS 9.02 to see if it will fix the problem. Unfortunately, it’s back to the problem I was having at the beginning. iOS wouldn’t load. 

At this point, the Genius technician, unlucky kid that he is, tells me that my iPad is out of warranty and that it’s going to cost me $220 to get it fixed. He tells me that it’s a hardware issue and that the upgrade is failing because of hardware issue. 

I’ve been in IT for a long time, 20+ years at this point. I get that hardware failures happen and that’s sometimes the way things go. Sucks, but it is what it is.  What I have a hard time with is understanding how there was no hardware issue before iOS 9.0 came out.  All the problems started up after my first attempt to upgrade to iOS 9. 

So basically,, there was no problem before installing the software, there are major problems after TRYING to install the software. There are two patches for the iOS 9 release approx within one week of the first release.  Something smells really fishy here to me, no?


Wow. I can’t believe that I got an “Sorry, but it’s just a coincidence that you tried to install our new software and it broke your device. We can’t help you Sorry .t’s the policy, but we’ll be happy to take your money”   answer here. Holy crappy support batman. 

Trust comes from standing behind your products AND your customers

So in a nutshell, I have a possible non-issue from Fitbit which they resolved with sending me a new watch. I have a major issue with Apple that is MOST likely caused by software that they deny all responsibility for and offer to charge me almost the same price as buying a new iPad mini. 


Who do you think I’m going to be more likely to buy from in the future? 



My two cents

Support is a funny thing. Many companies forget that a customer is a potential future customer, even if they don’t have a support contract. Looks like Apple is starting to walk down the same road that other market leaders have fallen into. Sad to see such a great company lose sight of the most important thing which contributes to it’s success;:  the customers.




P.S. The fact that I upgraded my Mac’s to El Capitan and have had major issues sense the upgrade has not made me any happier.