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Latest Threads
Getting into Routing
Forum: Challenges
Last Post: ITZach
02-23-2018, 02:13 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 6
A new challenger approach...
Forum: Challenges
Last Post: ITZach
02-23-2018, 01:48 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 1
Club Meeting 2/9/2018 - I...
Forum: Announcements
Last Post: ITZach
02-06-2018, 08:37 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 87
Small Scale Internet on O...
Forum: General On Topic
Last Post: ITZach
02-05-2018, 01:41 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 40
OpenStack virtual hangout...
Forum: Announcements
Last Post: ITZach
01-30-2018, 07:42 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 58
A visual guide to OpenSta...
Forum: Tutorials
Last Post: ITZach
01-30-2018, 01:20 AM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 78
New images coming to the ...
Forum: General On Topic
Last Post: ITZach
01-25-2018, 05:58 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 41
New Member's Group Meetin...
Forum: Announcements
Last Post: ITZach
01-24-2018, 02:23 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 67
Winter 2018 Kickoff Meeti...
Forum: Announcements
Last Post: ITZach
01-17-2018, 05:45 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 99
Service Outage Alert: Ope...
Forum: Announcements
Last Post: ITZach
01-06-2018, 07:29 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 150

  Getting into Routing
Posted by: ITZach - 02-23-2018, 02:13 AM - Forum: Challenges - No Replies

Routing is a big part of networking and can be useful to know. This challenge is designed to get you thinking about working with routes and how to set up static routes. Routing basics are fairly simple but having some hands on experience will help to solidify those basics. 

The Goal: Create a router on OpenStack with the VyOS image and build a static route from one of your networks, to the Constellation Transit router. Set up your internal network and routes to allow a VM on your network to access a web server running behind the Constellation Transit router. 

Some Details: You will need to request a network range from us to use as your new network (see this thread) which will be associated with you until either you graduate, leave the school, leave the club, or give it up. You will need to create a static port in OpenStack on this new network with a fixed IP Address to use as the default gateway on your router. Your router will then need to have that port attached to it, and another interface on the OSUITC-ISP network. You will also have to disable port security on both interfaces attached to your router so make sure you change the default user password or keep SSH disabled (or anyone on OpenStack can log in to your router!). Be sure to also set up DHCP on the new network you create since OpenStack DHCP seems to be the only way networking works with our deployment. You will also want to set a DNS server in the DHCP configuration on OpenStack. You should use since it is running records for osuitc.com. Once everything is set up the web server you should be trying to connect to is http://www.osuitc.com and you can check if it works using wget (wget manual) instead of a desktop web browser.

Where to Go for Help: If you're struggling with this challenge please ask for help! Good places to ask are in this forum (not in this post necessarily) or on the discord. 

Extra Resources: Below are some extra resources you may find helpful for completing this challenge.

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  A new challenger approaches! But why is this here?
Posted by: ITZach - 02-23-2018, 01:48 AM - Forum: Challenges - No Replies

We've been playing with the idea of posting challenges for a while now and I think it's time to make something of it! For some people it's very easy for them to go off and learn all about something just from following rabbit holes on google. For other people it's not so easy to learn without facing a challenge. However these challenges are for all! These challenges should push those with some knowledge to test it, and those without to find it. We will try to make these challenges easy to do without physical hardware using either openstack, GNS3, or packet tracer, but of course having hands on time with hardware is always good when you can get it. Eventually we hope to have some sort of badge for completing challenges, but all in good time. 

So keep an eye out on this forum for new challenges! Or if you're having trouble with a challenge, or have some insight that may be helpful for others please feel free to post here!

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  Club Meeting 2/9/2018 - Intro to networks
Posted by: ITZach - 02-06-2018, 08:37 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

Well it's a little bit late, but better late than never! This week we'll be going over some networking basics and taking a look at how these networking concepts are tied together to create the internet. The goal of this meeting is to start getting you to think about how the internet actually works and how you could set up something very similar to it. With the WAN party rapidly approaching this should be a good primer to get at least a few people interested.

The usual suspects:
When: Friday Feb. 9th at 6pm
Where: Kelley Engineering Center 1001
What: Intro to networking

As always these meeting are not closed to just members so bring your friends too! Hope to see you there!

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  Small Scale Internet on OpenStack
Posted by: ITZach - 02-05-2018, 01:41 AM - Forum: General On Topic - No Replies

I talked about creating a small scale version of the internet as a sweet project to learn more about how the internet works in a previous post here, but now I've actually got it set up on our OpenStack servers. The really awesome thing about this is that you all can participate pretty easily if you want to. Right now we have two routers creating our "internet" and one or two hosts living behind them. I have done some network-fu to even get a solid path from our small network out to the real internet so you can still do things like download updates or install packages from a network in OpenStack that isn't the provider network. So this is pretty cool! This will also be a good dry run for our up coming WAN party that seeks to do exactly this only with live hardware instead of on virtual space.

For those who want to participate there are a few steps that need to be done and we'll split them up into categories. The categories in order are: Administrative Details, Router Setup and Configuration, Handshake and Peering.

And if you don't really want to read all this stuff, there's a TL;DR at the bottom!

Administrative Details

In order to exist as a routing entity on the real internet you need: a router, a layer 1 connection to other autonomous systems, at least one autonomous system number (ASN), a block of IP addresses (v4 or v6), and at least one other autonomous system that is willing to peer with you. Some of these terms won't mean anything to you at the moment. Either go and google them now or hold on a hot minute and I'll explain them shortly. A good portion of that list is actually a little tricky to acquire in the real world. To get an ASN and an IP block you have to buy them and register them with a number authority (usually ARIN). In our case we the IT Club will act as that numbering authority to keep track of who is using what. The router hardware and the layer 1 connection will be facilitated by virtual machines and networks on OpenStack so those are not a problem. However to find another autonomous system (AS) to peer with you'll have to actually attempt to socialize for other club members, GASP!

But in this part of the process all you need to do is contact one of the officers of the club and ask for an ASN and an IP block. Since we're nice guys and this is a learning experiment we will simply give you one of each and make a note that you have them. Once those are registered to you through some system we will likely have to develop, other participants will be able to see that you are in fact the registered "owner" of those numbers and will then be able to agree to peer with you. You will then be able to move on to the next category.

Router Setup and Config

When working with real hardware this part should be a snap, but unfortunately OpenStack throws a few wrenches in the wheels. The basic steps of this section are to create any networks and subnets you need, create a port with a static IP for the gateway address for each of your subnets, launch a VyOS instance with the appropriate networks and fixed IP ports, disable port security on each port attached to your router (took me forever to figure that part out, real hardware goes so much smoother), and then actually do the router config for each network and to set your ASN for BGP. I'm not actually going to talk about configuring VyOS in this thread, but it's actually very simple and at some point a tutorial will get posted in the tutorials section.

Handshake and Peering

This is where the interesting bits of the internet actually happen. The internet isn't actually formed by some automated system that automatically detects new routers and adds them to the internet. It actually takes two people (or corporate entities) communicating that they want to establish a link between their systems. They must actually come to some sort of agreement about how they will connect and likely what routes they will advertise and subnets they will use. Once they have agreed and shaken hands then they actually have to initiate the connection. With BGP the connection must be established manually on both ends of the link. The actual establishment of the connection is done in about one command, but it still takes a network admin to run that command.

This part will be a big part of this project. While we have a primary transit router running that participants can peer with, we highly suggest trying to find another club member to peer with. The further disconnected your routers are to our primary router, the better this will emulate the internet. In reality everyone could simply connect to our router, but that really kinda defeats the purpose of even running your own router.


To participate you need to:
  • Learn at least the basics of networking and routing
  • Learn how to setup and configure BGP on your choice of router (VyOS is really easy!)
  • Request an ASN and a block of IP addresses from us
  • Find someone else (or multiple someones) to peer with you
  • Set up your networks and your router
  • Initiate the peer connection
  • ????????
  • Profit

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  OpenStack virtual hangout and Challenge- 1/31/2018
Posted by: ITZach - 01-30-2018, 07:42 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

This week we're gonna try something a little different. Instead of meeting in person this week we're going to try a virtual meeting over Discord.

There are a few good reasons for this:

  1. I've just been stupid busy with work and school and all that and I ran out of time to plan a real meeting
  2. Discord is a really awesome tool that we have available to us and more people should use it (it's super easy to contact us on Discord).
  3. We're trying to raise awareness of the resources available to you all and how to use them
I'll probably get on Discord around 4:30pm or so on Wednesday (1/31/2018) but feel free to hop in before that, especially if there are people already in a chat. Feel free to also start working on this challenge right away. We're not going to do the whole starting line thing, we don't want this to be a race. If you can't complete the challenge in one afternoon that's ok too! Just let us know when you have completed it.

So here's the deal, Myself and hopefully you all will hop into a chat channel on our discord server to try and tackle a challenge. The challenge is designed to get you all familiar with both using OpenStack, and working in a linux environment. There will be a little bit of networking in there too, but you probably won't notice that part as much, it's more of a result of the challenge than an actual piece of it.

The challenge: Each user on OpenStack is given 3 processors and 3 Gigs of ram to play with however they choose. Your task is to start an instance with an image of your choosing (we suggest Ubuntu or Centos, cirros won't work for this challenge) and set up that instance with a desktop environment of some sort. Once you have a desktop running on the instance you will be able to use a web browser within our private network. You can then use that browser to access a web server that we will have setup and running. Once you let us know what that web page actually says you will have completed the challenge.

If you want to take the challenge a step further you can start up another instance and try and install your own web server on it. See if you can connect to your new web server with the desktop instance you created in the first step.

Some things that will be useful:

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  A visual guide to OpenStack basics
Posted by: ITZach - 01-30-2018, 01:13 AM - Forum: Tutorials - Replies (1)

I have decided to create myself a youtube channel in order to record the things I do for my lab as well as for the club. This is great news for you all because now I can make tutorials without rambling like I often do haha.

So for starters I made a little tutorial on starting a basic instance in OpenStack. Let me know if I can improve on this any way!

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  New images coming to the stack
Posted by: ITZach - 01-25-2018, 05:58 PM - Forum: General On Topic - No Replies

One of the biggest problems we face in our current setup is that there's really no good way to access the stuff that you're running on the cloud. Everything lives behind a firewall that we don't have access to for portforwarding etc. So I'm working on getting at least one image on the list that can easily be spun up with a desktop environment. This will give you access to a web browser and a console as well for SSH and whatever else. This way if you want to play with web servers, or other kinds of stuff you can have a desktop to work from instead of just a command line. Right now I'm working on a Debian image since Debian is a pretty minimal install. It should run on a m1.mini instance so it won't take up too much of your quota.

Eventually we should have a windows server jump host for remote desktop that will be behind the firewall, but we aren't quite there yet. I should have this image up by the end of the weekend so watch out for that to pop up!

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  New Member's Group Meeting on Friday (1/26/18)
Posted by: ITZach - 01-24-2018, 02:23 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

We're having a bit of an impromptu meeting on Friday to try and bring some of our newer members into the concepts and topics that we may be exploring. If you are not a newer member you are still more than welcome to join us and we value your input as well.

This will also be a great time to come ask questions about our OpenStack system or any other resources we have, and also a great time to suggest topics that we could explore.

We will be meeting in KEC 1001 at 6pm on Firday 1/26/2018 and we will be there until 8pm.

Come say hi and get to know some of your fellow members!

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  Winter 2018 Kickoff Meeting - Updated!
Posted by: ITZach - 01-17-2018, 05:45 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

Hello friends!

We have finally scheduled our first meeting for winter term. Sorry it's taken so long, but I just took a job on campus and I've been very busy. But here we are! And here are the usual details:

When: January 21st @ 6pm
Where: Kelley Engineering Center room 1001 (still slightly tentative)

Wow I screwed that up!
When: Monday January 22nd @ 6pm
Where: STAG 260
What: Introduction to the club and plans for the term.

Primarily this meeting is to introduce the club in general and go over what our plans are for this term and what's coming up in the club. This is a great chance to come check out what we do before committing to joining us (although it's free and there are no obligations so you should join anyways!).

We've also been playing with the idea of doing twice weekly meetings and since we're starting so late I think this is a great time to kick that idea into play. So since we're down two weeks already we're going to try and schedule a meeting for Friday night as well. The details for that meeting will be made available in another post probably closer to this Friday.

Also don't forget that the Winter time poll is live and you will need to fill that out again even if you filled it out last term! We need to know your availability in order to better schedule our meetings around our members so please fill that out!

We hope to see you Monday!

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Exclamation Service Outage Alert: OpenStack is down [RESOLVED]
Posted by: ITZach - 01-06-2018, 07:29 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

As of 6pm January 6th we are aware of a total service outage on the OpenStack cluster. Services are not responding at the gateway so no traffic is getting in or out of the cluster. At this time we do not have a known cause for this outage and we will be working with COE IT in the coming days to isolate and fix the problem. As we do not have direct access to these systems it will take time to resolve the outage. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Updates will be posted here as they become available.

UPDATE 1/9/18 05:50: At 2pm yesterday physical access was granted and we were able to reboot the gateway. Unfortunately the gateway was not the only issue and the servers are still not responding to requests. We will update when we know more.

UPDATE 1/9/18 09:56: As of 9am this morning the OpenStack cluster is functioning normally. After regaining access to the datacenter this morning we were able to determine that the servers did not obtain the correct IP information from the gateway after it was rebooted. An emergency reboot of the cluster was sufficient to correct the issue. We will be looking into why the services did not come back online after the gateway reboot and until we find an answer we suspect the issue may occur again. We will also be working to replace the hardware that the gateway is running on to improve performance and protect against further interruptions of service.

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