System Requirements

Hardware Requirements

The 128T Networking Platform runs on both bare metal servers and as a virtual machine within hypervisor environments. For virtual environments, the same CPU, memory, and storage specifications are required for comparable throughput.

The 128T Networking Platform requires a minimum of 4 CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, and at least 25GB of hard drive space. See certified platforms and the platform support policy for more details.

info

Larger hard drives may be required if you intended to support an increased volume of flow and stored session-related information. These are used for analysis of the traffic patterns and utilization of your 128T routing system. Consult with your account representative for hardware recommendations specific to your traffic throughput needs, or visit our online community for hardware profile examples.

important

When run as a virtual machine, CPU cores must be dedicated to the 128T router using core affinity.

important

128 Technology strongly recommends the use of ECC memory for all hardware platforms.

BIOS Recommendations

In order to configure standard, off-the-shelf hardware to perform in line with traditional routing hardware, we recommend that you configure several BIOS settings to increase performance and resiliency.

Boot Priority

It may be necessary to change the target system’s BIOS settings to allow booting from removable media. Consult your hardware vendor’s documentation (or pay close attention to the messages displayed during the boot sequence) to verify that it will boot from a USB, CD, or DVD.

BIOS Screen

Enable Automatic Restart

In the event of power disruption, the Automatic Restart setting in your system's BIOS can automatically restart your system once power is restored. As BIOS settings may vary between hardware vendors, consult your hardware platform's operating guides for specific instructions, or look on Interchange for commonly deployed 128T hardware platforms. Below are representative steps for common BIOS parameters:

To enable Automatic Restart:

  1. From the BIOS settings screen, select ACPI > Power Settings.
  2. Change the Automatic Restart setting to On.
  3. Save the configuration and reboot your system.

Disable Secure Boot

Secure Boot verifies the integrity of the system. Because the kernel modules of the 128T are not signed, the modules required by the network interface drivers cannot be loaded at runtime. In order to allow the loading of the necessary drivers, the Secure Boot setting in the BIOS must be disabled.

note

When deploying 128T on VMware ESXi release 6.7 (or newer), Secure Boot must be disabled when the Virtual Machine is created (New Virtual Machine wizard).To disable it, deselect Secure Boot (EFI boot only) found on the VM Options tab within the Customize Hardware section.

To disable Secure Boot:

  1. On the BIOS settings screen, select Boot.
  2. Change the Secure Boot setting to Off.
  3. Save the configuration.
  4. Reboot your system.

BIOS settings may vary between hardware vendors. Please consult your hardware documentation for specific instructions. Additional information for common deployments of 128T hardware platforms may be found on Interchange.

Interface Requirements

Logically, 128T routers have at least two interfaces; in many deployments they represent "LAN" and "WAN" interfaces. These may be separate physical interfaces, or they may be separate VLANs on a single physical interface. There is also typically a third interface used for management traffic.

Though not a hard requirement, 128 Technology, recommends using a dedicated physical interface for management traffic whenever practical, to avoid commingling data plane traffic and management traffic.

When configuring two software nodes in a highly available router, each node requires a dedicated physical interface for synchronizing session data to its redundant peer. Each also generally have another, separate physical interface (referred to as a "fabric" interface) that is used to forward traffic between the nodes across a logical "backplane" between them. The fabric interface is not mandatory; refer to the High Availability documentation for more information on configuration design for high availability deployments.

Assigning the System Interfaces

Interfaces on host systems running as a 128T router, either bare metal or virtual deployment environments, are assigned for packet forwarding. At least one dedicated interface is required for packet forwarding.

note

Interface assignments are required only on software instances that are running as routers. Conductor nodes do not require interface assignments.

info

As mentioned in the section on Hardware Requirements, 128 Technology recommends using a separate interface for management traffic if possible.

Identify Interface PCI Addresses

Each Ethernet interface within a Linux system has a unique PCI address. This PCI address is used to bind the 128T router's configuration to the underlying hardware. During identification, be sure to record the PCI bus addresses for the individual interfaces.

note

Once the PCI addresses are configured for packet forwarding, the interfaces are no longer available to the Linux operating system. Incorrectly configuring the PCI addresses causes ssh connections and package installs to fail.

To Identify PCI Addresses:

  1. Launch a command prompt window.
  2. Issue the command lshw -c network -businfo
  3. The PCI addresses are displayed in the tabular output in the column labeled Bus info. These addresses are also referenced in your 128T router's configuration, with the preceding pci@ omitted, to identify which interfaces you want the system to manage and use for packet forwarding.
  4. Record the PCI addresses you wish to use, and close the command prompt window.
tip

If you are unsure which device maps to which physical port on your Linux system, you can use Linux's ethtool application to blink the NIC's activity light. For example, the command ethtool --identify eno1 120 will blink eno1's activity light for two minutes (120 seconds).

note

PCI-to-port maps are available for commonly deployed hardware systems on our user community, Interchange

VMware ESXi and KVM Requirements

When deploying 128T Routing Software on VMware ESXi release 6.7 (or newer), Secure Boot must be disabled when the Virtual Machine is created (New Virtual Machine wizard). To disable Secure Boot on VMWare ESXi, deselect Secure Boot (EFI boot only) found on the VM Options tab within the Customize Hardware section.

New Virtual Machine Wizard

VMware ESXi (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5) and KVM (2.1.3) with libvirt (1.2.9.3 and 3.2.0) are hypervisor environments. The following adjustments are required to run 128T Routing Software in these environments:

  • Leverage core affinity to dedicate CPU cores to 128T software, instead of leveraging virtual CPUs.
  • Set the SCSI controller to LSI Logic SAS.
  • Set network adapters to type e1000. As mentioned above, typical installations include a minimum of three network adapters for router deployments.
  • Separate the management interface, which is used for inter-component communication and out-of-band management, from the forwarding plane interfaces.
  • Reserve a minimum of two network interfaces for production traffic.
  • Depending on your environment, set the 128T router node portgroup to either promiscuous or bridged mode when supporting one or more redundant interfaces. (For example, when you are defining and configuring a MAC address for each redundant interface.) For VMware ESXi, the portgroup mode should be set to promiscuous. For KVM libvirt, the portgroupo mode should be set to bridged. For more information, refer to the High Availability guide.

Next Steps

Once you have identified the platform best suited for your needs, please refer to the 128T Software Installation Guide for information about the install process.

Last updated on