ModiPy update: Automated NetApp simulator installation

Just a quick note to let you know about something I worked on a bit this past weekend.

I’ve been adding a bunch of test cases to ModiPy to make the code quality better, and to chase down some corner cases that were really annoying me.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve got bunch of tests written, and the code passes most of them.

Most interestingly, the real world example that kicked off this bughunt was my desire to automate the installation and baseline configuration of a NetApp simulator. I do this a bunch, and wanted to stop having to remember all the steps to set one up, get some disks connected to it, configure both nodes, license the cluster, etc., etc. Yawn.

In my professional life, we get installation engineers to do this for physical Filers by following a written, printed document, called a Build guide. It’s a manual process. Some parts of it have to be, like getting it plugged in and connected to a network. But from then on, it could be automated. Better yet, we can then automate the testing of the configuration to make sure it’s correct, before the engineer leaves the site. People make mistakes, so do installation engineers. Having to manually check all the settings are correct on a newly installed 6070 cluster is a major pain in the ass.

Sure, you could write your own custom Makefile or shell script. But that sucks, and doing all the error checking is the biggest pain. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just grab a template from somewhere that does 95% of what you want, and just tweak a few variables?

Show me the code

That’s one of the goals of ModiPy. So, I’ve uploaded the configuration I just used to successfully install a NetApp simulator as a 2 node cluster, configured with an IP address, hostname and the cluster licensed. It’s even had secureadmin configured so once you boot it up from now on, you can talk directly to the simulator via ssh, just like a real Filer. You can check out the example ModiPy config by clicking here.

The next stage will be to add some change templates that give me a few test lab setups so I can quickly run up some test configs whenever I need to test, say, iSCSI, or moving volumes between physicals using ndmpcopy.

And, of course, I’ll be sharing them with you. Aren’t you lucky?

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