Reference9:Concept Innovaphone Virtual Appliance

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There are other versions of this article: Reference9 (this version) | Reference10 | Reference12r1

Contents

Applies To

This information applies to:

  • V9
  • innovaphone Virtual Appliance
  • Intel/AMD CPUs
  • VMware
    • Workstation 7.1
    • Player 3.x [1]
    • vSphere 4.1
    • vSphere 5.x
      • Inno-mst 14:25, 16 October 2013 (CEST): vSphere 5.5 compatibility has been reported
    • Fusion 5.x (Mac OS X 10.7)

More Information

The innovaphone Virtual Appliance (IPVA) is a virtual machine to be run on a virtualization platform. Whereby, VMware[2] is is the solely supported virtualization platform to-date.

The IPVA is a software-only solution. It appears as and performs as an innovaphone "hard-box" excluding DSP-, ISDN-/AB-resources.

The following core-components are contained within the IPVA:

  • innovaphone PBX
  • innovaphone Gateway (a.k.a Relay)
  • integrated mass-storage (alike innovaphones' CF-card support)

Configuration

Download the IPVA.

  • The compressed archive ipva-vmx.zip contains 1 virtual machine configuration file (*.vmx) and 4 virtual machine disk files (*.vmdk):
    • ipva.vmx: The virtual machine configuration file
    • hd-boot.vmdk: The virtual boot harddisk (hd)
    • hd-cf.vmdk: The hd for emulation of a Compact Flash card
    • hd-flash.vmdk: The hd for emulation of flash memory
    • hd-dump.vmdk: The hd serving as a store for a crash dump

The file ipva.bin is the firmware file, which is only needed for update purposes.

VMware Player

  • Copy the IPVA to e.g. your desktop
  • Double-click on ipva.vmx

The IPVA is going to be started.

A shortcut (*.lnk file) to the vmx-file will start the IPVA without additional user interaction. Such a shortcut may also be copied into the Windows Autostart program folder, in order to have the IPVA started automatically on windows startup.

VMware Workstation

  • Copy the IPVA to e.g. your desktop
  • Double-click on ipva.vmx

The IPVA is going to be started.

The Workstation 7 directory comprises the command line utility vmrun.exe. A batch file according to the following pattern may be crafted to programmatically start the IPVA.

"D:\Programme\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmrun" start "C:\Users\Tester\Desktop\ipva\ipva.vmx"

Note: By altering start into stop a virtual machine may be stopped.

VMware vSphere

This applies to vSphere 4.x and later (such as e.g. vSphere 5.5).

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

The IPVA offered for downloading must be converted into a vSphere-processable form. The IPVA can be converted by means of the tool VMware vCenter Converter Standalone[3].

  • A step-by-step guide may be found here.

Make sure you always use the latest VMware converter to convert your IPVA.

See here for a discussion why the conversion is needed.

Network Configuration

Manufacturer-configured as DHCP client only. I.e. a DHCP server must be available. Afterwards the network configuration may be administrated as used to within the web ui of other innovaphone boxes. If there's in no case a DHCP server available for the 1st-time configuration, read through What Is The Console Good For?.

License Configuration

For the IPVA9 license see Reference9:Licenses.

The licensing procedure is the same as for other innovaphone products, except for one peculiarity: The MAC address, generated by VMware, may have been assigned already to another customer/installation. Such a conflict must be settled manually as explained below.

If, while generating licenses within my.innovaphone.com, a message (My_Innovaphone#IP-VA_MAC_exists) is displayed:

IP-VA MAC exists

then a new MAC address must be assigned manually to the affected installation.

Note: We recommend to not use auto-generated MAC Address for the IPVA machine. Please assign a static MAC address like '00-50-56-...' to prevent license issues if the machine must be rebuild since you will assign the same MAC address after and not the auto-generated MAC.

VMWare Player and Workstation

In order to assign a new MAC address on a VMWare Workstation or VMWare Player:

  • Power-off the virtual machine
  • Open the file ipva.vmx for editing within a text editor.
  • Edit the last 3 hex-values of the lines starting with ethernet0.generatedAddress & uuid.bios from e.g.
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:f4:c6:d9"
uuid.bios = "56 4d 64 b9 52 ce 38 57-66 29 e8 f2 77 f4 c6 d9"

into e.g

ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:f4:c6:da"
uuid.bios = "56 4d 64 b9 52 ce 38 57-66 29 e8 f2 77 f4 c6 da"

(Note: in this example just the very last hex-value d9 is going to be altered into da)

  • Within my.innovaphone.com try once again to generate licenses for the virtual machine with the new MAC address.

VMWare vSphere, ESX/ESXi 4.1 and ESXi

For information related to vSphere, ESX/ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.x, see the Mac Addresses section of the vSphere Networking Guide for your version of ESX/ESXi.

Provision Of External Resources

External Resources are required, in order to provide:

  • Access to ISDN interfaces
  • DSP conferencing channels

The IP1060 media gateway may be considered as a suitable complement for such purposes.

Download

IPVA.zip from http://download.innovaphone.com/ice/9.00/#firmware

Troubleshooting

Support procedures are commonly identical to the ones known from innovaphones' physical appliances. Except for:

  • Post-Mortem Logs A post-mortem log must be retrieved by clicking on Admistration/Diagnostics/trace(crash-dump) (alternatively: http://a.b.c.d/crash_dump.txt).
    • Note: Deviating from innovaphones' physical appliances, the DRAM-content(with may be post-mortem info) does not survive a CPU-reset. This is why post-mortem information is going to be stored persistent on the 4th disk, named hd-dump.vmdk.


Some known issues are listed further below under FAQ.

Known Issues

ESX 3.x is unsupported

The IPVA does not run under ESX 3.x and below, since virtual IDE disks aren't supported.

Don't use Maintenance/Upload/DRAM on vSphere 4

Until further notice this way of uploading a new firmware is currently not supported. The VMM detects and assumes the guest (IPVA) is going to shutting-off. All the virtual harddisks may get lost in the aftermath. vmware.log shows:

...

Mar 02 13:02:25.439: vcpu-0| Vix: [4864986 vmxCommands.c:9609]: VMAutomation_HandleCLIHLTEvent. Do nothing.
Mar 02 13:02:25.462: vcpu-0| MsgHint: msg.monitorevent.halt (sent)
Mar 02 13:02:25.462: vcpu-0| The CPU has been disabled by the guest operating system. Power off or reset the virtual machine.

...and then when trying to power-on later...

Mar 03 08:37:00.260: vmx| Destroying virtual dev for ide0:1 vscsi=8303
Mar 03 08:37:00.260: vmx| VMMon_VSCSIStopVports: Invalid handle
Mar 03 08:37:00.260: vmx| VMMon_VSCSIDestroyDev: Not found
Mar 03 08:37:00.260: vmx| Destroying virtual dev for ide1:0 vscsi=8304
Mar 03 08:37:00.261: vmx| VMMon_VSCSIStopVports: Invalid handle
Mar 03 08:37:00.261: vmx| VMMon_VSCSIDestroyDev: Not found
...

Release Note For V9HF1

This Note refers to the fix.

  • From on V9HF1 the available flash directory[4] space will be constrained, depending on the available RAM. A loss of PBX objects may occur after an upgrade to V9HF1. In order to prevent such a loss perform the upgrade as follows:
    • 1)Download and save the current configuration of the affected IPVA.
    • 2)Upload the new firmware file and reboot.
    • 3)Upload the config from step 1).
  • From on V9HF1 an administrative reduction of the available RAM may lead into a loss of PBX objects. I.e. increasing the RAM isn't critical, while in contrast lowering the amount of RAM lowers the amount of flash directory space.

V9HF4 Needed For vSphere 5

V9 Hotfix4 is needed, in order to run the IPVA under vSphere 5.

FAQ

Are Firmware Updates Possible?

Yes, alike the well-known *.bin firmware files for other innovaphone products (ip6000.bin, ip2000.bin,..) , there's a similar bin-file (ipva.bin) for the IPVA. The file is contained on the boot-hd and can be found by browsing to e.g. http://192.168.0.5/drive/HD-BOOT . The versioning of ipva.bin is the same as for the other products. The firmware file may exactly be uploaded as for other products:

  • by Upload/Firmware
  • by Upload/Dram
  • by a script for the innovaphone Update Process

What is the ipva default password?

  • user: admin
  • password: ipva

Do I Always Need To Download The Entire IPVA?

No, after the 1st-time deployment of an entire IPVA only the firmware file ipva.bin needs to be downloaded from download.innovaphone.com. See Are Firmware Updates Possible? for how to proceed further.

How Is The Network Connection Being Handled?

The network connection is pre-configured to: Bridged: Connected directly to the physical network

What Is The Size Of the Emulated CompactFlash?

1GB

Can The Emulated CompactFlash Be Increased In Size?

Yes, from within the Edit Virtual Machine dialog. Doing so just increases the size of the virtual harddisk. The emulated CompactFlash must be formatted afterwards and accordingly to benefit from the increased size. That step can be administrated from Administration/Compact Flash/Format. Note: A recommendation for an upper size limit is not given.


vSphere / vSphere Client

1. At first backup all of your files from CF card
2. Shutdown the corresponding IPVA
3. Choose "Properties" of the IPVA
4. Delete "Harddrive 2" (Hardrive file xxx/xxx_1.vmdk)

hd-boot.vmdk  > xxx.vmdk
hd-cf.vmdk    > xxx_1.vmdk
hd-flash.vmdk > xxx_2.vmdk
hd-dump.vmdk  > xxx_3.vmdk

5. Create new harddrive
6. Configure the required size
7. As "Node of virtual device" select "IDE(0:1)"
8. Start the IPVA.
9. "Format" the CF Card and "mount" it (General/Compact-Flash/General)

What Is The Size Of the emulated Flash Storage on the IPVA?

The virtual flash storage used to store configuration file of the IPVA and LDAP directory of the PBX is defined with 64 MB and can not be changed. This is two times more than on IP6010. The VMDK-File hd-flash.vmdk is allocated with 100 MB, because VMWare can not handle smaller virtual disks.

What Is The Size Of the Flash Directory on the IPVA?

The size of the flash directory(storage for PBX objects) depends on the available RAM. The maximum of 900 segments á 64KB, i.e. ~56MB, is available from on 192MB of RAM. The easiest method to see how much flash directory space is available is to investigate the boot trace. For the standard configuration of 64MB the respective trace output is going to look as follows and informs about a size of 14MB:

0:0000:081:4 - start flashdir FLASHDIR0
0:0000:081:4 - fdir: segments=901->224(14.0MB)

How Much RAM Is Required Per IPVA Instance?

The downloadable virtual appliance comes preconfigured with 64MB RAM. This amount is seen as a good trade-off for the majority of all installations. The RAM-size can be administrated by VMware-means.

The minimum RAM size allocatable to an IPVA in VMware is 20MB. This results in a DRAM size seen by the IPVA of 17MB and roughly 8MB allocatable runtime memory after boot. Note though that even a small IP302 model has 17MB allocatable runtime memory after boot.

What Is The Maximum Amount Of RAM?

The maximum meaningful RAM setting is 3GB. Memory space beyond that limit will be left unused. Assigning more than 3GB to an IPVA instance doesn't provide any benefit.

Why Does General/Info/DRAM Show Less Than the Configured Memory?

Not all of the configured memory is available to the IPVA. E.g. a bit of memory is occupied by the VMM[5]. The indicator General/Info/DRAM displays the memory available to the IPVA and is truncated down to a whole number. A boot-trace reveals a bit more about IPVA-available memory as shown in the following excerpt:

...
0:0000:030:4 - Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     E8400  @ 3.00GHz
0:0000:030:4 - mem(64946176)=61.93MB ...

How Many IPVA Instances Are Possible Per Host?

There's no worst-case estimate available. For a best-case calculation,

Additional preformance reflections

Where Has PPP-Functionality Gone?

PPP-scenarios (PPTP, PPPoE) are not envisaged with the IPVA, because it has only one network interface controller.

Update(07.Mar.2011), from on 90468:

  • PPP has been integrated
  • a second network interface is available (now ETH0 and ETH1)
    • ETH1 comes pre-configured: host-only, disconnected. I.e. it must be reconfigured manually and by VMware means to become functional.

Does The IPVA Support Non-VMware Hypervisor Products?

No, currently it doesn't.

How do I perform a factory reset?

replace the 3rd disk, served on IDE 1:0, named hd-flash.vmdk with an empty disk:

Image:VM_Settings.png

1)download the IPVA and watch out for the file hd-flash.vmdk

2)Power-off the IPVA instance

3)Replace hd-flash.vmdk with the one downloaded in step 1). If on vsphere it may have been assigned a different name. Ensure it’s the one on IDE 1:0.

4)Power-on the IPVA instance

Is VMWare Fault Tolerance (FT) supported by IPVA?

Yes, we have successfully tested[6] VMWare Fault Tolerance[7] with a virtual machine running IPVA on VMWare vSphere 4.1.

What About VMware Tools?

VMware Tools are not supported.

What Is The Console Good For?

The console is a remains of the early development phase. It resembles the IP3000's serial console. It doesn't offer any convenience like command history or backspace funtionality. Nevertheless may the console be of help in exceptional situations where e.g. the required DHCP server isn't available for 1st-time configuration or in situations where the ip configuration was misconfigured. Thereby any command from a device's config is acceptable.

For instance to configure the static IP address 1.2.3.4/24 on ETH0:

  • Click into the console
  • Press ENTER
  • Enter credentials
  • Enter
config change IP0 ETH0 /addr 1.2.3.4 /mask 255.255.255.0
config change DHCP0 /mode off
config write
reset

Since no backspace is offered it may become a daring task to enter a single line without typos. In case of a typo hit ENTER and input the same line again. The keyboard layout is the US layout.

Console-edit of IP address
Console-edit of IP address

Display the IP configuration for ETH0:

config show IP0 ETH0

Display the DHCP configuration for ETH0:

config show DHCP0

Additional the DNS-server(s) and the default gateway can be configured:

config change IP0 ETH0 /addr 1.2.3.4 /mask 255.255.255.0 /dns 8.8.8.8 /dns2 8.8.4.4
config change IP0 RT0 /gateway 1.2.3.254
config change DHCP0 /mode off
config write
reset

Also some simple diagnostics (ping and traceroute) are possible via the console (output is given in the console):

mod cmd PING0 tracert 8.8.8.8
mod cmd PING0 ping 8.8.8.8

Resetting the entire FLASH space - Note, all configuration will get lost. this is similar method to the manufacturer reset method from above How do I perform a factory reset?

mod cmd FLASHMAN0 reset all
reset

What Can I Do In Case Of A Checksum Boot Error?

This paragraph applies, if you experience the following start-up problem.

Symptom

  • the IPVA doesn't start properly
  • the console displays
checksum wrong! Loading failed for image=IPVA    BIN
Console displays CRC boot error
Console displays CRC boot error


Solution

  • Power-off the IPVA
  • Replace the boot harddisk by a fresh one. The boot harddisk is the 1st hd(originally named hd-boot.vmdk).

Remarks

This problem may occur on a system crash while a firmware update is taking place.

What Can I Do In Case Of Boot-Problem: NIC unavailable!

This paragraph applies, if you experience the following start-up problem.

Symptom

  • the IPVA doesn't start properly
  • the console displays
NIC unavailable!
Console displays NIC unavailable!
Console displays NIC unavailable!


Solution

  • Power-off the IPVA
  • Administrate by VMware means: Ensure the correct/expected type of network interface controller(NIC) is going to be offered by the hypervisor.


The IPVA offers driver support for:

  • AMD NIC: Am79C970A PCnet-PCI II Single-Chip Full-Duplex Ethernet Controller
    • a.k.a PCNet32
    • a.k.a Vlance


The AMD-NIC is kind of default. However, the NIC type may be overriden manually and accordingly within the configuration file ipva.vmx as follows

ethernet0.virtualDev = "vlance"

Remarks

This problem may occur after a VMware re-configuration of the network settings.

What Can I Do In Case Of Boot-Problem: perf-counter not enabled!

This paragraph applies, if you experience the following start-up problem.

Symptom

  • the IPVA doesn't start properly
  • the console displays
perfcounter-not enabled!!!
Console displays perfcounter-not enabled!!!
Console displays perfcounter-not enabled!!!


Solution
This problem is likely caused by a faulty configuration file ipva.vmx. Such a situation will definitely occur after importing the appliance into vSphere without importing the appliance's configuration file ipva.vmx.

  • The solution therefore is a complete conversion of the IPVA as outlined above VMware vSphere.

Remarks
The IPVA utilizes a VMware proprietary mechanism for its internal timekeeping[8]. That mechanism is only available after adding the following line to the configuration file ipva.vmx:

monitor_control.pseudo_perfctr = TRUE

If that line is not present, the hypervisor is going to throw a CPU exception.

Why Isn't There An OVA/OVF File Made Available?

Simply because of the feature discussed in What Can I Do In Case Of Boot-Problem: perf-counter not enabled!. That feature can only be described in VMX files and is not projectable onto an OVA/OVF file.

Are Additional vCPUs useful?

No, the innovaphone OS is a single task OS. Additional virtual CPUs(vCPUs) cannot be utilized.

How To Replace The Boot Disk On vSphere?

The recommended way is as follows:

  • Convert and deploy a fresh IPVA.
    • Its use to just serve as a copy source.
  • Power-Off the old IPVA.
  • From the new IPVA copy the 1st harddisk(on IDE 0:0) towards the old IPVA.
    • The old boot disk gets thereby replaced by the fresh one.

This procedure guarantees that the new boot disk conforms to vSphere's disk format.

Notes

  1. VMware Player Download(free): http://vmware.com/download/player/
  2. http://www.vmware.com
  3. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone: https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/?p=converter
  4. Flash Directory: Storage for PBX objects
  5. Virtual Machine Monitor: A component belonging to the virtualization platform
  6. Howto:Implement PBX with zero downtime using IPVA and VMWare Fault Tolerance
  7. VMWare Fault Tolerance: http://www.vmware.com/products/fault-tolerance/overview.html
  8. Timekeeping in Virtual Machines http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vmware_timekeeping.pdf

Related Articles

Reference9:Licenses

A rough estimate of IPVA Performance

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