Tag Archives: openvswitch

Configuring Libvirt guests with an Open vSwitch bridge

In the context of OpenStack networking, I was trying to explore Open vSwitch. I felt it’s better to go one step back, and try with a pure libvirt guest before I try it with OpenStack networking.

On why Open vSwitch compared to regular Linux bridge?

  • In short (as Thomas Graf, Kernel networking subsystem developer, put it) — Software Defined Networking(SDN)
  • Open vSwitch’s upstream documentation provides a more detailed explanation.

Here’s a simple scenario, where the machine in test has a single physical NIC, obtaining its IP address from DHCP. And, running KVM guests managed via libvirt.

Install Open vSwitch

Install the Open vSwitch package (this is on Fedora 19):

$ yum install openvswitch -y

Enable the openvswitch systemd unit file, and start the daemon:

$ systemctl enable openvswitch.service
$ systemctl start openvswitch.service

Check the status Open vSwitch service, to ensure it’s ‘Active’:

$ systemctl status openvswitch.service

Configure Open vSwitch (OVS) bridge
Before you proceed, ensure to have physical access or access via serial console to the machine, because, associating a physical interface with an Open vSwitch bridge will result in lost connectivity.
Reasoning is here under the ‘Configuration problems’ section.

Add an OVS bridge device:

$ ovs-vsctl add-br ovsbr0

Associate the OVS bridge device to eth0 (or em1). (At this point, network connectivity will be lost.)

$ ovs-vsctl add-port ovsbr0 eth0

I was obtaining IP address to my host from DHCP, so I first cleared it from the physical interface, and associated it with the Open vSwitch bridge device (ovsbr0).

$ ifconfig eth0 0.0.0.0
$ ifconfig ovsbr0 10.xx.yyy.zzz

I killed the existing dhclient instance on ‘eth0’, and initiated it on ovsbr0:

$ dhclient ovsbr0 &

List the OVS database contents

 
$ ovs-vsctl show
    3dc7f3e3-5872-47c0-ba6f-1cb12065f4d0
        Bridge "ovsbr0"
            Port "eth0"
                Interface "eth0"
            Port "ovsbr0"
                Interface "ovsbr0"
                    type: internal
        ovs_version: "1.10.0"

Update libvirt guest’s bridge source

I have an existing KVM guest, managed by libvirt, with its default network source associated with libvirt’s ‘virbr0). Let’s modify its network to Open vSwitch bridge.

Edit the libvirt’s guest XML

$ virsh edit f18vm

The attribute should look as below (take note of the highlighted attributes):

[...]
    <interface type='bridge'>
      <mac address='52:54:00:fb:00:01'/>
      <source bridge='ovsbr0'/>
      <virtualport type='openvswitch'/>
      <model type='virtio'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x03' function='0x0'/>
    </interface>
[...]

Once the guest XML is edited and saved, dump its contents to stdout, you’ll notice an additional attribute interfaceid added automatically:

    $ virsh dumpxml f18vm | grep bridge -A8
       <interface type='bridge'>
         <mac address='52:54:00:fb:00:01'/>
         <source bridge='ovsbr0'/>
         <virtualport type='openvswitch'>
           <parameters interfaceid='74b6858e-8012-4caa-85c7-b64902a19605'/>
         </virtualport>
         <model type='virtio'/>
         <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x03' function='0x0'/>
       </interface>
       <serial type='pty'>
         <target port='0'/>

Start the guest, and check if it’s IP address matches the host subnet:

$ virsh start fed18vm --console
$ ifconfig eth0
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