Running MPLS over ZeroTier Part 2

In Part 1, I went over the use case and how to build your own planets file. In Part 2, we’ll go over the hardware and some of the issues I ran into setting up the software.

Hardware

For the environment I’d be deploying the remote nodes in, there were some important features needed for the hardware.

  1. Needs to be able to run ZeroTier. (Hopefully obvious?)
  2. DIN Rail or wall mountable. If it needs to be in a rack, we can mount DIN rail to the rack.
  3. -48VDC power. We want our equipment to be able to use the DC plant at the sites.
  4. Built in LTE.
  5. Multiple Ethernet interfaces (2 or more).

Something that would have been nice would have been some SFP ports, but that wasn’t critical.

Doing some research for the remote side, I came across industrial PCs that have LTE modems built in. These are typically used in manufacturing or other industrial environments. I ended up going with the Cincoze DA-1000 from Logic Supply as it had most of the features we need. With a change in processor and the LTE modem, this works as a great remote node.

On the hub side, I ended up using some servers that were running virtual machines.

Software

I ended up choosing Ubuntu 18.04 as the operating system for both sides. This was mainly due to my familiarity with Ubuntu. ZeroTier should work on most Linux operating systems and I believe it also works on OpnSense. Installing and configuring the Ubuntu onto the device went fairly smoothly.

There were two issues with getting ZeroTier setup on Ubuntu to act as a bridge and that was with Netplan.io and getting the LTE modem to work.

Netplan.io has a bug in it where it won’t allow you to set the MTU size of an interface which is a major issue since we want to run the interface at 2800 to match the ZeroTier interface and allow for the MPLS tags to pass through without modifying the interface on the MPLS node. I replaced Netplan.io with ifupdown and ifupdown2 to get around this.

The LTE modem issue took a lot of trial and error to get working properly. I was having issues getting the LTE modem to be recognized as a network interface by ifupdown. I believe this will get it working for future nodes.

    sudo apt install unzip libqmi-utils libmbim-utils openresolv
    git clone https://github.com/danielewood/sierra-wireless-modems.git
    cd sierra-wireless-modems
    sudo chmod +x autoflash-7455.sh
    sudo ./autoflash-7455.sh

It will pop up with “Are you sure you want to continue? (CTRL+C to exit). Type ‘y’ and hit enter.

Then we need to get the interface to actually come up and properly get an LTE IP address

    git clone https://github.com/andrewbasterfield/debian-thinkpad-wwan-EM7455.git
    cd debian-thinkpad-wwan-EM7455
    sudo install -o root -g root -m755 wwan.sh /etc/network/wwan.sh
    sudo install -o root -g root -m755 wwan_parse_ip_info /etc/network/wwan_parse_ip_info

    echo 'APN=<cell-provider-APN>' | sudo tee /etc/mbim-network.conf

Add the following to /etc/network/interfaces

    allow-hotplug <interface_name>
    iface <interface_name> inet manual
     pre-up /etc/network/wwan.sh start
     pre-down /etc/network/wwan.sh stop

Then bring the new interface up

    sudo ifup <interface_name>

The ‘debian-thinkpad-wwan-EM7455’ GitHub repository doesn’t completely work for the the LTE setup in the Cincoze DA-1000 as there are some options that aren’t needed or give a warning. I’m sure with some tweaking, I can get it to be error free. When I do, I’ll make a new GitHub repository for this setup.

Other than those two items, most of it was setting up the DA-1000 with the proper IP addressing scheme and installing ZeroTier. I went over installing ZeroTier and the custom planets file in Part 1.

In Part 3 we’ll wrap this up by going over setting up the ZeroTier networks, some initial MPLS results, and future improvements I’d like to make.

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