OnApp v2.3 Review And Quick Start Instructions - Part 1

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In case you haven’t heard about it yet, OnApp is a very fast and relatively inexpensive way for you to create your own public or private cloud.


You provide the hardware and OnApp (Linux Xen hypervisors) provide the cloud intelligence. Full API support, PHP library to access it, billing software integration. It’s really great on paper. I’ve spent a few days giving it a shot at some hardware I have sitting around at a colo. I have 6 servers and a block of /27 IP’s to play with. Read on for my installation notes and thoughts. Paid version gives you access to templates. Everything from Linux flavors, appliances, load balancers, a CDN network, FreeBSD, Windows workstations and servers.

First of all you’ll need…

  • 1 Controller Server. Linux Centos5 64bit box. This will run the intelligence side of things. Think of it as vCenter. Everything talks to each other via SSH (shared keys) just like vSphere.
  • 2+ Hypervisor servers. These are like ESX servers if you are a VMWare guy. Linux Centos5 64bit. RAM and SAN access!
  • 1 backup server. In my experience, from the end user point of view, I’ve already had a OnApp Linux VM lost forever. The hosting company told me it was VHD corruption and there is nothing they can do. Everything was gone. Thankfully I’m a master at rsync-kung-fu.


The OnApp preparation guild has more details. Ironically you can’t make the Controller Server a VM in the OnApp cloud because you have to have the Controller Server up to make a VM. I have it running on an ESX4 cluster but you should be aware. The price is right though. $100 per cloud and $10 per core with a 15 minute SLA on support. And from what I hear the support really is great. The free version of OnApp gets you 1 cloud and 16 cores. Perfect for a lab to test things. Configuring the iSCSI target is outside the scope of this article. I carved a 1TB LUN out for myself just to play around. A block device is required though, you can’t use an NFS share like you can with vSphere.

ESX Warning: if you are building this on an ESX box for a lab take note that you MUST enable promiscuous mode on the vSwitch for networking to work.

Step Zero) Install CentOS 5 64bit on at least 3 hosts with at least two NIC’s each. Run yum update and reboot before we begin with the OnApp installation and setup.

Quick Install notes…

Control Panel Server 01

eth0: 192.168.4.50/24
eth1: 99.99.99.35/27 (255.255.255.224) -> .33 (this is a public routable address)

//Execute on the CP server…
#yum -y upgrade && reboot
#wget http://downloads.repo.onapp.com/install/cpinstall.sh
#chmod a+x cpinstall.sh
#./cpinstall

//login and set the license key. Get your license key for free from www.OnApp.com
https://99.99.99.35 /
// AFTER HV SERVERS AND BACKUP SERVER IS UP AND LINKED AND RUNNING…
// Create SSH keys
#wget http://downloads.repo.onapp.com/install-all-keys.sh
#sh install-all-keys.sh
// leave the pass phrase blank if asked, I wasn’t
//double check and make sure everything can connect to the backup server as well. If not setup the authorized keys for your CP server on the HV and backup hosts manually. You should be able to ssh into all the hosts without being prompted for a password from the CP server.

Backup Server 01

eth0: 192.168.4.51/24 -> .254 (management network)

// Exec this on the backup server…

// Exec this to setup iSCSI LUN access
#yum -y install iscsi-initiator-utils
#chkconfig iscsid on ; service iscsid start
#chkconfig iscsi on ; service iscsi start
# iscsiadm -m discovery -t st -p 192.168.4.244 // just to make sure we can see the LUN…
// mount
#iscsiadm -m node -T iqn.2012-01.localdomain:onapp-iscsi01 -p 192.168.4.244 -l
// make it link up on boot up
#iscsiadm -m node -T iqn.2012-01.localdomain:onapp-iscsi01 -p 192.168.4.244 -o update -n node.startup -v automatic

// onapp install process
#wget http://rpm.repo.onapp.com/repo/centos/5/onapp-repo.noarch.rpm
#rpm -Uvh onapp-repo.noarch.rpm
#yum clean all
#yum install onapp-backup-tools
#wget http://downloads.repo.onapp.com/install/bkinstall.sh
#sh ./bkinstall.sh

Hypervisor Server 01 (N+1)

eth0: 192.168.4.60/24 -> .254
eth1: (Appliance network access) , no IP, just leave it up, make sure this NIC has access to the public internet. This will be set to promisc mode so make sure your environment allows that.
-note: my iSCSI host is 192.168.4.244, yours will be different

// Exec this to setup iSCSI LUN access
#yum -y install iscsi-initiator-utils
#chkconfig iscsid on ; service iscsid start
#chkconfig iscsi on ; service iscsi start
# iscsiadm -m discovery -t st -p 192.168.4.244 // just to make sure we can see the LUN…
// mount
#iscsiadm -m node -T iqn.2012-01.localdomain:onapp-iscsi01 -p 192.168.4.244 -l
// make it link up on boot up
#iscsiadm -m node -T iqn.2012-01.localdomain:onapp-iscsi01 -p 192.168.4.244 -o update -n node.startup -v automatic

// onapp HV install process
#wget http://downloads.repo.onapp.com/install/hvinstall.sh
#sh hvinstall.sh
#reboot
// ssh back in once it is rebooted and back online…
#/onapp/onapp-hv-install/onapp-hv-config.sh -h 192.168.4.50 -f 192.168.4.51

This concludes the CP, HV, and Backup server installation and basic setup. From here on out we need to set the GUI up and add the HV servers in to the pool and create zones and public IP’s to be given to VM’s and everything else. Part 2 is coming soon.