Integration Tests

Abstract VPP software data plane technology has become very popular across a wide range of VPP eco-system use cases, putting higher pressure on continuous verification of VPP software quality.

This document describes a proposal for design and implementation of extended continuous VPP testing by extending existing test environments. Furthermore it describes and summarizes implementation details of Integration and System tests platform 1-Node VPP_Device. It aims to provide a complete end-to-end view of 1-Node VPP_Device environment in order to improve extendability and maintenance, under the guideline of VPP core team.

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 8174.



Physical Testbeds

All CSIT vpp-device tests are executed on physical testbeds built with bare-metal servers hosted by LF project. Two 1-node testbed topologies are used:

  • 2-Container Topology: Consisting of one Docker container acting as SUT (System Under Test) and one Docker container as TG (Traffic Generator), both connected in ring topology via physical NIC cross-connecting.

Current production testbeds are built with servers based on one processor generation of Intel Xeons: Skylake (Platinum 8180). Testbeds built with servers based on Arm processors are in the process of being added to production.

Following section describe existing production 1n-skx testbed.

1-Node Xeon Skylake (1n-skx)

1n-skx testbed is based on single SuperMicro SYS-7049GP-TRT server equipped with two Intel Xeon Skylake Platinum 8180 2.5 GHz 28 core processors. Physical testbed topology is depicted in a figure below.


Server is populated with the following NIC models:

  1. NIC-1: x710-da4 4p10GE Intel.

  2. NIC-2: x710-da4 4p10GE Intel.

All Intel Xeon Skylake servers run with Intel Hyper-Threading enabled, doubling the number of logical cores exposed to Linux, with 56 logical cores and 28 physical cores per processor socket.

NIC interfaces are shared using Linux vfio_pci and VPP VF drivers:

  • DPDK VF driver,

  • Fortville AVF driver.

Provided Intel x710-da4 4p10GE NICs support 32 VFs per interface, 128 per NIC.

Complete 1n-skx testbeds specification is available on CSIT LF Testbeds wiki page.

Total of two 1n-skx testbeds are in operation in labs.

1-Node Virtualbox (1n-vbox)

1n-skx testbed can run in single VirtualBox VM machine. This solution replaces the previously used Vagrant environment based on 3 VMs.

VirtualBox VM MAY be created by Vagrant and MUST have additional 4 virtio NICs each pair attached to separate private networks to simulate back-to-back connections. It SHOULD be 82545EM device model (otherwise can be changed in boostrap scripts). Example of Vagrant configuration:

Vagrant.configure(2) do |c| "private_network", type: "dhcp", auto_config: false,
      virtualbox__intnet: "port1", nic_type: "82545EM" "private_network", type: "dhcp", auto_config: false,
      virtualbox__intnet: "port2", nic_type: "82545EM"

  c.vm.provider :virtualbox do |v|
    v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--nicpromisc2", "allow-all"]
    v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--nicpromisc3", "allow-all"]
    v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--nicpromisc4", "allow-all"]
    v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--nicpromisc5", "allow-all"]

Vagrant VM is populated with the following NIC models:

  1. NIC-1: 82545EM Intel.

  2. NIC-2: 82545EM Intel.

  3. NIC-3: 82545EM Intel.

  4. NIC-4: 82545EM Intel.


It was agreed on TWS call to continue with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as a baseline system with OPTIONAL extend to Centos 7 and SuSE per demand [TWSLink].

All DCR images are REQUIRED to be hosted on Docker registry available from LF network, publicly available and trackable. For backup, tracking and contributing purposes all Dockerfiles (including files needed for building container) MUST be available and stored in [fdiocsitgerrit] repository under appropriate folders. This allows the peer review process to be done for every change of infrastructure related to scope of this document. Currently only csit-shim-dcr and csit-sut-dcr containers will be stored and maintained under CSIT repository by CSIT contributors.

At the time of designing solution described in this document the interconnection between [dockerhub] and [fdiocsitgerrit] for automated build purposes and image hosting cannot be established with the trust and respectful to security of project. Unless adressed, DCR images will be placed in custom registry service [fdioregistry]. Automated Jenkins jobs will be created in align of long term solution for container lifecycle and ability to build new version of docker images.

In parallel, the effort is started to find the outsourced Docker registry service.


As of initial version of vpp-device, we do have only single latest version of Docker image hosted on [dockerhub]. This will be addressed as further improvement with proper semantic versioning.


This DCR acts as the Jenkins slave (known also as jenkins minion). It can connect over SSH protocol to TCP port 6022 of csit-shim-dcr and executes non-interactive reservation script. Nomad is responsible for scheduling this container execution onto specific 1-Node VPP_Device testbed. It executes CSIT environment including CSIT framework.

All software dependencies including VPP/DPDK that are not present in csit-sut-dcr container image and/or needs to be compiled prior running on csit-sut-dcr SHOULD be compiled in this container.

  • Container Image Location: Docker image at snergster/vpp-ubuntu18.

  • Container Definition: Docker file specified at [JenkinsSlaveDcrFile].

  • Initializing: Container is initialized from within Consul by HashiCorp and Nomad by HashiCorp.


This DCR acts as an intermediate layer running script responsible for orchestrating topologies under test and reservation. Responsible for managing VF resources and allocation to DUT, TG containers. This MUST to be done on csit-shim-dcr. This image also acts as the generic reservation mechanics arbiter to make sure that only Y number of simulations are spawned on any given HW node.

  • Container Image Location: Docker image at snergster/csit-shim.

  • Container Definition: Docker file specified at [CsitShimDcrFile].

  • Initializing: Container is initialized from within Consul by HashiCorp and Nomad by HashiCorp. Required docker parameters, to be able to run nested containers with VF reservation system are: privileged, net=host, pid=host.

  • Connectivity: Over SSH only, using <host>:6022 format. Currently using root user account as primary. From the jenkins slave it will be able to connect via env variable, since the jenkins slave doesn’t actually know what host its running on.

    ssh -p 6022 root@10.30.51.node


This DCR acts as an SUT. Any DUT or TG application is installed there. It is RECOMMENDED to install DUT and all DUT dependencies via commands rpm -ihv on RedHat based OS or dpkg -i on Debian based OS.

Container is designed to be a very lightweight Docker image that only installs packages and execute binaries (previously built or downloaded on jenkins-slave-dcr) and contains libraries necessary to run CSIT framework including those required by DUT/TG.

  • Container Image Location: Docker image at snergster/csit-sut.

  • Container Definition: Docker file specified at [CsitSutDcrFile].

  • Initializing:

    docker run
    # Run the container in the background and print the new container ID.
    # Give extended privileges to this container. A "privileged" container is
    # given access to all devices and able to run nested containers.
    # Publish all exposed ports to random ports on the host interfaces.
    # Automatically remove the container when it exits.
    # Size of /dev/shm.
    dcr_stc_params+="--shm-size 512M "
    # Override access to PCI bus by attaching a filesystem mount to the
    # container.
    dcr_stc_params+="--mount type=tmpfs,destination=/sys/bus/pci/devices "
    # Mount vfio to be able to bind to see bound interfaces. We cannot use
    # --device=/dev/vfio as this does not see newly bound interfaces.
    dcr_stc_params+="--volume /dev/vfio:/dev/vfio "
    # Mount docker.sock to be able to use docker deamon of the host.
    dcr_stc_params+="--volume /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock "
    # Mount /opt/boot/ where VM kernel and initrd are located.
    dcr_stc_params+="--volume /opt/boot/:/opt/boot/ "
    # Mount host hugepages for VMs.
    dcr_stc_params+="--volume /dev/hugepages/:/dev/hugepages/ "

    Container name is catenated from csit- prefix and uuid generated uniquely for each container instance.

  • Connectivity: Over SSH only, using <host>[:<port>] format. Currently using root user account as primary.

    ssh -p <port> root@10.30.51.<node>

Container required to run as --privileged due to ability to create nested containers and have full read/write access to sysfs (for bind/unbind). Docker automatically pick free network port (--publish-all) for ability to connect over ssh. To be able to limit access to PCI bus, container is creating tmpfs mount type in PCI bus tree. CSIT reservation script is dynamically linking only PCI devices (NIC cards) that are reserved for particular container. This way it is not colliding with other containers. To make vfio work, access to /dev/vfio must be granted.

Environment initialization

All 1-node servers are to be managed and provisioned via the [ansiblelink] set of playbooks with vpp-device role. Full playbooks can be found under [fdiocsitansible] directory. This way we are able to track all configuration changes of physical servers in gerrit (in structured yaml format) as well as we are able to extend vpp-device to additional servers with less effort or re-stage servers in case of failure.

SR-IOV VF initialization is done via systemd service during host system boot up. Service with name csit-initialize-vfs.service is created under systemd system context (/etc/systemd/system/). By default service is calling /usr/local/bin/ with single parameter:

  • start: Creates maximum number of virtual functions (detected from sriov_totalvfs) for each whitelisted PCI device.

  • stop: Removes all VFs for all whitelisted PCI device.

Service is considered active even when all of its processes exited successfully. Stopping service will automatically remove VFs.

Description=CSIT Initialize SR-IOV VFs

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/ start
ExecStop=/usr/local/bin/ stop


Script is driven by two array variables pci_blacklist/pci_whitelist. They MUST store all PCI addresses in <domain>:<bus>:<device>.<func> format, where:

  • pci_blacklist: PCI addresses to be skipped from VFs initialization (usefull for e.g. excluding management network interfaces).

  • pci_whitelist: PCI addresses to be included for VFs initialization.

VF reservation

During topology initialization phase of script, mutex is used to avoid multiple instances of script to interact with each other during resources allocation. Mutal exclusion ensure that no two distinct instances of script will get same resource list.

Reservation function reads the list of all available virtual function network devices in system:

# Find the first ${device_count} number of available TG Linux network
# VF device names. Only allowed VF PCI IDs are filtered.
for netdev in ${tg_netdev[@]}
    for netdev_path in $(grep -l "${pci_id}" \
                         /sys/class/net/${netdev}*/device/device \
                         2> /dev/null)
        if [[ ${#TG_NETDEVS[@]} -lt ${device_count} ]]; then
            tg_netdev_name=$(dirname ${netdev_path})
            tg_netdev_name=$(dirname ${tg_netdev_name})
            TG_NETDEVS+=($(basename ${tg_netdev_name}))
    if [[ ${#TG_NETDEVS[@]} -eq ${device_count} ]]; then

Where ${pci_id} is ID of white-listed VF PCI ID. For more information please see [pciids]. This act as security constraint to prevent taking other unwanted interfaces. The output list of all VF network devices is split into two lists for TG and SUT side of connection. First two items from each TG or SUT network devices list are taken to expose directly to namespace of container. This can be done via commands:

$ ip link set ${netdev} netns ${DCR_CPIDS[tg]}
$ ip link set ${netdev} netns ${DCR_CPIDS[dut1]}

In this stage also symbolic links to PCI devices under sysfs bus directory tree are created in running containers. Once VF devices are assigned to container namespace and PCI deivces are linked to running containers and mutex is exited. Selected VF network device automatically dissapear from parent container namespace, so another instance of script will not find device under that namespace.

Once Docker container exits, network device is returned back into parent namespace and can be reused.

Network traffic isolation - Intel i40evf

In a virtualized environment, on Intel(R) Server Adapters that support SR-IOV, the virtual function (VF) may be subject to malicious behavior. Software- generated layer two frames, like IEEE 802.3x (link flow control), IEEE 802.1Qbb (priority based flow-control), and others of this type, are not expected and can throttle traffic between the host and the virtual switch, reducing performance. To resolve this issue, configure all SR-IOV enabled ports for VLAN tagging. This configuration allows unexpected, and potentially malicious, frames to be dropped. [inteli40e]

To configure VLAN tagging for the ports on an SR-IOV enabled adapter, use the following command. The VLAN configuration SHOULD be done before the VF driver is loaded or the VM is booted. [inteli40e]

$ ip link set dev <PF netdev id> vf <id> vlan <vlan id>

For example, the following instructions will configure PF eth0 and the first VF on VLAN 10.

$ ip link set dev eth0 vf 0 vlan 10

VLAN Tag Packet Steering allows to send all packets with a specific VLAN tag to a particular SR-IOV virtual function (VF). Further, this feature allows to designate a particular VF as trusted, and allows that trusted VF to request selective promiscuous mode on the Physical Function (PF). [inteli40e]

To set a VF as trusted or untrusted, enter the following command in the Hypervisor:

$ ip link set dev eth0 vf 1 trust [on|off]

Once the VF is designated as trusted, use the following commands in the VM to set the VF to promiscuous mode. [inteli40e]

  • For promiscuous all:

    $ ip link set eth2 promisc on
  • For promiscuous Multicast:

    $ ip link set eth2 allmulti on


By default, the ethtool priv-flag vf-true-promisc-support is set to off, meaning that promiscuous mode for the VF will be limited. To set the promiscuous mode for the VF to true promiscuous and allow the VF to see all ingress traffic, use the following command. $ ethtool set-priv-flags p261p1 vf-true-promisc-support on The vf-true-promisc-support priv-flag does not enable promiscuous mode; rather, it designates which type of promiscuous mode (limited or true) you will get when you enable promiscuous mode using the ip link commands above. Note that this is a global setting that affects the entire device. However,the vf-true-promisc-support priv-flag is only exposed to the first PF of the device. The PF remains in limited promiscuous mode (unless it is in MFP mode) regardless of the vf-true-promisc-support setting. [inteli40e]

Service described earlier csit-initialize-vfs.service is responsible for assigning 802.1Q vlan tagging to each vitual function via physical function from list of white-listed PCI addresses by following (simplified) code.

SCRIPT_DIR="$(dirname $(readlink -e "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}"))"
source "${SCRIPT_DIR}/"

# Initilize whitelisted NICs with maximum number of VFs.
for pci_addr in ${PCI_WHITELIST[@]}; do
    if ! [[ ${PCI_BLACKLIST[*]} =~ "${pci_addr}" ]]; then
        # SR-IOV initialization
        case "${1:-start}" in
            "start" )
                sriov_totalvfs=$(< "${pci_path}"/sriov_totalvfs)
            "stop" )
        echo ${sriov_totalvfs} > "${pci_path}"/sriov_numvfs
        # SR-IOV 802.1Q isolation
        case "${1:-start}" in
            "start" )
                pf=$(basename "${pci_path}"/net/*)
                for vf in $(seq "${sriov_totalvfs}"); do
                    # PCI address index in array (pairing siblings).
                    if [[ -n ${PF_INDICES[@]} ]]
                        vlan_pf_idx=$((pci_idx % (${#PCI_WHITELIST[@]}/2)))
                    # 802.1Q base offset.
                    # 802.1Q PF PCI address offset.
                    vlan_pf_off=$(( vlan_pf_idx * 100 + vlan_bs_off ))
                    # 802.1Q VF PCI address offset.
                    vlan_vf_off=$(( vlan_pf_off + vf - 1 ))
                    # VLAN string.
                    vlan_str="vlan ${vlan_vf_off}"
                    # MAC string.
                    mac5="$(printf '%x' ${pci_idx})"
                    mac6="$(printf '%x' $(( vf - 1 )))"
                    mac_str="mac ba:dc:0f:fe:${mac5}:${mac6}"
                    # Set 802.1Q VLAN id and MAC address
                    ip link set ${pf} vf $(( vf - 1)) ${mac_str} ${vlan_str}
                    ip link set ${pf} vf $(( vf - 1)) trust on
                    ip link set ${pf} vf $(( vf - 1)) spoof off
                pci_idx=$(( pci_idx + 1 ))
        rmmod i40evf
        modprobe i40evf

Assignment starts at VLAN 1100 and incrementing by 1 for each VF and by 100 for each white-listed PCI address up to the middle of the PCI list. Second half of the lists is assumed to be directly (cable) paired siblings and assigned with same 802.1Q VLANs as its siblings.

Open tasks



Switch to non-privileged containers: As of now all three container flavors are using privileged containers to make it working. Explore options to switch containers to non-privileged with explicit rather implicit privileges.


Switch to testuser account intead of root.



Docker image distribution: Create jenkins jobs with full pipiline of CI/CD for CSIT Docker images.



Implement queueing mechanism: Currently there is no mechanics that would place starving jobs in queue in case of no resources available.


Replace reservation script with Docker network plugin written in GOLANG/SH/Python - platform independent.