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INSTOOLS Evaluation

The INSTOOLS software is available in two ways: as part of the ProtoGENI Flack Client and as a standalone software package. Both are evaluated as part of the GIR 3.2 effort.

The ProtoGENI FLACK Client has been integrated the INSTOOLS, so that a user may simply click a button to instrumentize nodes in an experiment. The ProtoGENI Flack Client is available here. Flack Client version vGEC11.9 was used for this evaluation.

Two version of the INSTOOLS software were evaluated both named V3.3.

Time Frame: Evaluation started September 14th, 2011.


The ProtoGENI Flack Client Instrumentation was reviewed on September 15 and 16, 2011, version vGEC11.9 was used for this evaluation. No issues were found!

The first version of the standalone software package was INSTOOLS V3.3 was found from the [ Instrumentize ] wiki page. After running into problem, found out that this version should not be used due to issue that are to be addressed in the next version.

A second version was made available named INSTOOLS V3.3 using the same version number and location.



Evaluation used the Instrumentation Tools for a GENI Prototype GEC11 Tutorial portion as a reference. Prerequisites include:

  • User account on one of the Emulab aggregates
  • Flash ready browser

Once the prerequisites are met, the user can login to the ProtoGENI Flack Client:

User is then presented with the certificate to be used for the login, enter your pass phrase and click "OK".

If you need to import the certificate select the Open from file' button .

Once logged in the following is shown:

You may now create a slice and add resources or you can simply select the Show only mine option, which will show any of your pre-existing slices. This scenario creates a three emulab nodes slice using the flack client:

When creating the slice, modify each of the Node to use a Fedora 8 or greater disk image, this is done by selecting the Node Information button:

You may now create the slivers. Once the resources are ready you may select the Instrumentize button:

This will kicks the INSTOOLS installation on the nodes that are part of the experiment. Note this is a slow process, be patient. Once the installation is complete you may click on the Go to portal button to get access to Instools Portal where you may visualize the slice data.

The slice portal looks as follows:

In the portal you may choose which statistics to monitor simply by clicking on a node an selecting the graphing options that are available:

You may choose to go directly to the node by clicking on the node and then clicking on the All Graphs button:

Access to each of the nodes is available by clicking on a node an selecting the VNC button:

INSTOOLS V3.3 package (candidate 2)

The second INSTOOLS V3.3 package was made available on 9/20/2011, using naming and version number from the previous candidate. The following steps were executed:

$ wget       
$ tar xzf INSTOOLSv3_3.tgz 
$ cd INSTOOLS/v3.3

The file docs/INSTOOLS-SETUP defines the following software as prerequisites for the user's client system:

  1. Openssl
  2. ssh
  3. ssh-agent
  4. Python v2.5 or higher
  5. Python crypto libraries

Other prerequisites include:

  1. Get an Emulab account, as described [ here]
  2. Create an SSL certificate as described [ here] and saved to $HOME/.ssl/encrypted.pem
  3. Create a .protogeni-config as described here
  4. Create a file $HOME/.ssl/password containing the clear text password for the SSL certificate. 5.Upload your SSH keys as described here 6 Start an ssh-agent to manage keys.

Overall, it is expected that the user can execute an experiment and can get node access via SSH.

Create an experiment

Using a simple two node rspec created an experiment:

$ ./ -n nevers -m uky.rspec 

Got my SA credential

No such slice registered here:Creating new slice called nevers

New slice created

Asking for a ticket from the local CM

Got a ticket from the CM. Redeeming the ticket ...

Created the sliver

Using manifest Version = 1

Hostname to login               :
SSHD Port number to use         : 22
Virtual ID                      : geni1
CM URN                          :
Sliver URN                      :

 Will boot it in a min....

Hostname to login               :
SSHD Port number to use         : 22
Virtual ID                      : geni2
CM URN                          :
Sliver URN                      :

 Will boot it in a min....

Booting your Slivers
Please be patient...

Got the sliver credential, calling StartSliver on the sliver

Sliver state is changing. Please wait for additional 30 sec...

Sliver state is changing. Please wait for additional 30 sec...

Sliver is ready.

Your Experiment is now complete.
You may now try to login into your nodes.

INSTOOLS V3.3 package (candidate 1)

The INSTOOLS v3.3 package software was found by reviewing the August2011 status report . From the status page, users are redirected to the INSTOOLS summary page, where the user can find that the package and documentation are found at Instrumentize page.

Downloaded the INSTOOLS V3.3 package, which contains both the INSTOOLS python scripts and it supporting documentation. After downloading and unpacking the package, reviewed the docs/README and the docs/INSTOOLSf-SETUP files for additional instructions.

Set up the prerequisites which require:

  • placing the file SSL Certificate encrypted.pem and the password files in ~/.ssl/ directory.
  • creating a file defining the XMLRPC_SERVER value.

Create an experiment. Note: this step creates a slice and assigns resources to the slice:

$ ./ -n neverslice2 -m uky.rspec 
Got my SA credential
No such slice registered here:Creating new slice called neverslice2
New slice created

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "./", line 149, in <module>
    current_slice_expiration = datetime.datetime(*time.strptime(instools_util.findSliceExpiry(slicecred, debug,LOGFILE),"%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S")[0:6])
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/", line 454, in _strptime_time
    return _strptime(data_string, format)[0]
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/", line 328, in _strptime
ValueError: unconverted data remains: Z

At this point was directed by INSTOOLS team to stop using this version and that a new version would be available shortly.

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