Fastcapa Test Environment

Provides a test environment for the development and testing of Fastcapa. The environment is automatically validated after it is created to ensure that Fastcapa is behaving correctly.

Two virtualized nodes are launched with Vagrant that can communicate with one another over a private network.

  • The source node uses Metron’s pcap_replay functionality to transmit raw network packet data over a private network.
  • The sink node is running fastcapa and is capturing these network packets.
  • Fastcapa then transforms and bundles the packets into a message.
  • The message is sent to a Kafka broker running on the source node.

Getting Started

The Fastcapa test environment can be executed on different operating systems. There is a sub-directory for each operating system that Fastcapa can be tested on.

To run, simply execute vagrant up within the appropriate directory. For example, to run the tests on CentOS 7.1 then execute the following commands.

cd centos-7.1
vagrant up

Automated tests are executed after provisioning completes to ensure that Fastcapa and the rest of the environment is functioning properly. If you see something like the following, then the tests have passed.

$ vagrant up
==> source: Running provisioner: ansible...
    source: Running ansible-playbook...
TASK [debug] *******************************************************************
ok: [source] => {
    "msg": "Successfully received packets sent from pcap-replay!"
TASK [debug] *******************************************************************
ok: [source] => {
    "msg": "Successfully received a Kafka message from fastcapa!"

If the deployment process fails mid-course, running vagrant provision will continue the process from where it left off. This can sometimes occur when the VM reboots as part of the deployment process. The error might look like the following.

TASK [fastcapa : Restart for modified kernel params] ***************************
fatal: [sink]: UNREACHABLE! => {"changed": false, "msg": "Failed to connect to the host via ssh: Shared connection to closed.\r\n", "unreachable": true}
	to retry, use: --limit @/Users/nallen/Development/metron/metron-deployment/vagrant/fastcapa-test-platform/playbook.retry

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
sink                       : ok=11   changed=9    unreachable=1    failed=0
source                     : ok=29   changed=25   unreachable=0    failed=0

Ansible failed to complete successfully. Any error output should be
visible above. Please fix these errors and try again.

Going Deeper

This section will outline in more detail the environment and how to interact with it.


To validate that the source node is functioning properly, run the following commands.

First, ensure that the pcap-replay service is running.

vagrant ssh source
sudo service pcap-replay status

Use tcpdump to ensure that the raw packet data is being sent over the private network. Enter ‘CTRL-C’ to kill the tcpdump process once you are able to see that packets are being sent.

sudo yum -y install tcpdump
sudo tcpdump -i enp0s8


Next validate that the sink is functioning properly. Run the following commands starting from the host operating system.

First, ensure that the fastcapa service is running.

vagrant ssh sink
service fastcapa status

Ensure that the raw network packet data is being received by Kafka.

/usr/hdp/current/kafka-broker/bin/ --zookeeper localhost:2181 --topic pcap

Enter ‘CTRL-C’ to kill the kafka-console-consumer process once you are able to see that packets are being sent. These packets will appear to be gibberish in the console. This is the raw binary network packet data after all.


Error Message: Timed out while waiting for the machine to boot

Timed out while waiting for the machine to boot. This means that
Vagrant was unable to communicate with the guest machine within
the configured ("config.vm.boot_timeout" value) time period.
If you look above, you should be able to see the error(s) that
Vagrant had when attempting to connect to the machine. These errors
are usually good hints as to what may be wrong.
If you're using a custom box, make sure that networking is properly
working and you're able to connect to the machine. It is a common
problem that networking isn't setup properly in these boxes.
Verify that authentication configurations are also setup properly,
as well.
If the box appears to be booting properly, you may want to increase
the timeout ("config.vm.boot_timeout") value.
➜  centos-7.4 git:(master) ✗ vagrant status
Current machine states:
source                    running (virtualbox)
sink                      not created (virtualbox)

If you are unable to launch any of the Fastcapa test environments, which results in a message like the one above, then you may need to upgrade your version of Virtualbox. Success has been reported with versions of VirtualBox 5.1.22+.