Quality Guru's – Home of QA/QE SW Testing Workshops

May 12, 2010

Enlil Network Emulator: Secound Touch – Netboot of Microtik RB450G with stock OpenWRT Backfire 10.03 image

Filed under: Enlil Network Emulator — natiku @ 12:12 pm

This entry is part of Enlil Handy Network Emulator

Lets check if is RB450G board is correctly detected, if MIPS High Resolution Times is used and if we can use original BackFire TC command which is used as control tool tool in NetEm too.



May 9, 2010

Enlil Network Emulator: Fist Touch – Netboot of Microtik RB450G with stock OpenWRT Backfire 10.03 image

Filed under: Enlil Network Emulator — natiku @ 4:20 pm

This entry is part of Enlil Handy Network Emulator

I will boot my RB450G with stock OpenWRT Backfire 10.03 image, as part of this First Touch, I will configure all needed stuff for RB450G netboot on Ubuntu 10.03.
Booting a stock OpenWRT Backfire 10.03 image with netboot is know to be relatively safe and don’t harm device or pre-installed Microtik RouterOS.

Process of netboot – booting of combined kernel image + root disk in elf format – is used later as a first step in RB450G kernel + rootfs transferring,
so I will also include some debugging tips here. New RouterBOOT versions are capable to boot with new method of DHCP + TFTP, no need to setting up old bootp service.


May 8, 2010

Enlil Network Emulator: Intel Atom N330 based machine as OpenWRT build environment and reference platform

Filed under: Enlil Network Emulator — natiku @ 6:06 pm

This entry is part of Enlil Handy Network Emulator

My OpenWRT Build and Reference machine

I will use a Min-ITX ZOTAC IONIX-F-E Intel Atom N330 1.6Ghz Nvidia ION 64bit based machine as OpenWRT build environment and reference machine.

Motherboard is populated with 4GB of DDR2 800Mhz memory and in PCI express slot is second Gbit Ethernet network card from Intel.

This ZOTAC motherboard is also equipped with internal WiFi module and external antenna.

This ZOTAC motherboard is also equipped with serial port, but additional serial port bracket need to be used to utilize it.

As CASE I use 200W MinITX one with space for 2x 3.5″ disks and one full size DVD-RW unit.

I have 2x 500GB disks one is full size, another is 3/4 sized and streaming optimized (I use it for OS backups)

Note: Atom N330 is 64bit dual-core CPU with HyperThreading support, but I disable it.

Triple OS boot for full coverage

1. Is Ubuntu 10.04.1 (64bit) , which will be main OS for:
      – OpenWRT build environment for x86 and MIPS ports
      – it will be netem reference OS
      – it will quick evaluation virtualization platform on QEMU x86
2. Is FreeBSD 8.1 (64bit) , it will be DummyNet reference OS
3. Is MS Windows (Windows XP/Vista 32 bit or Windows 7 64bit) for tasks like firmware updates where tools are only available for windows

x86 OpenWRT direct boot reference platform

This HW will be also used for direct test of OpenWRT USB boot from one of my old, but proven 128MB USB 1.1 sticks.


May 7, 2010

Enlil Network Emulator: Selecting latest embedded HW around 100EUR with acceptable OpenWRT support

Filed under: Enlil Network Emulator — natiku @ 3:44 pm

This entry is part of Enlil Handy Network Emulator

Selecting HW platform architecture

While on most today’s mobile, handled & entertainments devices are most popular really powerful ARM CPU platforms,
in consumer/entry level devices iare still most popular MIPS CPU platforms, so most of OpenWRT support is targeting MIPS.
Main reason is, then most MIPS platforms used in networking related projects are cheaper then ARM for example because they lack Float Point computing Units.

Selecting HW platform producer

Similar to ARM, MIPS based chips are produced by many companies like Broadcom,TI,Infineon,Toshinba, NEC and Atheros
Latest get on my radar, because the release cheap and powerful Atheros AR7161 running on 680Mhz (even with capability to be overclocked to 800Mhz)

Selecting HW platform vendor

Atheros AR7161 is now very popular platform, new openWRT HW list 6 modems based on this platform.
3 of them are complete desktop solutions and 3 of them are modular systems with industrial look boxing.

Selecting HW platform available in Europe

While other even cheaper Atheros AR7161 systems can be find in US or Asia as OEM,
we will rather prefer global vendors with good support and larger user base in Europe.

Lessons leaned show then desktop solutions have shorter product live then modular systems,
so we will go with microtik RouterBoard and Ubiquiti RouterStation based boards.

Selecting concrete HW models

We will try to select 2 models, each one from different vendor to prevent a vendor lock and also to provide unit functionality diversity.

We will target units based on Atheros AR7161@680Mhz (Max 800Mhz) CPU (Designed for Dual-Band Access) with Gigabit network switch Atheros ar8316, which is supported by OpenWRT release BackFire 10.03

Microtik RouterBoard RB450G

Purpose: Fast Giga Wire Network Emulator

Price EUR: ~  80 EUR = 62 EUR Board + 9 EUR Indoor Case + 6.5 EUR 18V/1A or 24V/1A Power supply (May/2010 at i4wifi.cz)
Price US$: ~ 103 US$ = 85$ Board + $13 US$Indoor Case + 10 US$ 18V/1A or 24V/1A Power supply (May/2010 at i4-wifi.com)
Configuration: AR7161@680Mhz(Max 800Mhz),512MB Flash, 256MB RAM, No miniPCI,5 Gigabit Ethernet Switch,microSD
OpenWRT: Work in Progress, partially by BackFire 10.03 Microtik RouterBoard RB450G
HW Network Configuration:

RB450G Network Logical scheme:

  +-----------+       +-----------+
  |           | Eth1  |           |
  |           +-------+----------5+-WAN
  |           |       | AR8316    |
  |    CPU    |       |        +-4+-LAN1
  |   AR7161  | Eth0  |        +-3+-LAN2
  |           +-------+0-------+-2+-LAN3
  |           |       |        +-1+-LAN4
  +-----------+       +-----------+

RB450B Network Physical wiring

  AR8316 Port Name              RB450G Port Name
  PORT0                    ->  Internally connected to the processor MAC
  PORT1                    ->  Eth2
  PORT2                    ->  Eth5
  PORT3                    ->  Eth4
  PORT4                    ->  Eth3
  PORT5                    ->  Eth1 (Most left sided near Serial port with PoE label)

Dimensions: 1.375in x 4.53in x 3.54in

Ubiquiti RouterStation Pro

Purpose: Wire Giga Network Emulator with optional dual WiFi 802.11n modules and 3G modem on USB port
Price EUR: ~ 80 EUR = 56 EUR Board + 13 EUR Indoor Case + 11 EUR 48V/30W Power Supply (May/2010 at i4wifi.cz)
Price US$: ~ 92 US$ = 72$ Board + $16 US$ Indoor Case + 14 US$ 48V/30W Power supply (May/2010 at i4-wifi.com)
Configuration: AR7161@680Mhz(Max 800Mhz),16MB Flash, 128MB RAM, 3x miniPCI,4 Gigabit Ethernet Switch,1x USB 2.0
OpenWRT: Supported in BackFire 10.03 Ubiquiti RouterStation Pro
HW Network Configuration:

RS Pro Network Logical scheme:

    +-----------+       +-----------+
    |           | Eth0  |           |
    |           +-------+----------5+-WAN
    |           |       | AR8316    |
    |    CPU    |       |        +-4+-LAN1
    |   AR7161  | Eth1  |        +-3+-LAN2
    |           +-------+0-------+-2+-LAN3
    |           |       |        +-1+ (not connected)
    +-----------+       +-----------+

RS Pro Network Physical wiring

  AR8316 Port Name              RouterStation Pro Port Name
  PORT0                    ->  Internally connected to the processor MAC
  PORT1                    ->  Not Conected
  PORT2                    ->  Eth3
  PORT3                    ->  Eth2
  PORT4                    ->  Eth1
  PORT5                    ->  WAN (Post right sided, in middle of device, visually separated)

Dimensions: 1.375in x 6.25in x 5in

Know HW Issues

Even when unit is designed in very open fashion like is Ubiquiti RouterStation Pro we hinting issue with missing for now full documentation for Atheros ar8316 switch chip.

Tester’s Tools: Developer tools Opera Dragonfly got 100.000 users and is now fully under open license

Filed under: Tester's tools — natiku @ 1:27 pm

Opera build in DragonFly tools for developer is competing with Firefox Web Developer and Firebug plugins.

See more in:

Today 100,000 Web developers rely on Opera Dragonfly


Opera Dragonfly open for business
Opera moves Dragonfly to Apache for patent promise

May 5, 2010

Enlil Network Emulator: Our Need for Open Source on Cheap HW based Handy WAN Network Emulator

Filed under: Enlil Network Emulator — natiku @ 8:34 am

This entry is part of Enlil Handy Network Emulator

We are using in our QA practice for long time a Linux based Network Emulator in small Mini-ITX based box:
– Originally we run one as Via Epia 32Bit with 2x 100MBit Ethernet connections and 256MB of RAM
– Now we run on ZOTAC Atom N330 64bit board with 2x 1GBit Ethernet, WiFi b/g/n connection and 4GB of RAM

We run on them Live-CD based on Gentoo with netem, basically our system is very similar to Debian/Knoppix WANem live-CD

Pitfalls for current Mini-ITX solutions

Main issue is size and weight, YES systems is compact, you can easily move it locally in office and data center,
but its still 10cmx25cmx30cm brick with 6Kg weight and it’s not 100% quiet because it has fan and hard drives.
This system can’ be easily use on Customer site when we do a demonstrations, but its still too large, laud and
extensive to leave in on customer site for longer time.

Ideal system will be unit size of small desktop switch

Ideal system will be:

– Size of small office desktop switch, max 0,5Kg including power source, so small sized so I can easily pack it together with my notebook
– Enough powerful so both me as Demonstrator and Client as evaluator can be connected in one time (So at least 3 network ports)
– Support both 2 major open source Network Emulation implementations netem with Linux origin and DummyNet with *BSD origin
– Ideal performance will be more then 100Mb (So I can fully emulate on wire up to 2x WiFi 802.11n connections)
– Ideally be capable to clone traffic from one port to another (be a network probe)

Of course, there are commercial solutions which can fit our needs, but their price is larger then our current Mini-ITX solution:

Apposite Technologies – Linktropy Mini2 (1560 EUR)
InterWorking Labs – Mini Maxwell (1795 US$)

Starting our Open Source Project – Enlil

So we will try to use experience with OpenWRT and start new project based on it with goal to utilize small router HW targeting cost about 100 EUR.

We select a name Enlil for our new project enlil.sourceforge.net,
because most our testing is connected to more and more popular mobile segment,
Enlil was Sumerian GOD and name mean Lord of the Open / Lord of the Wind,
Enlil is also an acronym = ‘E‘mulating ‘N‘etwork ‘L‘ike ‘I‘n ‘L‘ive

May 4, 2010

Enlil Network Emulator: QA Lessons – Keeping Good User Experience with Usage of Network Emulation

Filed under: Enlil Network Emulator — natiku @ 4:21 pm

This entry is part of Enlil Handy Network Emulator

Today as mobile devices like NetBooks, Tables and powerfull MID, SmartPhones are common and users at home use asymmetric DSL connections most
Internet projects will need to use for testing some sort of Network Emulator, to emulate various network conditions..

Need for Testing with Network Emulators as even get into of Gartner reports Understanding WAN Simulation and Network Testing Tool Alternatives (2007)

Network Emulator is used to emulate specifics users network connection characteristics like:

– Bandwidth Restrictions
– Congestion
– Latency
– Packet Loss
– Packet Reordering
– Jitter
– Queue Depth
– Asymmetric links

Hardware or Software Network Emulator?

There are specialized boxes with Real Time OSes capable to emulate simultaneously gigabytes of traffics and thousand connections with great precision,
you can see most popular HW Network Emulators on eTester.com but their price is NC.

But for most Internet Application projects you don’t need such high precision emulation needed for example for in Voice (VoIP) applications and you can use a cheaper variants.

As alternative a SW based network emulator can be executed on regular HW (Server or Desktop) with 2 network interfaces, beside many commercial close source solutions, there are currently most used this 2 major open source implementations netem with Linux origin and DummyNet with *BSD origin (Now also available for Linux, Mac X and OpenWRT)

netem (and its predecessor NistNET) and DummyNet are popular tools in various research setups.

A Comparative Study of Network Link Emulators

You can find more articles about thins experiments with searching on Google:

netem dummynet NistNET pdf

May 2, 2010

Czech eGovernment: Datove Schranky with soapUI – Session Based Login Scenario

Filed under: Czech eGovernment — natiku @ 2:22 pm

This entry is part of Czech eGovernment Workshop

Czech eGovernment project Datové Schránky (ISDS) use originally only complex login by processing of redirection to Novell SSO (Novell Idenity Manager), so test tool must by able to correctly to follow up this couple of redirects and keep session cookies to work with interface type of Datové Schránky, look here for new Session less Simple Login Scenario

Implementace přihlášení (varianta 1 = se session cookie) ze 26. 3. 2010

Přihlášení aplikací třetích stran se provádí pomocí rozhraní Web Services. Pro přihlášení je využit stejný princip, jako u přihlášení uživatelů. 
Při přístupu do kontextu určeného pro Web Services dojde k ověření identity uživatele Po úspěšném ověření / přihlášení uživatele je aplikaci 
umožněno využívat funkcí web services poskytovaných ISDS. Pro výměnu a uchování informací o spojení je využíváno tzv.“Cookie“ protokolu HTTP.
Pro serverové aplikace je doporučeno přihlašovat se prostřednictvím systémového certifikátu podle §29 odst. (1) zákona 300/2008 Sb. 
ISDS umožní připojení aplikace třetí strany tak, že je buď
a) navázano https / ssl spojení pomocí certifikátu serveru ISDS + základní autentizace http 1.1 s použitím uživatelského jména a hesla 
b) navázáno ssl spojení s ISDS za použití klientského komerčního certifikátu, jména a hesla konkrétního oprávněného uživatele, který si tento 
certifikát zaregistroval v prostředí webové samoobsluhy ISDS
c) navázáno ssl spojení s ISDS za použití klientského systémového certifikátu, registrovaného ke konkrétní datové schránce.
d) navázáno ssl spojení s ISDS za použití klientského systémového certifikátu provozovatele hostovaného řešení řešení aplikace třetí strany 
  + základní autentizace http 1.1 s použitím ID datové schránky, do které se aplikace přihlašuje, jako uživatelského jména, 
  a prázdného řetězce jako uživatelského hesla.

Using soapUI for session based login scenario to Datové Schránky

1. Get samples for Datové Schránky v2.7 or newer

2. Create login to test version of Datové Schránky

Create login to test version of Datové Schránky on http://www.czebox.cz

Security note: Certificates are same as on production site, take care to check them, before import.

3. Install Java based free soapUI tool

From www.soapui.org

4. Test Session based login with basic authentication in soapUI


Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: