Operator Nexus platform prerequisites

Operators need to complete the prerequisites before the deploy of the Operator Nexus platform software. Some of these steps may take extended amounts of time, thus, a review of these prerequisites may prove beneficial.

In subsequent deployments of Operator Nexus instances, you can skip to creating the on-premises Network Fabric and the Cluster.

Azure prerequisites

When deploying Operator Nexus for the first time or in a new region, you'll first need to create a Network Fabric Controller and then a Cluster Manager as specified here. Additionally, the following tasks need to be accomplished:

  • Set up users, policies, permissions, and RBAC
  • Set up Resource Groups to place and group resources in a logical manner that will be created for Operator Nexus platform.
  • Establish ExpressRoute connectivity from your WAN to an Azure Region
  • To enable Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for on-premises bare metal machines (BMMs), you must have selected a Defender for Servers plan in your Operator Nexus subscription before deployment. Additional information available here.

On your premises prerequisites

When deploying Operator Nexus on-premises instance in your datacenter, various teams are likely involved performing various roles. The following tasks must be performed accurately in order to ensure a successful platform software installation.

Physical hardware setup

An operator that wishes to take advantage of the Operator Nexus service needs to purchase, install, configure, and operate hardware resources. This section of the document describes the necessary components and efforts to purchase and implement the appropriate hardware systems. This section discusses the bill of materials, the rack elevations diagram and the cabling diagram, and the steps required to assemble the hardware.

Using the Bill of Materials (BOM)

To ensure a seamless operator experience, Operator Nexus has developed a BOM for the hardware acquisition necessary for the service. This BOM is a comprehensive list of the necessary components and quantities needed to implement the environment for a successful implementation and maintenance of the on-premises instance. The BOM is structured to provide the operator with a series of stock keeping units (SKU) that can be ordered from hardware vendors. SKUs is discussed later in the document.

Using the elevation diagram

The rack elevation diagram is a graphical reference that demonstrates how the servers and other components fit into the assembled and configured racks. The rack elevation diagram is provided as part of the overall build instructions. It will help the operators staff to correctly configure and install all of the hardware components necessary for service operation.

Cabling diagram

Cabling diagrams are graphical representations of the cable connections that are required to provide network services to components installed within the racks. Following the cabling diagram ensures proper implementation of the various components in the build.

How to order based on SKU

SKU definition

A SKU is an inventory management and tracking method that allows grouping of multiple components into a single designator. A SKU allows an operator to order all needed components with through specify one SKU number. The SKU expedites the operator and vendor interaction while reducing ordering errors because of complex parts lists.

Placing a SKU-based order

Operator Nexus has created a series of SKUs with vendors such as Dell, Pure Storage and Arista that the operator can reference when they place an order. Thus, an operator simply needs to place an order based on the SKU information provided by Operator Nexus to the vendor to receive the correct parts list for the build.

How to build the physical hardware footprint

The physical hardware build is executed through a series of steps, which will be detailed in this section. There are three prerequisite steps before the build execution. This section will also discuss assumptions concerning the skills of the operator's employees to execute the build.

Ordering and receipt of the specific hardware infrastructure SKU

The ordering of the appropriate SKU and delivery of hardware to the site must occur before the start of building. Adequate time should be allowed for this step. We recommend the operator communicate with the supplier of the hardware early in the process to ensure and understand delivery timeframes.

Site preparation

The installation site can support the hardware infrastructure from a space, power, and network perspective. The specific site requirements will be defined by the SKU purchased for the site. This step can be accomplished after the order is placed and before the receipt of the SKU.

Scheduling resources

The build process requires several different staff members to perform the build, such as engineers to provide power, network access and cabling, systems staff to assemble the racks, switches, and servers, to name a few. To ensure that the build is accomplished in a timely manner, we recommend scheduling these team members in advance based on the delivery schedule.

Assumptions about build staff skills

The staff performing the build should be experienced at assembling systems hardware such as racks, switches, PDUs, and servers. The instructions provided will discuss the steps of the process, while referencing rack elevations and cabling diagrams.

Build process overview

If the site preparation is complete and validated to support the ordered SKU, the build process occurs in the following steps:

  1. Assemble the racks based on the rack elevations of the SKU. Specific rack assembly instructions will be provided by the rack manufacturer.
  2. After the racks are assembled, install the fabric devices in the racks per the elevation diagram.
  3. Cable the fabric devices by connecting the network interfaces per the cabling diagram.
  4. Assemble and install the servers per rack elevation diagram.
  5. Assemble and install the storage device per rack elevation diagram.
  6. Cable the server and storage devices by connecting the network interfaces per the cabling diagram.
  7. Cable power from each device.
  8. Review/validate the build through the checklists provided by Operator Nexus and other vendors.

How to visually inspect the physical hardware installation

It's recommended to label on all cables following ANSI/TIA 606 Standards, or the operator's standards, during the build process. The build process should also create reverse mapping for cabling from a switch port to far end connection. The reverse mapping can be compared to the cabling diagram to validate the installation.

Terminal Server and storage array setup

Now that the physical installation and validation has completed, the next steps involved configuring up the default settings required before platform software installation.

Set up Terminal Server

Terminal Server has been deployed and configured as follows:

  • Terminal Server is configured for Out-of-Band management
    • Authentication credentials have been set up
    • DHCP client is enabled on the out-of-band management port
    • HTTP access is enabled
  • Terminal Server interface is connected to the operators on-premises Provider Edge routers (PEs) and configured with the IP addresses and credentials
  • Terminal Server is accessible from the management VPN

Step 1: Setting up hostname

To set up the hostname for your terminal server, follow these steps:

Use the following command in the CLI:

sudo ogcli update system/hostname hostname=\"$TS_HOSTNAME\"


Parameter Name Description
TS_HOSTNAME Terminal server hostname

Refer to CLI Reference for more details.

Step 2: Setting up network

To configure network settings, follow these steps:

Execute the following commands in the CLI:

sudo ogcli create conn << 'END'
  description="PE1 to TS NET1"
sudo ogcli create conn << 'END'
  description="PE2 to TS NET2"


Parameter Name Description
TS_NET1_IP Terminal server PE1 to TS NET1 IP
TS_NET1_NETMASK Terminal server PE1 to TS NET1 netmask
TS_NET1_GW Terminal server PE1 to TS NET1 gateway
TS_NET2_IP Terminal server PE2 to TS NET2 IP
TS_NET2_NETMASK Terminal server PE2 to TS NET2 netmask
TS_NET2_GW Terminal server PE2 to TS NET2 gateway


Make sure to replace these parameters with appropriate values.

Step 3: Clearing net3 interface (if existing)

To clear the net3 interface, follow these steps:

  1. Check for any interface configured on the physical interface net3 and "Default IPv4 Static Address" using the following command:
ogcli get conns 
**description="Default IPv4 Static Address"**


Parameter Name Description
TS_NET3_CONN_NAME Terminal server NET3 Connection name
  1. Remove the interface if it exists:
ogcli delete conn "$TS_NET3_CONN_NAME"


Make sure to replace these parameters with appropriate values.

Step 4: Setting up support admin user

To set up the support admin user, follow these steps:

  1. For each user, execute the following command in the CLI:
ogcli create user << 'END'
description="Support Admin User"


Parameter Name Description
SUPPORT_USER Support admin user
HASHED_SUPPORT_PWD Encoded support admin user password


Make sure to replace these parameters with appropriate values.

Step 5: Adding sudo support for admin users

To add sudo support for admin users, follow these steps:

  1. Open the sudoers configuration file:
sudo vi /etc/sudoers.d/opengear
  1. Add the following lines to grant sudo access:
%netgrp ALL=(ALL) ALL


Make sure to save the changes after editing the file.

This configuration allows members of the "netgrp" group to execute any command as any user and members of the "admin" group to execute any command as any user without requiring a password.

Step 6: Ensuring LLDP service availability

To ensure the LLDP service is available on your terminal server, follow these steps:

Check if the LLDP service is running:

sudo systemctl status lldpd

You should see output similar to the following if the service is running:

lldpd.service - LLDP daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lldpd.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Thu 2023-09-14 19:10:40 UTC; 3 months 25 days ago
     Docs: man:lldpd(8)
 Main PID: 926 (lldpd)
    Tasks: 2 (limit: 9495)
   Memory: 1.2M
   CGroup: /system.slice/lldpd.service
           ├─926 lldpd: monitor.
           └─992 lldpd: 3 neighbors.
Notice: journal has been rotated since unit was started, output may be incomplete.

If the service isn't active (running), start the service:

sudo systemctl start lldpd

Enable the service to start on reboot:

sudo systemctl enable lldpd


Make sure to perform these steps to ensure the LLDP service is always available and starts automatically upon reboot.

Step 7: Checking system date/time

Ensure that the system date/time is correctly set, and the timezone for the terminal server is in UTC.

Check timezone setting:

To check the current timezone setting:

ogcli get system/timezone

Set timezone to UTC:

If the timezone is not set to UTC, you can set it using:

ogcli update system/timezone timezone=\"UTC\"

Check current date/time:

Check the current date and time:


Fix date/time if incorrect:

If the date/time is incorrect, you can fix it using:

ogcli replace system/time
Reading information from stdin. Press Ctrl-D to submit and Ctrl-C to cancel.


Parameter Name Description
CURRENT_DATE_TIME Current date time in format hh:mm MMM DD, YYYY


Ensure the system date/time is accurate to prevent any issues with applications or services relying on it.

Step 8: Labeling Terminal Server ports (if missing/incorrect)

To label Terminal Server ports, use the following command:

ogcli update port "port-<PORT_#>"  label=\"<NEW_NAME>\"	<PORT_#>


Parameter Name Description
NEW_NAME Port label name
PORT_# Terminal Server port number

Step 9: Settings required for PURE Array serial connections

For configuring PURE Array serial connections, use the following commands:

ogcli update port ports-<PORT_#> 'baudrate="115200"' <PORT_#> Pure Storage Controller console
ogcli update port ports-<PORT_#> 'pinout="X1"' <PORT_#>	Pure Storage Controller console


Parameter Name Description
PORT_# Terminal Server port number

These commands set the baudrate and pinout for connecting to the Pure Storage Controller console.

Step 10: Verifying settings

To verify the configuration settings, execute the following commands:

ping $PE1_IP -c 3  # Ping test to PE1 //TS subnet +2
ping $PE2_IP -c 3  # Ping test to PE2 //TS subnet +2
ogcli get conns     # Verify NET1, NET2, NET3 Removed
ogcli get users     # Verify support admin user
ogcli get static_routes  # Ensure there are no static routes
ip r                # Verify only interface routes
ip a                # Verify loopback, NET1, NET2
date                # Check current date/time
pmshell             # Check ports labelled

sudo lldpctl
sudo lldpcli show neighbors  # Check LLDP neighbors - should show data from NET1 and NET2


Ensure that the LLDP neighbors are as expected, indicating successful connections to PE1 and PE2.

Example LLDP neighbors output:

LLDP neighbors:
Interface:    net2, via: LLDP, RID: 2, Time: 0 day, 20:28:36
    ChassisID:    mac 12:00:00:00:00:85
    SysName:      austx502xh1.els-an.att.net
    SysDescr:     7.7.2, S9700-53DX-R8
    Capability:   Router, on
    PortID:       ifname TenGigE0/0/0/0/3
    PortDescr:    GE10_Bundle-Ether83_austx4511ts1_net2_net2_CircuitID__austxm1-AUSTX45_[CBB][MCGW][AODS]
    TTL:          120
Interface:    net1, via: LLDP, RID: 1, Time: 0 day, 20:28:36
    ChassisID:    mac 12:00:00:00:00:05
    SysName:      austx501xh1.els-an.att.net
    SysDescr:     7.7.2, S9700-53DX-R8
    Capability:   Router, on
    PortID:       ifname TenGigE0/0/0/0/3
    PortDescr:    GE10_Bundle-Ether83_austx4511ts1_net1_net1_CircuitID__austxm1-AUSTX45_[CBB][MCGW][AODS]
    TTL:          120


Verify that the output matches your expectations and that all configurations are correct.

Set up storage array

  1. Operator needs to install the storage array hardware as specified by the BOM and rack elevation within the Aggregation Rack.
  2. Operator needs to provide the storage array Technician with information, in order for the storage array Technician to arrive on-site to configure the appliance.
  3. Required location-specific data that is shared with storage array technician:
    • Customer Name:
    • Physical Inspection Date:
    • Chassis Serial Number:
    • Storage array Array Hostname:
    • CLLI code (Common Language location identifier):
    • Installation Address:
    • FIC/Rack/Grid Location:
  4. Data provided to the operator and shared with storage array technician, which will be common to all installations:
    • Purity Code Level: 6.5.1
    • Safe Mode: Disabled
    • Array Time zone: UTC
    • DNS (Domain Name System) Server IP Address:
    • DNS Domain Suffix: not set by operator during setup
    • NTP (Network Time Protocol) Server IP Address or FQDN:
    • Syslog Primary:
    • Syslog Secondary:
    • SMTP Gateway IP address or FQDN: not set by operator during setup
    • Email Sender Domain Name: domain name of the sender of the email (example.com)
    • Email Addresses to be alerted: not set by operator during setup
    • Proxy Server and Port: not set by operator during setup
    • Management: Virtual Interface
      • IP Address:
      • Gateway:
      • Subnet Mask:
      • MTU: 1500
      • Bond: not set by operator during setup
    • Management: Controller 0
      • IP Address:
      • Gateway:
      • Subnet Mask:
      • MTU: 1500
      • Bond: not set by operator during setup
    • Management: Controller 1
      • IP Address:
      • Gateway:
      • Subnet Mask:
      • MTU: 1500
      • Bond: not set by operator during setup
    • VLAN Number / Prefix: 43
    • ct0.eth10: not set by operator during setup
    • ct0.eth11: not set by operator during setup
    • ct0.eth18: not set by operator during setup
    • ct0.eth19: not set by operator during setup
    • ct1.eth10: not set by operator during setup
    • ct1.eth11: not set by operator during setup
    • ct1.eth18: not set by operator during setup
    • ct1.eth19: not set by operator during setup
    • Pure Tunable to be applied:
      • puretune -set PS_ENFORCE_IO_ORDERING 1 "PURE-209441";
      • puretune -set PS_STALE_IO_THRESH_SEC 4 "PURE-209441";
      • puretune -set PS_LANDLORD_QUORUM_LOSS_TIME_LIMIT_MS 0 "PURE-209441";
      • puretune -set PS_RDMA_STALE_OP_THRESH_MS 5000 "PURE-209441";
      • puretune -set PS_BDRV_REQ_MAXBUFS 128 "PURE-209441";

iDRAC IP Assignment

Before deploying the Nexus Cluster, it’s best for the operator to set the iDRAC IPs while organizing the hardware racks. Here’s how to map servers to IPs:

  • Assign IPs based on each server’s position within the rack.
  • Use the fourth /24 block from the /19 subnet allocated for Fabric.
  • Start assigning IPs from the bottom server upwards in each rack, beginning with 0.11.
  • Continue to assign IPs in sequence to the first server at the bottom of the next rack.


Fabric range: – iDRAC subnet at fourth /24 is

Rack Server iDRAC IP
Rack 1 Worker 1
Rack 1 Worker 2
Rack 1 Worker 3
Rack 1 Worker 4
Rack 1 Worker 5
Rack 1 Worker 6
Rack 1 Worker 7
Rack 1 Worker 8
Rack 1 Controller 1
Rack 1 Controller 2
Rack 2 Worker 1
Rack 2 Worker 2
Rack 2 Worker 3
Rack 2 Worker 4
Rack 2 Worker 5
Rack 2 Worker 6
Rack 2 Worker 7
Rack 2 Worker 8
Rack 2 Controller 1
Rack 2 Controller 2
Rack 3 Worker 1
Rack 3 Worker 2
Rack 3 Worker 3
Rack 3 Worker 4
Rack 3 Worker 5
Rack 3 Worker 6
Rack 3 Worker 7
Rack 3 Worker 8
Rack 3 Controller 1
Rack 3 Controller 2
Rack 4 Worker 1
Rack 4 Worker 2
Rack 4 Worker 3
Rack 4 Worker 4
Rack 4 Worker 5
Rack 4 Worker 6
Rack 4 Worker 7
Rack 4 Worker 8
Rack 4 Controller 1
Rack 4 Controller 2

An example design of three on-premises instances from the same NFC/CM pair, using sequential /19 networks in a /16:

Instance Fabric Range iDRAC subnet
Instance 1
Instance 2
Instance 3

Default setup for other devices installed

  • All network fabric devices (except for the Terminal Server) are set to ZTP mode
  • Servers have default factory settings

Firewall rules between Azure to Nexus Cluster.

To establish firewall rules between Azure and the Nexus Cluster, the operator must open the specified ports. This ensures proper communication and connectivity for required services using TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol).

S.No Source Destination Port (TCP/UDP) Bidirectional Rule Purpose
1 Azure virtual network Cluster 22 TCP No For SSH to undercloud servers from the CM subnet.
2 Azure virtual network Cluster 443 TCP No To access undercloud nodes iDRAC
3 Azure virtual network Cluster 5900 TCP No Gnmi
4 Azure virtual network Cluster 6030 TCP No Gnmi Certs
5 Azure virtual network Cluster 6443 TCP No To access undercloud K8S cluster
6 Cluster Azure virtual network 8080 TCP Yes For mounting ISO image into iDRAC, NNF runtime upgrade
7 Cluster Azure virtual network 3128 TCP No Proxy to connect to global Azure endpoints
8 Cluster Azure virtual network 53 TCP and UDP No DNS
9 Cluster Azure virtual network 123 UDP No NTP
10 Cluster Azure virtual network 8888 TCP No Connecting to Cluster Manager webservice
11 Cluster Azure virtual network 514 TCP and UDP No To access undercloud logs from the Cluster Manager

Install CLI extensions and sign-in to your Azure subscription

Install latest version of the necessary CLI extensions.

Azure subscription sign-in

  az login
  az account set --subscription $SUBSCRIPTION_ID
  az account show


The account must have permissions to read/write/publish in the subscription