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How to Establish Contact with Control Center

This chapter explains how to establish contact between Virtual Test Agents deployed in VirtualBox and a Control Center residing outside VirtualBox.

For communication outside VirtualBox, either NAT or a bridge can be used. In the following, the use of NAT is assumed. A bridge may however be preferable if a more transparent setup is needed: for example, to permit communication in both directions between vTAs in VirtualBox and other Test Agents installed elsewhere.

Internally in VirtualBox, the following setup is recommended for each vTA:

  • The vTA has one network adapter (labeled “eth0” in the diagram below) attached to NAT for communication with Control Center. This is the default setting for the network adapter which is predefined for the vTA.
  • The vTA has another network adapter (labeled “eth1” in the diagram) attached to a VirtualBox host-only Ethernet adapter.[1] This connection is used for communication between vTAs in the course of testing. How to configure this is covered in the sections Setting Up a VirtualBox Host-only Ethernet Adapter and Connecting vTAs to a Host-only Ethernet Adapter.

An overview of the setup is given in the diagram below.

Setting Up a VirtualBox Host-only Ethernet Adapter

  • From the File menu, select Preferences.
  • Select Network, and click the Host-only Networks tab.

  • Click the (“New”) button.
  • Wait for this procedure to finish:

  • A new VirtualBox host-only Ethernet adapter will now appear in the listing:

  • Double-click the new Ethernet adapter.
  • In the dialog that appears, select the DHCP Server tab.
  • Check the Enable Server box.
  • Enter Server Address and Server Mask, and set lower and upper address bounds. An example is shown in the screenshot below.

Connecting vTAs to a Host-only Ethernet Adapter

For each vTA in a subset that should be able to communicate with each other, do as follows:

  • Power off the vTA if it is currently running.
  • With the vTA selected in the main window, click Settings.
  • In the left-hand pane, select Network.
  • The Adapter 1 tab defines the default network adapter which is attached to NAT. This network adapter can be left as-is.
  • Click the Adapter 2 tab. Here we will define a second network adapter for the vTA and attach it to the host-only adapter created in the section Setting Up a VirtualBox Host-only Ethernet Adapter.
  • Check the Enable Network Adapter box.
  • Under Attached to, select Host-only Adapter.
  • Under Name, select the adapter that you created in the section Setting Up a VirtualBox Host-only Ethernet Adapter.
  • Expand the Advanced section.
  • Under Adapter Type, select “Paravirtualized Network (virtio-net)”.
  • Make sure that Cable Connected is checked.
  • Finish by clicking OK.

Refer to the screenshot below.

Connecting vTAs to an Internal Network Ethernet Adapter

If you are using an Internal Network adapter, here is how to set up the vTAs:

  • Navigate to the vTA network adapters as described in the section Connecting vTAs to a Host-only Ethernet Adapter.
  • Check the Enable Network Adapter box.
  • Under Attached to, select Internal Network.
  • Expand the Advanced section.
  • Under Adapter Type, select “Paravirtualized Network (virtio-net)”.
  • Make sure that Cable Connected is checked.
  • Finish by clicking OK.

Refer to the screenshot below.

[1] This type of adapter allows you to access the vTA virtual machines directly from the host OS, which is convenient especially in a lab environment, where security is not a primary concern. VirtualBox also offers the option Internal Network, which does not permit any direct connection between the virtual machines and the host (but is otherwise similar to Host-only Adapter). You may wish to use the Internal Network option if you want an entirely closed network inside VirtualBox, not accessible from external hosts. See the section Connecting vTAs to an Internal Network Ethernet Adapter for instructions on how to connect the vTA to an Internal Network adapter.