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Install Paragon Automation

SUMMARY This topic describes the steps you must perform to install Paragon Automation using an OVA or OVF bundle.

You (system administrator) can install Paragon Automation by downloading an OVA bundle. You can use the OVA bundle as a whole or extract OVF and .vmdk files from the OVA bundle and use the files to deploy the node virtual machines (VMs) on a VMware ESXi server. Paragon Automation runs on a Kubernetes cluster with at least three primary and worker nodes and one worker-only node. The installation is air-gapped but you need Internet access to download the OVA bundle to your computer.

If you are installing from a remote machine, you can instead create a local desktop installer VM, either on the same server where you want to install Paragon Automation or on a different server. The local desktop installer VM can be a basic Ubuntu desktop VM. This avoids having to download the files into your remote machine, and then running the installation from the remote machine. This is described in the Prepare the Nodes section.

To install Paragon Automation, you must create the node VMs using the downloaded OVA or OVF and .vmdk files. The software download files come prepackaged with the base OS and all packages required to create the VMs and deploy your Paragon Automation cluster. The VMs have an Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) Linux base OS.

Once the VMs are created, you must configure each VM in the same way. When all the VMs are configured and prepared, you deploy the Paragon Automation cluster. You can deploy the cluster in either of the following ways:

Figure 1 illustrates the Paragon Automation installation process at a high-level.

Figure 1: Installation Process Installation Process

Note:

You create the VMs directly using the OVA/OVF bundles. You do not need to create the VMs separately with any running software (for example, Ubuntu), or explicitly create interfaces, install Docker separately and so on. These are all automatically created and configured when you create the VMs using the OVA/OVF bundles.

To prepare the VMs, perform the following steps.

Prepare the Nodes

To prepare the nodes you must create and configure the VMs.

  1. Download the Paragon Automation Installation OVA file from the Juniper Paragon Automation software download site. The OVA is used to create the node VMs and deploy your cluster.

    Note that the actual filename will include the release date in it, such as paragon-2.0.0-0515.ova.

    The file is large in size and it might take considerable time to download it and then create the VMs from your computer. So, we recommend that you create a local installer VM, which can be a basic Ubuntu desktop VM, either on the same server where you want to install Paragon Automation or on a different server. You must be able to download the OVA file to this local installer VM and you must have enough space on the VM to store the file. Configure connectivity to the management IP addresses of the servers as show in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: Local Installer VM to download the OVA/OVF files Local Installer VM to download the OVA/OVF files
  2. (Optional) Validate the integrity of the OVA file. If you are using an Ubuntu desktop, use the following command:

    Verify that the number displayed onscreen is the same as the SHA512 checksum number available on the Juniper Paragon Automation software download site. Click Checksums to view the valid SHA512 checksum.

  3. After verifying the integrity, create the node VMs. You can use the OVA as a whole to create the VMs.

    Alternatively, extract and use the OVF and .vmdk files from the OVA to create your VMs. To extract the files, use the tar -xvf paragon-2.0.0-0515.ova command.

  4. From your Web browser, connect and log in to the VMware ESXi 8.0 server where you will install Paragon Automation.

    If you are using a local installer VM, use the browser in the VM to connect to the VMware ESXi server.

  5. Create the node VMs.

    Perform the following steps to create the VMs.

    1. Right-click the Host icon and select Create/Register VM.

      The New virtual machine wizard appears.

    2. On the Select creation type page, select Deploy a virtual machine from an OVF or OVA file.

      Click Next.

    3. On the Select OVF and VMDK files page, enter a name for the node VM.

      Click to upload or drag and drop the OVA file or the OVF file along with the .vmdk files.

      Review the list of files to be uploaded and click Next.

    4. On the Select storage page, select the appropriate datastore that can accommodate 300-GB SSD for the node VM. Note that SSD is mandatory.

      Click Next. The extraction of files takes a few minutes.

    5. On the Deployment options page:

      • Select the virtual network to which the node VM will be connected.

      • Select the Thick disk provisioning option.

      • Enable the VM to power on automatically.

      Click Next.

    6. On the Ready to complete page, review the VM settings.

      Click Finish to create the node VM.

      Note:

      If you used the OVF and .vmdk files to create your VMs and the VM creation failed, retry creating the VMs with the .nvram file. Extract the .nvram file from the OVA bundle and redo the VM creation steps. On step 5.c, upload the .nvram file along with the OVF and .vmdk files.

    7. Repeat steps 5.a through 5.f for the other three node VMs. Enter appropriate VM names when prompted.

    8. (Optional) Verify the progress of the VM creation in the Recent tasks section at the bottom of the page.

    9. When all the VMs have been created, verify that they have the correct specifications and are powered on.

  6. Configure the node VMs

    When all the node VMs are created, perform the following steps to configure them.

    1. Connect to the node VM Web console of the first VM. You are logged in as root automatically.

    2. You are prompted to change your password immediately. Enter and re-enter the new password. You are automatically logged out of the VM.

      Note:

      We recommend that you enter the same password for all the VMs. If you configure different passwords for the VMs, enter the different passwords correctly when requested to:

    3. When prompted, log in again as root user with the newly configured password.

    4. Configure the following information when prompted.

      Table 1: VM Configuration Wizard

      Prompt

      Action

      Do you want to set up a Hostname? (y/n)

      Enter y to configure a hostname.

      Please specify the Hostname

      Enter an identifying hostname for the VM. For example: Primary1. The hostname should be under 64 characters and can include alphanumeric and some special characters.

      If you do not enter a hostname, a default hostname in the format controller-<VM-IP-address-4th-octet> is assigned.

      Note:

      Since you are deploying the cluster from one node, and entering the IP addresses of the other nodes during the cluster configuration process, the roles are assigned automatically. The first three nodes to be configured are the primary and worker nodes and the last node is the worker-only node.

      The hostnames (and whether or not they match the role of the node), will not affect the operations of the cluster. However, for management purposes, we recommend that you pay attention to how you name the nodes and the order in which you entered their addresses during the cluster creation steps.

      We do not support changing the hostname after the cluster has been installed.

      Do you want to set up Static IP (preferred)? (y/n)

      Enter y to configure an IP address for the VM.

      Please specify the IP address in CIDR notation

      Enter the IP address in the CIDR notation. For example, 10.1.2.3/24.

      Note:

      If you enter 10.1.2.3 instead of 10.1.2.3/24 you will get an Invalid IP address error message.

      Please specify the Gateway IP

      Enter the gateway IP address.

      Please specify the Primary DNS IP

      Enter the primary DNS IP address.

      Please specify the Secondary DNS IP

      Enter the secondary DNS IP address.

    5. When prompted if you are sure to proceed, review the information displayed, type y and press Enter.

    6. You are logged in to Paragon Shell.

    7. Repeat steps 6.a through 6.f for the other three VMs.

You have completed the node preparation steps and are ready to deploy the cluster using either Paragon Shell or the deployment wizard.

Deploy the Cluster Using Paragon Shell

Perform the following steps to deploy the Paragon Automation cluster using Paragon Shell CLI.

  1. Go back to the first node VM (Primary1). If you have been logged out, log in again using SSH, as root with the previously configured password. You are placed in Paragon Shell operational mode.

  2. To configure the cluster, enter the configuration mode in Paragon Shell.

  3. Configure the following cluster parameters.

    Where:

    The IP addresses of kubernetes nodes with indexes 1 through 4 must match the static IP addresses configured on the node VMs. The Kubernetes nodes with indexes 1,2 and 3 are the primary and worker nodes, the node with index 4 is the worker-only node.

    ntp-servers is the NTP server to sync to.

    web-admin-user and web-admin-password are the e-mail address and password that the first user can use to log in to the Web GUI.

    ingress-vip is the VIP address for the generic ingress IP address.

    test-agent-gateway-vip is the VIP address for the Paragon Active Assurance Test Agent gateway.

    The VIP addresses are added to the outbound SSH configuration that is required for a device to establish a connection with Paragon Automation.

  4. (Optional) If you want to configure hostnames for generic ingress and Paragon Active Assurance Test Agent gateway, configure the following:

    Where:

    system-hostname is the hostname for the generic ingress virtual IP address.

    test-agent-gateway-hostname is the hostname for the Paragon Active Assurance Test Agent gateway virtual IP address.

    When you configure hostnames, the hostnames are added to the outbound SSH configuration instead of the VIP addresses.

  5. (Optional) Configure the following settings for SMTP-based user management.

    Where:

    sender-domains are the e-mail domains from which Paragon Automation sends e-mails to users.

    relayhost-hostname is the name of the SMTP server that relays messages.

    relayhost-username (optional) is the user name to access the SMTP (relay) server.

    relayhost-password (optional) is the password for the SMTP (relay) server.

    sender-e-mail-address is the e-mail address that appears as the sender's e-mail address to the e-mail recipient.

    sender-name is the name that appears as the sender’s name in the e-mails sent to users from Paragon Automation.

    papi-local-user-management False disables local user management.

    Note:

    SMTP configuration is optional at this point. SMTP settings can be configured after the cluster has been deployed also. For information on how to configure SMTP after cluster deployment, see Configure SMTP Settings in Paragon Shell.

  6. (Optional) Install custom user certificates. Note, before you install user certificates, you must have copied the custom certificate file and certificate key file to the /root/epic/config folder in the Linux root shell of the node from which you are deploying the cluster.

    Where:

    certificate.cert.pem is the user certificate file name.

    certificate.key.pem is the user certificate key file name.

    Note:

    Installing certificates is optional at this point. You can configure Paragon Automation to use custom user certificates after cluster deployment also. For information on how to install user certificates after cluster deployment, see Install User Certificates.

  7. Commit the configuration and exit configuration mode.

  8. Generate the configuration files.

    The inventory file contains the IP addresses of the VMs.

    The config.yml file contains minimum Paragon Automation cluster parameters required to deploy a cluster.

    The request paragon config command also generates a config.cmgd file in the config directory. The config.cmgd file contains all the set commands that you executed in 3. If the config.yml file is inadvertently edited or corrupted, you can redeploy your cluster using the load set config/config.cmgd command in the configuration mode.

  9. Generate ssh keys on the cluster nodes.

    When prompted, enter the SSH password for the VMs. Enter the same password that you configured to log in to the VMs.

    Note:

    If you have configured different passwords for the VMs, ensure you enter corresponding passwords when prompted.

  10. Deploy the cluster.

    The cluster deployment begins and takes around an hour to complete.

  11. (Optional) Monitor the progress of the deployment onscreen.

    The progress of the deployment is displayed. Deployment is complete when you see an output similar to this onscreen.

    Alternatively, if you did not choose to monitor the progress of the deployment onscreen using the monitor command, you can view the contents of the log file using the file show /epic/config/log command. The last few lines of the log file must look similar to the sample output.

  12. When deployment is complete, log out of the VM and log in again to Paragon Shell.

    Upon successful completion of the deployment, the application cluster is created.

    The console output displays the Paragon Shell welcome message and the IP addresses of the four nodes (called Controller-1 through Controller-4), the Paragon Active Assurance Test Agent gateway VIP address, the Web admin user e-mail address, and Web GUI IP address.

    The CLI command prompt displays your login username and the node hostname that you configured previously. For example, if you entered Primary1 as the hostname of your primary node, the command prompt is root@Primary1 >.

Figure 3 illustrates a Paragon Automation cluster post-installation.

Figure 3: Paragon Automation Cluster Paragon Automation Cluster

You can now verify the cluster deployment and log in to the Web GUI. See Log in to the Web GUI.

Deploy the Cluster Using The Deployment Wizard

If you haven't deployed the cluster using Paragon Shell, perform the following steps to deploy the Paragon Automaton cluster using the interactive deployment wizard from the Linux root shell.

  1. Go back to the first node VM (Primary1) and log in as root with the previously configured password. You are in the Paragon Shell operational mode.

  2. Exit Paragon Shell. Type exit to go back to the Linux root shell.

  3. When prompted whether you want to create a cluster, type y and press Enter.

  4. Configure the following information when prompted.

    Table 2: VM Deployment Wizard

    Prompt

    Action

    Please specify the list of available IPs

    Enter the VIP addresses as a list in the format, 10.1.2.3, 10.1.2.4, or as a range in the format, 10.1.2.3-10.1.2.4.

    Please specify Controller-2 IP

    Please specify Controller-3 IP

    Please specify Controller-4 IP

    Enter the IP addresses of the second, third, and fourth VMs to correspond to Controller-2, Controller-3, and Controller-4 VMs.

    These IP addresses must match the static IP addresses configured on the nodes.

    Please specify Web Admin Email

    Enter the e-mail address of the first user to log in to the Paragon Automation Web GUI. This user can be the system administrator or any other designated user. This user has superuser privileges and can create additional users.

    Please specify Web Admin Password

    Please specify Web Admin Password (again)

    Enter a password that the first user can use to log in to the Web GUI.

    Re-enter to confirm the password.

    Please specify NTP server

    Enter the NTP server IP address. Ensure that the NTP server is reachable and no firewall is blocking access to the server from the VM network.

  5. When prompted whether you want to proceed, type y and press Enter.

  6. When prompted, enter the SSH password for the VMs. Enter the same password that you configured to log in to the VMs.

    Note:

    If you have configured different passwords for the VMs, ensure that you enter the correct corresponding passwords when prompted.

    The cluster deployment begins. The deployment takes around an hour to complete.

  7. Upon successful completion of the deployment, the application cluster is created and you are logged in to Paragon Shell.

    The console output displays the four Controller IP addresses, the Paragon Active Assurance Test Agent gateway VIP address, the Web GUI VIP address, and the Web admin user e-mail address . The first VIP address in the list of VIP addresses that you entered while configuring the cluster is assigned to the Web GUI and the second VIP address is assigned to the Test Agent gateway.

  8. Log out of the node VM and log in again to Paragon Shell to see the updated command prompt. The CLI command prompt displays your log in user name and the node hostname that you configured previously. For example, if you entered Primary1 as the hostname of your primary node, the command prompt is root@Primary1 >.

  9. (Optional) Configure SMTP-based user management. To configure SMTP, perform the steps described in Configure SMTP Settings in Paragon Shell.

  10. (Optional) Upload custom user certificates. To configure Paragon Automation to use custom user certificates, perform the steps described in Install User Certificates.

  11. (Optional) Configure hostnames for common ingress and Paragon Active Assurance Test Agent gateway using Paragon Shell, perform the following steps:

    Where:

    system-hostname is the hostname for the generic ingress IP address.

    test-agent-gateway-hostname is the hostname for the Paragon Active Assurance Test Agent gateway IP address.

You can now verify the cluster deployment and log in to the Web GUI.

Figure 3 illustrates a Paragon Automation cluster post-installation.

Log in to the Web GUI

After the cluster has been deployed, you can verify the deployment (optionally), and log in to the Web GUI using the information you entered during the deployment.

  1. (Optional) Verify the deployment.

    1. Verify cluster details.

    2. Verify cluster node details.

  2. Log in to the Web GUI.

    1. Enter https://web-ui-ip-address in a Web browser to access the Paragon Automation login page. web-ui-ip-address is the URL displayed on your console after the cluster deployment is complete.

    2. Enter the Web admin user e-mail and password that you configured previously to log in to Paragon Automation. The Web admin user e-mail is also displayed on your console after the cluster deployment is complete

      You are logged in to the Paragon Automation GUI and are directed to the New Account page from where you can create a new Organization. For more information, see User Activation and Login.