Manual Chapter : 3-DNS Installation Guide v4.1: Setting Up the Hardware

Applies To:

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3-DNS Controller versions 1.x - 4.x

  • 4.0.1 PTF-04, 4.0.1 PTF-03, 4.0.1 PTF-02, 4.0.1 PTF-01, 4.0.1
Manual Chapter


Setting Up the Hardware

Unpacking and installing the hardware

Regardless of the configuration you intend to use, you need to completely install the 3-DNS Controller hardware. This chapter reviews the hardware requirements, introduces the hardware, notes the environmental issues, and gives procedures for installing the hardware. It also provides basic information about configuration and management issues for redundant systems, multiple network interfaces, and DNS zone files.

The two basic tasks you must complete to get the 3-DNS Controller installed and set up are as follows:

  • Connect the peripheral hardware and connect the 3-DNS Controller to the network.
  • Turn the system on and run the First-Time Boot utility.
    The First-Time Boot utility is a wizard that helps you configure basic system elements such as administrative passwords, IP addresses, and host names for both the root system and the 3-DNS web server. For more information on configuring your 3-DNS Controller, see Chapter 3, Working with the First-Time Boot Utility .

Reviewing the hardware requirements

The 3-DNS Controller comes with the hardware you need for installation and maintenance. However, you must provide standard peripheral hardware, such as a keyboard and monitor or serial terminal.

Hardware provided with the 3-DNS Controller

When you unpack the 3-DNS Controller, make sure the following components are included:

  • One power cable
  • One PC/AT-to-PS/2 keyboard adapter
  • Four rack-mounting screws
  • Two keys for the front panel lock
  • One extra fan filter
  • One 3-DNS Administrator Kit, which includes the 3-DNS Software and Documentation CD-ROM and the Configuration Worksheet.

    If you purchase a hardware-based redundant system, you also receive one fail-over cable to connect the two controllers together (network-based redundant systems do not require a fail-over cable).

Peripheral hardware that you provide

For each 3-DNS Controller in the system, you need to provide the following peripheral hardware:

  • Standard input/output hardware for direct administrative access to the 3-DNS Controller. Either of the following options is acceptable:

  • Network hubs, switches, or concentrators to connect to the 3-DNS Controller network interfaces. The devices you select must be compatible with the network interface cards installed in the 3-DNS Controller. The devices can support 10/100 Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet. Note that for Ethernet, you need either a 10Mb/sec or 100 Mb/sec hub or switch.

    If you plan on doing remote administration from your own PC workstation, as most users do, we recommend that you have your workstation already in place. Keep in mind that the First-Time Boot utility prompts you to enter your workstation's IP address when you set up remote administrative access.

Familiarizing yourself with the 3-DNS Controller hardware

The 3-DNS Controller is offered in a 2U hardware configuration. Before you begin to install the 3-DNS Controller, you may want to quickly review the following figures that illustrate the controls and ports on the front and the back of a 2U 3-DNS Controller.

Using the 2U hardware configuration

This section describes the front and back layout of a 2U 3-DNS Controller. If you have a special hardware configuration, such as those that include more than two interface cards, the ports on the back of your unit will differ slightly from those shown in Figure 2.2, on page 2-3 .

Note: The ports on the back of every 3-DNS Controller are individually labeled, so the purpose of each port should be clear.

Figure 2.1 illustrates the front of a 2U 3-DNS Controller with the access panel open. On the front of the unit, you can turn the unit off and on, and you can reset the unit. You can also view the indicator lights for hard disk access and for the keyboard lock.

Figure 2.1 Front view of a 2U 3-DNS Controller

1. Fan filter

2. Keyboard lock

3. Reset button

4. Keyboard lock LED

5. Hard disk drive LED

6. Power LED

7. On/off button

8. CD-ROM drive

Figure 2.2 illustrates the back of a 2U 3-DNS Controller. Note that all ports are labeled, even those which are not intended to be used with the 3-DNS Controller. Ports marked with an asterisk (*) in the list following the figure are not used by the 3-DNS Controller, and you do not need to connect them to any peripheral hardware.

1. Fan

2. Power in

3. Power out

4. Mouse port*

5. Keyboard port

6. Fail-over port

7. Printer port*

8. Serial terminal port

9. Video (VGA) port

10. External interface (fxp0)

11. Internal interface (fxp1)

*Not to be connected to any peripheral hardware.

Figure 2.2 Back view of a 2U 3-DNS Controller

Environmental requirements and usage guidelines

A 3-DNS Controller is an industrial network appliance, designed to be mounted in a standard 19-inch rack. To ensure safe installation and operation of the unit:

  • Install the rack according to the manufacturer's instructions, and check the rack for stability before placing equipment in it.
  • Build and position the rack so that once you install the 3-DNS Controller, the power supply and the vents on both the front and back of the unit remain unobstructed. The 3-DNS Controller must have adequate ventilation around the unit at all times.
  • Do not allow the air temperature in the room to exceed 40° C (104° F).
  • Do not plug the unit into a branch circuit shared by more electronic equipment than the circuit is designed to manage safely at one time.
  • Verify that the voltage selector is set appropriately before connecting the power cable to the unit.

Guidelines for DC-powered equipment

A DC-powered installation must meet the following requirements:

  • Install the unit using a 20 Amp external branch circuit protection device.
  • For permanently connected equipment, incorporate a readily- accessible disconnect in the fixed wiring.
  • Use only copper conductors.

Installing and connecting the hardware

There are six basic steps to installing the hardware. You simply need to install the controller in the rack, connect the peripheral hardware and the external and internal interfaces, and then connect the fail-over and power cables. If you have a unit with three or more network interface cards (NICs), be sure to review step 3.

Warning: Do not turn on a 3-DNS Controller until all peripheral hardware is connected to the unit.

To install the hardware

  1. Mount the 3-DNS Controller on the rack and secure it using the four rack-mounting screws that are provided.
  2. Connect the hardware that you have chosen to use for input/output:

    · If you are using a VGA monitor and keyboard, connect the monitor connector cable to the video port (number 9 in the 2U figure) and connect the keyboard connector cable to the keyboard port (number 5 in Figure 2.2 ). Note that a PC/AT-to-PS/2 keyboard adapter is included with each 3-DNS Controller (see the component list on page 2-1 ).

    · Optionally, if you are using a serial terminal as the console, connect the serial cable to the serial terminal port (number 8 in Figure 2.2 ).

  3. Connect the external interface (number 10 in Figure 2.2 ) to the network from which the 3-DNS Controller receives connection requests.

    If you have purchased a unit with three or more network interface cards (NICs), be sure to note or write down how you connect the cables to the internal and external interfaces. When you run the First-Time Boot utility, it automatically detects the number of interfaces that are installed and prompts you to configure more external interfaces, if you want. It is important to select the correct external interface based on the way you have connected the cables to the back of the unit.
  4. If you have a hardware-based redundant system, connect the fail-over cable to the fail-over port on each unit (number 6 in the 2U figure).
  5. Connect the power cable (number 2 in the 2U figure) to the 3-DNS Controller, and then connect it to the power source.

Warning: Before connecting the power cable to a power supply, customers outside the US should make sure that the voltage selector is set appropriately. This check is necessary only if the controller has an external voltage selector.

Addressing hardware configuration issues

Before you start the hardware setup, you may want to review the following items which address configuration and management issues for redundant systems, systems that use more than one network interface, and DNS zone file management.

Setting up a stand-alone unit or a redundant system

If you are setting up a stand-alone unit, you need one IP address and host name for each of the interfaces you plan to connect to the network. If you are setting up a redundant system, you need the actual IP address for each interface in each unit. If you are connecting the redundant system to more than one network, you also need a shared IP alias for each interface.

Setting up fail-over for a redundant system

Hardware-based fail-over is a redundant system that connects two 3-DNS Controller units directly to each other using a fail-over serial cable. Network-based fail-over is a redundant system where two units are connected to each other either directly using an Ethernet cable, or indirectly via an Ethernet network. Of the two units in a redundant system, one runs as the active unit, managing all DNS resolution requests, and the other runs as the standby unit, waiting to take over in case the active unit fails and reboots. The communication between the units, such as fail-over notification, runs across either the fail-over cable in the hardware-based redundant system, or the network in the network-based redundant system.

When you run the First-Time Boot utility, it prompts you to enter the IP address of the other unit in the redundant system.

Triggering a fail-over in a redundant system

The 3-DNS Controller tracks two key aspects of the system to validate system performance. In a redundant system, there are two events that indicate a system failure, and trigger a fail-over.

  • If the 3dnsd daemon becomes unresponsive, or if you manually stop the daemon using the 3ndc stop or 3ndc restart commands, the 3-DNS Controller treats this as a system failure and initiates a fail-over.
  • If the 3-DNS Controller fails to detect any traffic on its network interfaces, it attempts to create traffic to test the integrity of the interface. If the test fails, the 3-DNS Controller treats this as a system failure and initiates a fail-over.

Using redundant systems with the sync group feature

If you include a redundant system in a sync group, you specify the redundant system's shared IP address when you define the sync group.

Using more than one network interface

The First-Time Boot utility automatically detects the number of interfaces installed in the 3-DNS Controller. In most instances, you need to configure only one of the interfaces. If you want to configure an additional interface, you simply enter the same type of information that you entered for the first interface.

The 3-DNS Controller now runs in three modes: node, bridge, and router. If you are running the controller in node mode, you only need to configure one interface. If you are running the 3-DNS Controller in bridge mode, you use the additional interface to connect the 3-DNS Controller to the authoritative DNS using either a cross-over cable, or through a separate switch or hub. In bridge mode, you do not need to configure the information in the First-Time Boot utility for the additional network interface. In router mode, you must configure two (or more) interfaces, on different subnets, in the First-Time Boot utility.

Note: For more information about the 3-DNS Controller modes, refer to Configuring the 3-DNS Controller mode, on page 3-8 .

Setting up automatic DNS zone file management

If you choose to run the 3-DNS Controller in node mode (that is, as the primary name server for your domain), First-Time Boot utility asks you if you want to use the NameSurfer application as the primary name server for DNS zone files. We recommend that you always run NameSurfer as the primary name server for DNS zone files. When you define or modify wide IPs in the Configuration utility, NameSurfer automatically makes the corresponding changes to the DNS zone files. The NameSurfer application also provides you with easy management of high-level domain zone files unrelated to the wide IP configuration.

If you plan on transferring existing BIND files from a primary DNS server to the 3-DNS Controller, you do not configure the NameSurfer application when you run the First-Time Boot utility; you configure the application later on in the installation process. For more details about this and other DNS zone file management issues, refer to Chapter 2, Essential Configuration Tasks, in the 3-DNS Administrator Guide.

Note: If you run the 3-DNS Controller in router or bridge mode, you do not configure the NameSurfer application because the 3-DNS Controller is not the authoritative DNS for your domain.