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Customized Software Troubleshooting With Cisco IOx

Cisco IOx gives you with a platform to host your microservices on the networks edge, near your information originator. Microservices help you course of your information, apply filtering, aggregation, densification, high quality checks and way more!

What to remember?

Are Linux based mostly programs and Docker purposes outdated mates of yours?  If that’s the case, you most likely already find out about some challenges of making Docker pictures. With IOx, creating your individual customized utility is a well-defined course of. There are some subsequent steps throughout which you’ll create an utility docker picture, outline operational parameters, and what number of sources to offer to your utility.

Contemplate the next as a guidelines to remember, when creating an IOx docker-based utility picture. Possibly a few of the following challenges sound acquainted to you.

Potential challenges when creating Docker pictures

1. Your remaining Docker picture turned too giant?

Keep away from utilizing overly giant docker-base pictures. Attempt to use a minimal one! When you can handle to make use of “scratch” or “alpine” the lifecycle-management of your docker picture throughout deployment and redeployment will trigger much less overhead, ready time, and allocate much less bandwidth and storage on the gadget. Test the next fast comparability of various base picture sizes. Be mindful: your utility framework, libraries, binaries, instruments, and interpreters will probably be added on prime of this dimension.


Word: Good candidates are most definitely “ubuntu” with ~73MB, and even higher “alpine” with solely ~6MB base picture dimension. In case your utility has minimal exterior dependencies, the optimum selection is perhaps to construct your utility picture from the smallest attainable base picture “scratch,” which is even smaller than alpine. The extra effort for utilizing smaller pictures vs. extra handy and bigger base picture, is nicely invested time!

2. Did you run out of storage when deploying an utility package deal?
Needless to say you can’t declare all of the accessible storage to IOx to your utility. What you’ll deploy as an utility package deal is a compressed archive containing the docker filesystem layers. Your gadget will already allocate storage to obtain, retailer, and uncompress your picture. That in flip signifies that successfully your picture will trigger storage to be allotted roughly 2.5 instances of its personal dimension!

3. Is your utility storing information continuously?
If the applying you wish to run on IOx is utilizing storage to persist info, please consider to equip the gadget with an SSD growth module to assist your plan. That is to offer extra capability and to keep away from the principle system flash from carrying out.


4. Does your utility create giant container logfiles?
Needless to say stdout and stderr are being logged. It is best to solely log vital messages within the manufacturing model of your utility utilizing the applying logfiles. You also needs to think about using a log rotation mechanism if the logs are getting giant.

5. Are you uncertain about errors throughout the operation of your utility?
Be sure your utility is logging details about its operational wellbeing. The usual paths for logging are gadget dependent. On IR8x9 you’d use “/information/logs” and on IR18xx and IR1101 you’d use “/iox_data/logs” to retailer your individual logfiles.

To consult with the completely different areas with out hardcoding it, please test the hyperlink under on environmental variables, which is able to summary the completely different paths for you!

Take into consideration time and size-based log rotation to stop the filesystem from filling up with utility logs. When you keep on with the talked about log areas, it is possible for you to to entry the logfiles from any of the accessible management planes – IoT Operations Dashboard, Native Supervisor, ioxclient, and FND. Your utility log is clearly the go-to level if you happen to expertise points throughout operation together with your utility!


6. Your gadget logfile protocols “not discovered” errors throughout startup?
Ensure you comply to the IOx default paths for utility information and logs. To your utility information they’re as an illustration “/iox_data/appdata” for IR1101/IR1800 and “/information/appdata” for IR8x9, whereas to your logs it’s “/iox_data/logs” and “/information/logs”.

An instance message from gadget logs:

{"log":"/bin/sh: / not foundn","stream":"stderr","time":"2022-04-28T14:01:12.945697208Z"} 

7. Is your gadget working out of sources whereas deploying a number of purposes?
In case you are uncertain how a lot system sources to offer to your utility to satisfy its activity with out overprovisioning it, you possibly can make it run completely, and monitor its actual utilization of CPU and reminiscence contained in the container whereas being below lifelike operational load. You may then later modify the sources provisioned to your utility to match your remark.


8. Are you unable to entry ports that your utility exposes?
When you intend to reveal ports for communication, ensure that your gadget configuration will use as an illustration NAT and correct port publicity on the corresponding port of your Docker container occasion. Consider if assigning a set IPv4 to your container eases debugging an error state of affairs. Don’t forget to test the port publicity in your Dockerfile, in addition to your package deal.yaml. As well as, the package deal.yaml may even outline the purposes entry to companies like GPS, accelerometer, serial port and extra.


9. Does your utility refuse to begin on the goal {hardware}?
The structure varies between completely different Cisco IoT gadgets. For instance, IR1101/IR18xx gives an ARM64 based mostly structure, whereas IR8x9 does present a x86_64 based mostly {hardware} structure. Be sure to have your base picture chosen and your software program compiled or cross-compiled for the right goal structure, or else it can fail to put in or begin up. Selecting the flawed goal {hardware} structure to your gadget will both lead to not having the ability to add/activate your picture, or the startup will fail. The latter will trigger a corresponding log entry in your gadget logs to be written.


10. Are you uncertain in regards to the operational state of your utility?
Leverage health-monitoring to your utility! The built-in health-monitoring gives you with the likelihood to have your utility continuously checked for proper operations. The results of the well being test is robotically provisioned to the management airplane of your selection.


11. Does your utility fail to begin and there’s no utility log created?
When you can’t discover your utility log (see 8.), it is perhaps as a consequence of a misconfiguration of the gadget itself. The go-to useful resource is the operational logging of your gadget itself. Relying in your setup, you will see that the logs by way of IoT Operations Dashboard, LocalManager, FND, or ioxclient.

12. Does your utility begin and instantly cease once more?
Double test in case your Dockerfile specifies a blocking command utilizing for instance CMD or The method you specify must run with out interruption, or your IOx utility will cease. You would possibly must catch exceptions if you happen to use a script to begin processes.


13. Does your utility begin, run for some time, and exit whereas being below load?
Test your purposes reminiscence and file descriptor consumption. It’d leak on both of them. In case your utility doesn’t correctly free reminiscence and/or filedescriptors, it can finally be forcefully ended by the kernel. Swapping reminiscence shouldn’t be an choice! To substantiate, in case you are being impacted by this drawback, plot the consumption on reminiscence and filedescriptors over time.

The next instance illustrates the ever-increasing allocation on VSS/RES reminiscence of a course of. The shortage of saturation suggests a reminiscence leak, that finally will result in this course of being forcefully ended.

IOx 2

14. Does activating your IOx utility fail with an “ID syntax error”?
Ensure you use your docker picture identify:tag throughout export, otherwise you would possibly expertise points with the applying naming in your Dockerfile, manifest, or package deal.yaml when activating it.

Instance from LocalManager:


15. Is your remaining utility picture not compliant throughout safety scans, and/or constructing time takes an excessive amount of time?
Attempt to harden your picture by eradicating all pointless binaries, libraries, and caches. This won’t solely cut back the footprint on storage however assist to cut back safety threads for software program packages and libraries you have to patch and monitor for updates. This additionally contains caches the system constructed throughout picture meeting. The simplest method is to leverage Docker multi-stage builds. You’d solely copy the required issues to the final construct stage and take away all the pieces pointless, like as an illustration system binaries your manufacturing utility picture doesn’t want. Multi-stage builds help you create debug pictures and manufacturing pictures on the similar time.


The above instance illustrates the distinction of “intermediate-stage” to “final-stage” concerning their dimension. The consequence docker picture is functionally an identical in each instances. Each originate from completely different phases of the identical picture construct course of.


16. Are you aware if any of the elements you utilized in your utility picture is being affected by safety points?
Contemplate checking your Docker picture safety compliance with accessible toolkits comparable to “Docker Bench.”

17. Do you wish to shortcut the testing of your utility and solely deploy beforehand examined utility pictures?
To save lots of effort and time take a look at your docker picture in your native atmosphere earlier than creating an IOx utility. Additionally think about ramping up a DevNet sandbox for testing and studying!


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