Provisioning Examples

Here are a few practical examples of enhanced directed discovery to help with your understanding of this feature.

Basic Provisioning

This example adds three nodes and requires no Meridian configuration other than specifying the node entities to be provisioned and managed in Meridian.

Defining the Nodes via the Web-UI

Using the Provisioning Groups Web-UI, three nodes are created given a single IP address. Navigate to the Admin Menu and click Provisioning Groups Menu from the list of Admin options and create the group Bronze.

Creating a new Provisioning Group


Clicking the Add New Group button will create the group and will redisplay the page including this new group among the list of any group(s) that have already been created.


At this point, the XML structure for holding the new provisioning group (a.k.a. an import requisition) has been persisted to the '$OPENNMS_HOME/etc/imports/pending' directory.

Clicking the Edit link will bring you to the screen where you can begin the process of defining node entities that will be imported into Meridian. Click the Add Node button will begin the node entity creation process fill in the node label and click the Save button.

Creating a new Node definition in the Provisioning Group


At this point, the provisioning group contains the basic structure of a node entity but it is not complete until the interface(s) and interface service(s) have been defined. After having clicked the Save button, as we did above presents, in the Web-UI, the options Add Interface, Add Node Category, and Add Node Asset. Click the Add Interface link to add an interface entity to the node.

Adding an Interface to the node definition


Enter the IP address for this interface entity, a description, and specify the Primary attribute as P (Primary), S (Secondary), N (Not collected), or C (Collected) and click the save button. Now the node entity has an interface for which services can be defined for which the Web-UI now presents the Add Service link. Add two services (ICMP, SNMP) via this link.

A complete node definition with all required elements defined.


Now the node entity definition contains all the required elements necessary for importing this requisition into Meridian. At this point, all the interfaces that are required for the node should be added. For example, NAT interfaces should be specified there are services that they provide because they will not be discovered during the Scan Phase.

Two more node definitions will be added for the benefit of this example.

The completed requisition for the example Bronze Provisioning Group


This set of nodes represents an import requisition for the Bronze provisioning group. As this requisition is being edited via the WebUI, changes are being persisted into the Meridian configuration directory '$OPENNMS_HOME/etc/imports/' pending as an XML file having the name bronze.xml.

The name of the XML file containing the import requisition is the same as the provisioning group name. Therefore naming your provisioning group without the use of spaces makes them easier to manage on the file system.

Click the Done button to return to the Provisioning Groups list screen. The details of the “Bronze” group now indicates that there are 3 nodes in the requisition and that there are no nodes in the DB from this group (a.k.a. foreign source). Additionally, you can see that time the requisition was last modified and the time it last imported are given (the time stamps are stored as attributes inside the requisition and are not the file system time stamps). These details are indicative of how well the DB represents what is in the requisition.


You can tell that this is a pending requisition for 2 reasons: 1) there are 3 nodes defined and 0 nodes in the DB, 2) the requisition has been modified since the last import (in this case never).

Import the Nodes

In this example, you see that there are 3 nodes in the pending requisition and 0 in the DB. Click the Import button to submit the requisition to the provisioning system (what actually happens is that the Web-UI sends an event to the Provisioner telling it to begin the Import Phase for this group).

Do not refresh this page to check the values of these details. To refresh the details to verify the import, click the Provisioning Groups bread crumb item.

You should be able to immediately verify the importation of this provisioning group because the import happens very quickly. Provisiond has several threads ready for processing the import operations of the nodes defined in this requisition.

A few SNMP packets are sent and received to get the SNMP details of the node and the interfaces defined in the requisition. Upon receipt of these packets (or not) each node is inserted as a DB transaction.

The nodes are now added to Meridian and are under management.


Following the import of a node with thousands of interfaces, you will be able to refresh the Interface table browser on the Node page and see that interfaces and services are being discovered and added in the background. This is the discovery component of directed discovery.

Adding a Node

To direct that another node be added from a foreign source (in this example the Bronze Provisioning Group) simply add a new node definition and re-import. It is important to remember that all the node definitions will be re-imported and the existing managed nodes will be updated, if necessary.

Changing a Node

To direct changes to an existing node, simply add, change, or delete elements or attributes of the node definition and re- import. This is a great feature of having directed specific elements of a node in the requisition because that attributes will simply be changed. For example, to change the IP address of the Primary SNMP interface for the node,, just change the requisition and re-import.

Each element in the Web-UI has an associated Edit icon Click this icon to change the IP address for, click save, and then Click the Done button.

Changing the IP address of from to


The Web-UI will return you to the Provisioning Groups screen where you will see that there are the time stamp showing that the requisition’s last modification is more recent that the last import time.

The Provisioning Group must be re-imported


This provides an indication that the group must be re-imported for the changes made to the requisition to take effect. The IP Interface will be simply updated and all the required events (messages) will be sent to communicate this change within Meridian.

The IP interface for is immediately updated


Deleting a Node

Barbrady has not been behaving, as one might expect, so it is time to remove him from the system. Edit the provisioning group, click the delete button next to the node, click the Done button.

Bronze Provisioning Group definition indicates a node has been removed and requires an import to delete the node entity from the Meridian system


Click the Import button for the Bronze group and the Barbrady node and its interfaces, services, and any other related data will be immediately deleted from the Meridian system. All the required Events (messages) will be sent by Provisiond to provide indication to the Meridian system that the node Barbrady has been deleted.

Barbrady has been deleted


Deleting all the Nodes

There is a convenient way to delete all the nodes that have been provided from a specific foreign source. From the main Admin/Provisioning Groups screen in the Web-UI, click the Delete Nodes button. This button deletes all the nodes defined in the Bronze requisition. It is very important to note that once this is done, it cannot be undone! Well it can’t be undone from the Web-UI and can only be undone if you’ve been good about keeping a backup copy of your '$OPENMS_ETC/' directory tree. If you’ve made a mistake, before you re-import the requisition, restore the Bronze.xml requisition from your backup copy to the '$OPENNMS_HOME/etc/imports' directory.

All node definitions have been removed from the Bronze requisition. The Web-UI indicates an import is now required to remove them from Meridian.


Clicking the Import button will cause the Audit Phase of Provisiond to determine that all the nodes from the Bronze group (foreign source) should be deleted from the DB and will create Delete operations. At this point, if you are satisfied that the nodes have been deleted and that you will no longer require nodes to be defined in this Group, you will see that the Delete Nodes button has now changed to the Delete Group button. The Delete Group button is displayed when there are no nodes entities from that group (foreign source) in Meridian.

When no node entities from the group exist in Meridian, then the Delete Group button is displayed.

Advanced Provisioning Example

In the previous example, we provisioned 3 nodes and let Provisiond complete all of its import phases using a default foreign source definition. Each Provisioning Group can have a separate foreign source definition that controls:

  • The rescan interval

  • The services to be detected

  • The policies to be applied

This example will demonstrate how to create a foreign source definition and how it is used to control the behavior of Provisiond when importing a Provisioning Group/foreign source requisition.

First let’s simply provision the node and let the default foreign source definition apply.

The node definition used for the Advanced Provisioning Example


Following the import, All the IP and SNMP interfaces, in addition to the interface specified in the requisition, have been discovered and added to the node entity. The default foreign source definition has no polices for controlling which interfaces that are discovered either get persisted or managed by Meridian.


Logical and Physical interface and Service entities directed and discovered by Provisiond.



Service Detection

As IP interfaces are found during the node scan process, service detection tasks are scheduled for each IP interface. The service detections defined in the foreign source determines which services are to be detected and how (i.e. the values of the parameters that parameters control how the service is detected, port, timeout, etc.).

Applying a New Foreign Source Definition

This example node has been provisioned using the Default foreign source definition. By navigating to the Provisioning Groups screen in the Meridian Web-UI and clicking the Edit Foreign Source link of a group, you can create a new foreign source definition that defines service detection and policies. The policies determine entity persistence and/or set attributes on the discovered entities that control Meridian management behaviors.

When creating a new foreign source definition, the default definition is used as a template.


In this UI, new Detectors can be added, changed, and removed. For this example, we will remove detection of all services accept ICMP and DNS, change the timeout of ICMP detection, and a new Service detection for Meridian Web-UI.

Custom foreign source definition created for NMS Provisioning Group (foreign source).


Click the Done button and re-import the NMS Provisioning Group. During this and any subsequent re-imports or re- scans, the Meridian detector will be active, and the detectors that have been removed will no longer test for the related services for the interfaces on nodes managed in the provisioning group (requisition), however, the currently detected services will not be removed. There are 2 ways to delete the previously detected services:

  1. Delete the node in the provisioning group, re-import, define it again, and finally re-import again

  2. Use the ReST API to delete unwanted services. Use this command to remove each unwanted service from each interface, iteratively:

    curl -X DELETE -H "Content-Type: application/xml" -u admin:admin http://localhost:8980/opennms/rest/nodes/6/ipinterfaces/
There is a sneaky way to do #1. Edit the provisioning group and just change the foreign ID. That will make Provisiond think that a node was deleted and a new node was added in the same requisition! Use this hint with caution and an full understanding of the impact of deleting an existing node.

Provisioning with Policies

The Policy API in Provisiond allow you to control the persistence of discovered IP and SNMP Interface entities and Node Categories during the Scan phase.

Matching IP Interface Policy

The Matching IP Interface policy controls whether discovered interfaces are to be persisted and if they are to be persisted, whether or not they will be forced to be Managed or Unmanaged.

Continuing with this example Provisioning Group, we are going to define a few policies that:

  1. Prevent discovered 10 network addresses from being persisted

  2. Force 192.168 network addresses to be unmanaged

From the foreign source definition screen, click the Add Policy button and the definition of a new policy will begin with a field for naming the policy and a drop down list of the currently installed policies. Name the policy no10s, make sure that the Match IP Interface policy is specified in the class list and click the Save button. This action will automatically add all the parameters required for the policy.

The two required parameters for this policy are action and matchBehavior.

The action parameter can be set to DO_NOT_PERSIST, Manage, or UnManage.


Creating a policy to prevent persistence of 10 network IP interfaces.

The DO_NOT_PERSIST action does just what it indicates, it prevents discovered IP interface entities from being added to Meridian when the matchBehavior is satisfied. The Manage and UnManage values for this action allow the IP interface entity to be persisted by control whether or not that interface should be managed by Meridian.

The matchBehavior action is a boolean control that determines how the optional parameters will be evaluated. Setting this parameter’s value to ALL_PARAMETERS causes Provisiond to evaluate each optional parameter with boolean AND logic and the value ANY_PARAMETERS will cause OR logic to be applied.

Now we will add one of the optional parameters to filter the 10 network addresses. The Matching IP Interface policy supports two additional parameters, hostName and ipAddress. Click the Add Parameter link and choose ipAddress as the key. The value for either of the optional parameters can be an exact or regular expression match. As in most configurations in Meridian where regular expression matching can be optionally applied, prefix the value with the ~ character.

Example Matching IP Interface Policy to not Persist 10 Network addresses


Any subsequent scan of the node or re-imports of NMS provisioning group will force this policy to be applied. IP Interface entities that already exist that match this policy will not be deleted. Existing interfaces can be deleted by recreating the node in the Provisioning Groups screen (simply change the foreign ID and re-import the group) or by using the ReST API:

curl -X DELETE -H "Content-Type: application/xml" -u admin:admin http://localhost:8980/opennms/rest/nodes/6/ipinterfaces/

The next step in this example is to define a policy that sets discovered 192.168 network addresses to be unmanaged (not managed) in Meridian. Again, click the Add Policy button and let’s call this policy noMgt192168s. Again, choose the Mach IP Interface policy and this time set the action to UNMANAGE.

Policy to not manage IP interfaces from 192.168 networks


The UNMANAGE behavior will be applied to existing interfaces.

Matching SNMP Interface Policy

Like the Matching IP Interface Policy, this policy controls the whether discovered SNMP interface entities are to be persisted and whether or not Meridian should collect performance metrics from the SNMP agent for Interface’s index (MIB2 IfIndex).

In this example, we are going to create a policy that doesn’t persist interfaces that are AAL5 over ATM or type 49 (ifType). Following the same steps as when creating an IP Management Policy, edit the foreign source definition and create a new policy. Let’s call it: noAAL5s. We’ll use Match SNMP Interface class for each policy and add a parameter with ifType as the key and 49 as the value.

Matching SNMP Interface Policy example for Persistence and Data Collection


At the appropriate time during the scanning phase, Provisiond will evaluate the policies in the foreign source definition and take appropriate action. If during the policy evaluation process any policy matches for a “DO_NOT_PERSIST” action, no further policy evaluations will happen for that particular entity (IP Interface, SNMP Interface).

Node Categorization Policy

With this policy, node entities will automatically be assigned categories. The policy is defined in the same manner as the IP and SNMP interface polices. Click the Add Policy button and give the policy name, cisco and choose the Set Node Category class. Edit the required category key and set the value to Cisco. Add a policy parameter and choose the sysObjectId key with a value ~^\.1\.3\.6\.1\.4\.1\.9\..*.

Another use of this policy is to mark interfaces for polling by the SNMP Interface Poller. The SNMP Interface Poller is a separate daemon that is disabled by default. In order for this daemon to do any work, some SNMP interfaces need to be selected for polling.

Use the ENABLE_POLLING and DISABLE_POLLING actions available in this policy to manage which SNMP interfaces this daemon polls.

Let’s create another policy named pollVoIPDialPeers that marks interfaces with ifType 104 for polling. We’ll set the action to ENABLE_POLLING and matchBehavior to ALL_PARAMETERS. Add a parameter for ifType as the key and 104 as the value.

If you later decide to move all your meetings and therefore have no use for voice circuits, you will want to stop polling these interfaces. To do so, change the action to DISABLE_POLLING.

Example: Node Category setting policy


Script Policy

This policy allows to use Groovy scripts to modify provisioned node data. These scripts have to be placed in the Meridian etc/script-policies directory. An example would be the change of the node’s primary interface or location. The script will be invoked for each matching node. The following example shows the source code for setting the interface to PRIMARY while all remaining interfaces are set to SECONDARY. Furthermore the node’s location is set to Minneapolis.

import org.opennms.netmgt.model.OnmsIpInterface;
import org.opennms.netmgt.model.monitoringLocations.OnmsMonitoringLocation;
import org.opennms.netmgt.model.PrimaryType;

for(OnmsIpInterface iface : node.getIpInterfaces()) {
    if (iface.getIpAddressAsString().matches("^192\\.168\\.100\\..*")) {
        LOG.warn(iface.getIpAddressAsString() + " set to PRIMARY")
    } else {
        LOG.warn(iface.getIpAddressAsString() + " set to SECONDARY")

node.setLocation(new OnmsMonitoringLocation("Minneapolis", ""));

return node;

Node Metadata Policy

The Metadata Policy allows you to set node-level metadata in the context requisition for provisioned nodes. It uses the same matching mechanism as the Node Categorization Policy.

Interface Metadata Policy

The Metadata Policy allows you to set interface-level metadata in the context requisition for provisioned nodes. It uses the same matching mechanism as the Matching IP Interface Policy.

New Import Capabilities

Several new XML entities have been added to the import requisition since the introduction of the OpenNMS Importer service in version 1.6. So, in addition to provisioning the basic node, interface, service, and node categories, you can now also provision asset data.

Provisiond Configuration

The configuration of the Provisioning system has moved from a properties file ( to an XML based configuration container. The configuration is now extensible to allow the definition of 0 or more import requisitions each with their own Cron based schedule for automatic importing from various sources (intended for integration with external URL such as HTTP and this new DNS protocol handler.

A default configuration is provided in the Meridian etc/ directory and is called: provisiond-configuration.xml. This default configuration has an example for scheduling an import from a DNS server running on the localhost requesting nodes from the zone, localhost and will be imported once per day at the stroke of midnight. Not very practical but is a good example.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <provisiond-configuration xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation=""
        writeThreads="8" >
        Field Name Allowed Values Allowed Special Characters
        Seconds 0-59 , - * / Minutes 0-59 , - * / Hours 0-23 , - * /
        Day-of-month1-31, - * ? / L W C Month1-12 or JAN-DEC, - * /
        Day-of-Week1-7 or SUN-SAT, - * ? / L C # Year (Opt)empty, 1970-2099, - * /

    <requisition-def import-name="NMS"
        <cron-schedule>0 0 0 * * ? *</cron-schedule> <!-- daily, at midnight -->

Configuration Reload

Like many of the daemon configurations in the 1.7 branch, Provisiond’s configuration is re-loadable without having to restart OpenNMS. Use the reloadDaemonConfig uei:

/opt/opennms/bin/ --parm 'daemonName Provisiond'

This means that you don’t have to restart Meridian every time you update the configuration!

Provisioning Asset Data

The Provisioning Groups Web-UI had been updated to expose the ability to add Node Asset data in an import requisition. Click the Add Node Asset link and you can select from a drop down list all the possible node asset attributes that can be defined.


After an import, you can navigate to the Node Page and click the Asset Info link and see the asset data that was just provided in the requisition.


External Requisition Sources

Because Provisiond takes a URL as the location service for import requisitions, Meridian can be easily extended to support sources in addition to the native URL handling provided by Java: file://, http://, and https://. When you configure Provisiond to import requisitions on a schedule you specify using a URL Resource. For requisitions created by the Provisioning Groups WebUI, you can specify a file based URL.

Provisioning Nodes from DNS

The new Provisioning service in Meridian is continuously improving and adapting to the needs of the community. One of the most recent enhancements to the system is built upon the very flexible and extensible API of referencing an import requisition’s location via a URL. Most commmonly, these URLs are files on the file system (i.e. file:/opt/opennms/etc/imports/<my-provisioning-group.xml>) as requisitions created by the Provisioning Groups UI. However, these same requistions for adding, updating, and deleting nodes (based on the original model importer) can also come from URLs specifying the HTTP protocol:

Now, using Java’s extensible protocol handling specification, a new protocol handler was created so that a URL can be specified for requesting a Zone Transfer (AXFR) request from a DNS server. The A records are recorded and used to build an import requisition. This is handy for organizations that use DNS (possibly coupled with an IP management tool) as the data base of record for nodes in the network. So, rather than ping sweeping the network or entering the nodes manually into Meridian Provisioning UI, nodes can be managed via 1 or more DNS servers. The format of the URL for this new protocol handler is:


Simple Example


This will import all A records from the host my-dns-server on port 53 (default port) from zone and since the foreign source (a.k.a. the provisioning group) is not specified it will default to the specified zone.

Using a Regular Expression Filter

You can also specify a subset of the A records from the zone transfer using a regular expression:


This will import all nodes from the same server and zone but will only manage the nodes in the zone matching the regular expression ^port-.* and will and they will be assigned a unique foreign source (provisioning group) for managing these nodes as a subset of nodes from within the specified zone.

URL Encoding

If your expression requires URL encoding (for example you need to use a ? in the expression) it must be properly encoded.


DNS Setup

Currently, the DNS server requires to be setup to allow a zone transfer from the Meridian server. It is recommended that a secondary DNS server is running on Meridian and that the Meridian server be allowed to request a zone transfer. A quick way to test if zone transfers are working is:

dig -t AXFR @<dn5Server> <zone>