What is Canned Beef?

"Canned beef" is a jargon term, meaning SA Script session, canned in form of portable container along with script input and result. All CLI and SNMP interactions of the script are stored in the can.

Canned beef can be unpacked by NOC testing suite and can be used to reproduce the script session, even if the original box is absent. Canned beef used for testing and debugging issues, allowing NOC to presume personality of different software versions and hardware platforms, making sure no future changes broke an existing behavior.

Second use of the beef, is to provide NOC developers access to the personality of the box, not giving shell access to it.

Third, just like a real world beef, NOC's canned beef can be conserved from completely dead meat. Failed script session can be still canned, allowing developers to reproduce lifetime of the session and find an exact reason of failure

What is Canned Beef Repo

Beefs are organized in the separate mercurial repos. The number of repos are available. Repo can be marked as either public or private. Public repos contains beef which store no sensitive information and can be made publically available. In contrary, private repos can contain sensitive information and designated to use in closed environment.

Beef repos are configured in etc/beef.conf. Each repo is a separate config section like

enabled = true
type = sa
private = false
repo = https://bitbucket.org/nocproject/noc-sa-beef-public

enabled = true
type = sa
private = true
repo = ssh://hg@bitbucket.org/nocproject/my_repo


  • sa_public - repo name
  • enabled - true or false. To temporary disable beef repo mark it as enabled = false
  • type - Always sa
  • private - true or false. Private repos denoted as private = true
  • repo - Mercurial repo path

To check current repo status:

/opt/noc$ ./noc beef --list-repo
E P T  Name                 Repo
+ N sa sa_public            https://bitbucket.org/nocproject/noc-sa-beef-public
+ Y sa my_repo              ssh://hg@bitbucket.org/nocproject/my_repo


  • E - Status of repo
  • P - Repo is private or not
  • T - Type of repo
  • Name - Name of repo
  • Repo - Mercurial repo path

NOC project maintains public repo (sa_public) one and separate private repos per subscriber. You can create additional repos to support your customers and local installations.

How to prepare a Canned Beef?

Acting as noc user:

/opt/noc$ ./noc script --debug <script name> <access url> -o <output>

where script name is a common script name, like Cisco.IOS.get_version or get_version. access url can be one of:

  • path to JSON file with credentials
  • managed object name
  • managed object id

resulting beef can be stored in output.


Run script without any parameters, when: user name "foo", user password "bar", and enable password "superpassword":

/opt/noc$ ./noc script --debug Cisco.IOS.get_version cred.json -o output.json

Where cred.json contain:

   "scheme": "ssh",
   "address": "",
   "port": 1022,
   "credentials": {
       "user": "foo", "password": "bar", "super_password": "superpassword"

Run script for existing managed object router1

 /opt/noc$ ./noc script --debug get_version router1 -o output.json

Run script for existing managed object with id 10

/opt/noc$ ./noc script --debug get_version 10 -o output.json

Run script with SNMP RO community public:

/opt/noc$ ./noc script --debug Cisco.IOS.get_version cred.json -o output.json
Where cred.json contain:
   "scheme": "ssh",
   "address": "",
   "port": 1022,
   "credentials": {
       "user": "foo", "password": "bar", "super_password": "superpassword", "snmp_ro": "public"

Run script with parameter address:

/opt/noc$ ./noc script --debug Cisco.IOS.ping cred.json address="" -o output.json

Create private beef

/opt/noc$ ./noc script --debug get_version router1 -o output.json --private 

Each beef accepts unique GUID number, which can be used as unique identifier.

If you got error like "Failed to load script DLink.DxS.get_spanning_tree: syntax error", try this to find error:

/opt/noc$ ./noc shell
Python 2.7.11 (default, Apr 26 2016, 03:06:47) 
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
IPython 4.2.0 -- An enhanced Interactive Python.
?         -> Introduction and overview of IPython's features.
%quickref -> Quick reference.
help      -> Python's own help system.
object?   -> Details about 'object', use 'object??' for extra details.

In [1]: import sa.profiles.DLink.DxS.get_spanning_tree


Testing Canned Beef

Before testing canned beed, pull changes to all enabled repos

/opt/noc$ ./noc beef --pull

Perform full unittests (including beef)

/opt/noc$ ./noc test

Test only beefs

/opt/noc$ ./noc test noc.stop

Test single repo (i.e. sa_public)

/opt/noc$ ./noc test --beef=local/repos/sa/sa_public/ noc.stop

To analyze beef code coverage run tests with --coverage-html-out key

/opt/noc$ ./noc test noc.stop --coverage-html-out=/tmp/coverage

then refer to /tmp/coverage/index.html for details

Beef inventory

Check which beef do you have

/opt/noc$ ./noc beef --list
sa_public,3Com.SuperStack,get_mac_address_table,3Com,SuperStack 3 Switch 3300XM,2.72,3aa6ef90-3c69-4bed-a2c7-fdeedf056f5a
sa_public,3Com.SuperStack,get_mac_address_table,3Com,SuperStack 3 Switch 3300XM,2.72,5f32307b-abb3-4ba4-bb5f-a257512231c0
sa_public,3Com.SuperStack,get_mac_address_table,3Com,SuperStack II Switch 1100,2.72,a0eb3fcf-29cc-44ad-af0e-848112c2fa62
sa_public,3Com.SuperStack,get_version,3Com,SuperStack II Switch 1100,2.72,d9a6dde9-327c-4efc-a3cd-ba7e080539d8
sa_public,3Com.SuperStack,get_version,3Com,SuperStack 3 Switch 3300XM,2.72,eb958499-e678-4192-9a46-aaafdaa6aed7
sa_public,3Com.SuperStack,get_vlans,3Com,SuperStack II Switch 610,2.72,2f141b13-1f18-4fee-98f6-2823cac63f3d
sa_public,3Com.SuperStack,get_vlans,3Com,SuperStack 3 Switch 3300XM,2.72,5c5e7b4b-18ea-49a2-bea1-e7df1338198b

Contribute the Beef

Finally submit an issue with you beef, we will gracefully include it into the next releases. Send it to beef@nocproject.org.