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Note: You use the admin shell to interact with the sandbox VM in NetMRI. The sandbox is rigorously isolated from the rest of the system, but allows root access to its internals, utilities and services. A shared disk partition is also created for use between the sandbox VM and the broader system.

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As previously noted in this chapter, NetMRI provides a dedicated virtual machine environment, called the Sandbox, where Perl/Python scripts are automatically run on behalf of the user. Perl also provides access to operating system internals, interacting with appliance services, performing data I/O operations, and reading from and writing to blocks of appliance memory.

The sandbox runs an instance of the same operating system kernel as the NetMRI appliance, which is a standard Unix variant, with the normal operating system utilities and file system. You can install Perl/Python modules from CPAN into the sandbox environment and use them for scripting. You can install any Perl/Python distributions, executables and modules into the sandbox environment. The NetMRI sandbox environment provides a Perl/Python interpreter and supporting modules to support script execution.

The NetMRI Sandbox is available in two forms. Physical appliances with 8 GB of RAM or more automatically run the sandbox as a virtual machine inside of NetMRI. In this configuration, the sandbox is referred to as a local sandbox. All other platforms, including virtual platforms, cannot run a local sandbox. To take advantage of Perl/Python scripting functionality, these platforms support a separate sandbox VM configuration, which must be set up and registered with NetMRI. In this configuration, this is referred to as a remote sandbox.

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Note: A remote sandbox VM is not automatically upgraded when NetMRI is upgraded. If you deploy a remote sandbox and later upgrade NetMRI, the remote sandbox continues to report and run its originally deployed version. When you upgrade between major versions, for example, from 7.3.3 to 7.4.1, you must download a new Sandbox VM file from Infoblox and then redeploy the remote sandbox. When you upgrade between minor versions, for example, from 7.4.1 to 7.4.2, you do not need to redeploy the sandbox. An exception to this is the upgrade to the 7.4.3 minor version which requires the remote sandbox redeployment. Backup any customizations made to the remote sandbox (installed Perl/Python scripts, libraries, configuration, etc...) before redeployment.

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