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Setting Up Virtual Chassis Fabrics

 

The Juniper Networks Virtual Chassis Fabric (VCF) provides a low-latency, high-performance fabric architecture that can be managed as a single device. The VCF architecture is optimized to support small and medium-sized data centers that contain a mix of 1-Gbps, 10-Gbps, and 40-Gbps Ethernet interfaces.

Network Director supports VCFs that are constructed using the spine-and-leaf architecture. In the spine-and-leaf architecture, each spine device is connected to one or more leaf devices. You can configure up to 20 QFX5100 switches in a VCF configuration, with two to four QFX5100s in the spine and up to 18 QFX5100s as leaf nodes. See Figure 1 for an illustration of the VCF spine-and-leaf architecture:

Figure 1: VCF Spine-and-Leaf Architecture
VCF Spine-and-Leaf
Architecture

This topic describes how to set up a VCF using Network Director.

Before you setup a VCF, make sure at least one spine device is managed by Network Director. You can use this spine device to designate as a primary device in the following configuration.

To start setting up a VCF:

  1. Select Build or Deploy in the Network Director banner.
  2. Select Network Builder > Set Up Virtual Chassis Fabric in the Tasks pane.

    The Select Provisioning Method page of the Setup Virtual Chassis Fabric wizard opens.

This topic describes:

Selecting a Provisioning Method

Use the Select Provisioning Method page to select the VCF provisioning method.

  1. Select a provisioning method.

    For a description of the fields on the Select Provisioning Method page, see Table 1.

    Table 1: Select Provisioning Method Page

    Field

    Description

    Select Provisioning Method Section

    Select the provisioning method.

    Auto Provision (Plug n Play)

    Selects automatic provisioning.

    You need to provision only the spine nodes when you use this method. All eligible nodes connected to spine nodes that are running the factory-default configuration will be added automatically to the VCF.

    Manual Provision

    Selects manual provisioning. You must manually provision all VCF nodes when you use this method.

    Enable Mixed Switch Mode

    Selects a mixed mode VCF, which can contain a mix of device models. If a VCF is not in mixed mode, it can contain only QFX 5100 devices. In a spine-and-leaf mixed mode VCF, the spine nodes must be QFX 5100 devices.

  2. Click Next to continue the wizard. The Add Devices page opens.

Adding Devices

Use the Add Devices page to assign devices to the VCF.

The following sections describe the methods of assigning devices to a VCF:

Assigning Devices to a Virtual Chassis Fabric by Using a Graph

On the graph, the VCF is represented by two sets of rectangles that represent devices. The top set represents spine devices, and the bottom set represents leaf devices.

Follow these steps to assign devices to a VCF by using a graph:

  1. If the grid view is open, click Switch to Graph View on the Assign Devices page.
  2. Click Add Spines to add spine devices. The Add Spine Switches to Virtual Chassis Fabric window opens.
  3. To add devices that are managed by Network Director as spine nodes, click Add Managed Devices as Spine Switches.

    If the VCF is in non-mixed mode, you can select only QFX 5100 devices to be members. Do the following for each device that you want to add in the Add Managed Swicthes to Virtual Chassis Fabric window that opens:

    1. Select the check box next to the device.
    2. Select the node’s role in the Role column.
    3. Select the star icon in the Designated Master column if you want to make it the Master Routing Engine node.

      Only nodes with the role Routing Engine can be designated master.

    4. When you finish configuring nodes, click OK. The window closes and the added devices appear in the node list on the Add Devices as Spine Node(s) window.
  4. To add devices that are not managed by Network Director as spine or Routing Engine nodes, click New Devices. Do the following in the Add New Devices window that opens:
    1. Enter the device serial number in the Serial Number field.
    2. Select the node’s role from the Role list.
    3. To add another device, click Add More and repeat the steps to add more devices.
    4. When you are finished adding nodes, click Add. The window closes and the added devices appear in the node list on the Add Devices as Spine Node(s) window.
  5. When you finish adding spine nodes, do the following in the Add Devices as Spine Node(s) window:
    • To remove a node from the list, click the trash can icon at the end of the node’s table row.

    • When you finish configuring the list of spine nodes, click Done. The window closes and the spine nodes you configured appear in the Graph on the Setup Virtual Chassis Fabric page. The Designated Master Routing Engine node is identified with a star.

  6. (Optional) If you selected the Auto Provisioning (Plug and Play) provisioning method, you can assign devices that are managed by Network Director to leaf nodes. Manually assigning a leaf node device causes the device to reset to the default configuration. When a device with the default configuration is connected to a VCF spine node, the device is added as a leaf node:
    1. Select the Assign Leaf nodes manually check box.
    2. Click a rectangle representing a leaf node to assign one or more devices to that role. The Add Device as Leaf Node(s) window opens.
    3. Click Managed Devices. The Select Managed Device(s) window opens. If the VCF is in non-mixed mode, you can select only QFX 5100 devices to be members.
    4. Select the check box for the device(s) you want to add as leaf nodes.
    5. Click OK. The window closes and the selected nodes are listed on the Add Device as Leaf Node(s) window.
    6. In the Add Device as Leaf Node(s) window, do the following:
      • To remove a node from the list, click the trash can icon at the end of the node’s table row.

      • When you finish configuring the list of leaf nodes, click Done. The window closes and the leaf nodes you configured appear in the graph on the Setup Virtual Chassis Fabric page.

  7. If you selected the Manual Provision provisioning method, click Add Leaves to add one or more devices as leaf nodes. The Add Device to Leaf Node(s) window opens.
  8. To add devices that are managed by Network Director as leaf nodes:
    1. Click Managed Devices. The Select Managed Devices window opens. If the VCF is in non-mixed mode, you can select only QFX 5100 devices to be members.
    2. Select the check box next to the device(s) to add.
    3. Click OK. The window closes and the added devices appear in the node list on the Add Devices as Leaf Node(s) window.
  9. To add devices that are not managed by Network Director as leaf nodes:
    1. Click New Devices. The Add New Devices window opens.
    2. Enter the device serial number in the Serial Number field.
    3. To add another device, click Add More and repeat the steps to add more devices.
    4. When you are finished adding nodes, click Add. The window closes and the added devices appear in the node list on the Add Devices as Leaf Node(s) window.
  10. When you finish adding leaf nodes, do the following in the Add Devices as Leaf Node(s) window:
    • To remove a node from the list, click the trash can icon at the end of the node’s table row.

    • When you finish configuring the list of leaf nodes, click Done. The window closes and the leaf nodes you configured appear in the graph on the Setup Virtual Chassis Fabric page.

  11. Click Next to continue the wizard. The Specify Software Package page opens.

Continue with Specifying Software Packages.

Assigning Devices to a Virtual Chassis Fabric by Using a Grid

This section describes how to assign devices to a VCF by using a grid.

To assign devices to a VCF by using a grid:

  1. If the graph view is open, click Switch to Grid View on the Assign Devices page.
  2. To add devices that are managed by Network Director as nodes, click Managed Devices. If the VCF is in non-mixed mode, you can select only QFX 5100 devices to be members. Do the following for each device that you want to add in the Select Managed Devices window that opens:
    1. Select the check box next to the device.
    2. Select the node’s role in the Role column.

      The options are Routing Engine or Line Card.

    3. Select the node’s type in the Type column.

      The options are Spine or Leaf. Nodes with the role of Routing Engine must have the type Spine.

    4. Select the star icon in the Designated Master column if you want to make the node the Master Routing Engine node.

      Only nodes with the role of Routing Engine can be Master. If you select the Designated Master star for a node with the role of Line Card, the role is changed to Routing Engine, and if necessary, the type is changed to Spine.

    5. When you are finished configuring nodes, click OK. The window closes and the added devices appear in the node list on the Add Devices page.
  3. To add devices that are not managed by Network Director as nodes, click New Devices. Do the following in the Add New Devices window that opens:
    1. Enter the device serial number in the Serial Number field.
    2. Select the node’s type from the Type list.

      The type Leaf is available only if you selected the Manual provisioning method.

    3. Select the node’s role from the Role list.

      The role Routing Engine is applicable only to nodes of the type Spine. If you select Routing Engine, the type changes to Spine automatically.

    4. To add another device, click Add More and repeat the steps to add more devices.
    5. When you are finished adding nodes, click Add. The window closes and the added devices appear in the node list on the Add Devices page.
  4. When you finish adding nodes, you can remove a node from the list on the Add Devices page by clicking the trash can icon at the end of the node’s table row.
  5. Click Next to continue the wizard. The Specify Software Package page opens.

Continue with Specifying Software Packages.

Specifying Software Packages

You can configure a VCF to automatically upgrade new devices that are added to the VCF to a specified software package. For this functionality to work, you must specify the location of the software upgrade image files. Use the Specify Software Package page to specify the location of the image files for each device type that is included in the VCF. If the VCF is in non-mixed mode, only the QFX 5100 device type will appear on this page because it is the only device type allowed in the VCF.

To configure software packages on the VCF, do the following for each device type listed on the page:

  1. Select the location of the software image by selecting a radio button:
    • Select FTP Server if the software image file is located on an FTP server.

    • Select HTTP Server if the software image file is located on an HTTP server.

    • Select Device if the software image file is located on the device.

  2. Enter the URL where the software image file is located in the text box:
    • If you selected FTP Server or HTTP Server, the text box is labeled Software Package URL. Enter the URL where the software image file is located on the server. Begin the URL with ftp:// for an FTP server or http:// for an HTTP server.

    • If you selected Device, the text box is labeled Software Package Pathname. Enter the pathname where the software image file is located on the device. Begin the pathname with a slash (/) to indicate the root directory.

  3. Click Next to continue the wizard.

    The Review page opens.

Reviewing the Virtual Chassis Fabric Summary and Deploying Changes

In the Review page, review the VCF setup. To make any changes, click Back to return to a previous step, or click the step in the wizard flowchart at the top of the page.

To deploy the VCF configuration, click Deploy.

When you deploy the VCF configuration, Network Director performs these major steps:

  1. Configures the VCF on the Primary device, including the mixed/non-mixed mode setting, then reboots the Primary device.
  2. Configures the VCF management interface (vme) based on the Primary device’s management interface (for example, the em0 interface).
  3. Provisions the VCF member devices on the Primary device.
  4. Restarts all designated VCF devices, other than the Primary device, in factory-default mode.

The Primary device will remain a standalone switch in network Director until more than one VCF member device becomes operational, when is will become a VCF. Until this happens, you cannot edit the VCF using the Manage Virtual Chassis Fabric task. You can see the status of the deployment job. See Managing Configuration Deployment Jobs for information. If deployment to the VCF Primary device fails, the entire VCF deployment is cancelled.

Note these considerations when you create or manage a VCF using Network Director:

  • If the management interface of a designated member is configured using DHCP, Network Director might lose connectivity with the member after successfully forming a VCF.

  • If the em1 or em2 interface is used to manage a designated member, Network Director might lose connectivity with the member after successfully forming a VCF.