Salient Features of the Routing Engines with VM Host Support
While continuing to provide the same end-user experience, the new architecture provides a better performing Routing Engine.
The following are the salient features of the Routing Engines:
Platform virtualization by the introduction of a middle layer that comprises the host OS and the KVM (or the hypervisor).
Enables support for multiple instances of Junos OS to be run concurrently.
Enables support for third-party software to be run directly.
Hardware Assisted Paravirtualized Guest Junos OS
Provides the user with the benefits of platform virtualization along with the default performance and functionality. Paravirtualization is a virtualization technique in which a software component similar to the underlying hardware component resides in the VM and interacts with the hypervisor to execute many operations. In contrast to full virtualization, this technique reduces the overhead of virtualization in the VM.
Guest Junos OS to Serve as the Administrative Framework
The configurations, chassis control, communication with the host OS, and user interface command execution are managed by the guest Junos OS.
Storage Partitioning and Redundancy
An Internal solid-state drive (SSD) is used as boot media for operating the Routing Engine. Additional options such as USB storage and network boot are available for installation and recovery purposes. A set of two 50-GB SSDs is available for normal functioning of the Routing Engine. The Routing Engine requires both the SSDs to be functional. Storage partitioning is important for debugging the Routing Engine, for new installations, and for SSD replacement.
Of the two SSDs, one operates as the primary SSD and the other as the backup SSD. Two sets of software boot images—the current set and the alternate (or previous) set are available on the primary SSD. The system boots from the current set, while the alternate set contains the previous version of the software boot image. After a software upgrade, the new version of the software is available on the alternate set. When the device is rebooted after the upgrade, the alternate set becomes the new current set and the current set, which now carries an older version of the software image, becomes the alternate set. You can switch to alternate set by using the request vmhost software rollback command. Until a software upgrade or a software rollback is performed, the system is programmed to boot from the same set of images on the disk.
Both the SSDs are partitioned to provide host boot partition, root partition, and partition for the guest image storage. The host boot partition contains the boot loader, which is the software responsible for booting the OS, Linux kernel, and RAM file system. The root partition contains the root file system for the host OS.
Figure 1 shows the partitioning of SSDs.
Each SSD partition contains more than one set of fully functional host software. In case of a boot failure on the primary SSD, the router can boot by using the snapshot available on the alternate SSD. This snapshot can be generated by a fresh installation or by using the request vmhost snapshot command.
Starting in Junos OS Release 18.1R1, the Routing Engines on the MX240, MX480,MX960, MX2010, MX2020, and PTX5000 support Secure Boot.
Starting in Junos OS Release 18.2R1, the Routing Engine on the MX2008 supports Secure Boot.
The Routing Engines with Secure Boot support have both RAM and SSD upgraded to 128GB and 2x200GB respectively. The increased SSD size facilitates increased storage of core and log files.
The following table provides information on the SSD size for different Routing Engines:
Routing Engine model number
MX240, MX480, and MX960
MX2010 and MX2020
You can use the show vmhost hardware command to display the increased RAM size, SSD size, and other hardware information.
The following illustrations explains the partition of the host to facilitate the increased storage of core files and log files. Figure 2 illustrates the partition of the host on MX240, MX480, MX960, MX2008, and PTX5000 routers with the 200-GB SSDs. A virtual disk of size 56-GB will be allocated from VM partition to the guest as var-config.disk. The current size of this disk is 15-GB.
Figure 3 illustrates the storage allocation of the guest VM.
For Routing Engines with 50GB SSD, the host partition remains as–is.
A virtual disk of size 32-GB is allocated from VM partition to the guest Junos OS as var-config.disk.
A reformatting of the SSD is required to implement the enhancement of the /var size. The upgrade can be implemented by any of the following methods:
Installation from SSD Disk2-Boot the host OS from the backup disk (SSD Disk2) and install the junos-vmhost-install-x.tgz image.
Installation from USB
NTP and Time Zone
The date and time zones are synchronized from the administrative guest Junos OS to the host OS. Therefore, the timestamps in system log files of Junos OS and the host OS are synchronized.
The automatic recovery (autorecovery) feature provides the following functions:
Detecting corruptions in disk partitioning during system startup and attempting to recover partitions automatically
Detecting corruptions in the Junos OS configuration during system startup and attempting to recover the configuration automatically, thereby ensuring that the operations and management are not disrupted.
Detecting corruptions in Junos OS licenses during system startup and attempting to recover licenses automatically.
During the process of recovery, the host OS tries to launch the Junos VM from the image available on the primary disk. However, if the Junos VM fails to launch, the host OS attempts to launch the Junos VM from the snapshot of the host OS image and Junos OS image available in the backup disk, provided request vmhost snapshot was the last operation performed. If the backup disk does not contain the snapshot, the host OS attempts to launch the Junos VM from the software available in the alternate set in the primary disk, provided request vmhost upgrade was the last operation performed.
The autorecovery feature is enabled by default on the guest OS. If you need to disable autorecovery—for example, to examine the failure state for debugging—use the following command:
user@host> set vmhost no-auto-recovery
Handling Reboot and Power Off
You can reboot the Routing Engine by using the request vmhost reboot command. This command reboots the Routing Engine by rebooting both the guest Junos OS and the host OS. However, reboot of the Routing Engine can be triggered because of various reasons. The events or the reasons that trigger a host OS reboot are different from those that trigger a guest OS reboot.
Guest OS reboot implies that only the Junos OS is rebooted, and that the host OS is up and running. The following are a few of the reasons that trigger a guest OS reboot:
Reboot due to panic
VJUNOS reboot—Guest OS reboot after a shutdown.
VJUNOS watchdog from host—Guest reboot due to emulated watchdog timer expiry
Host OS reboot implies that both the host OS and the guest OS (here, Junos OS) are rebooted. The following are a few reasons that trigger a host OS and guest OS reboot:
Power cycle or power failure
Reboot due to exception.
Reset-button reset—Reboot triggered by the pressing of the reset button on the front panel.
Watchdog—Reboot due to PCH watchdog timer expiry
You can find the reason for the reboot by using the show chassis routing-engine command or the show vmhost uptime command.
If the Routing Engine finishes booting and if you need to power off the router again, run the request vmhost power-off command. If you want the Routing Engine to reboot, use the request vmhost reboot command.