Understanding Global Management of a Virtual Chassis

 
Note

This topic does not apply to EX8200 Virtual Chassis. See Understanding Global Management of an EX8200 Virtual Chassis.

A Virtual Chassis is composed of multiple switches, and it, therefore, has multiple console ports and multiple out-of-band management Ethernet ports located on the switches.

You can connect a PC or laptop directly to a console port of any member switch to set up and configure the Virtual Chassis. When you connect to the console port of any member switch, the console session is redirected to the master switch, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Console Session Redirection (EX4200 Virtual Chassis Pictured)
Console Session
Redirection (EX4200 Virtual Chassis Pictured)

If the master becomes unavailable, the console session is disconnected from the old master and a new session is established with the newly elected master.

An out-of-band management Ethernet port is often referred to simply as a management Ethernet port. It uses a dedicated management channel for device maintenance and allows a system administrator to monitor and manage the switch by remote control.

The Virtual Chassis configuration can be managed remotely through SSH or Telnet using a global management interface called the virtual management Ethernet (VME) interface. The VME interface is a logical interface representing all of the out-of-band management ports on the member switches. When you connect to the Virtual Chassis configuration using the VME interface’s IP address, the connection is redirected to the master member as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Management Ethernet Port Redirection to the VME Interface
Management Ethernet
Port Redirection to the VME Interface

If the master management Ethernet link is unavailable, the session is redirected through the backup management Ethernet link. If there is no active management Ethernet link on the backup, the VME interface chooses a management Ethernet link on one of the linecard members, selecting the linecard member with the lowest member ID as its first choice.

You can configure an IP address for the VME global management interface at any time.

You can perform remote configuration and administration of all members of the Virtual Chassis configuration through the VME interface.