Setting an Uplink Port on an EX Series or QFX Series Switch as a Virtual Chassis Port

 

The procedure described in this topic can be used to set up Virtual Chassis ports (VCPs) to connect two switches together within the same EX Series or QFX Series Virtual Chassis. Switches that can be members of a Virtual Chassis might have:

  • Uplink ports that can be configured into VCPs and converted back into uplink ports as needed.

  • Default-configured VCPs—Ports that are already configured into VCPs with the default factory configuratio).

  • Dedicated VCPs—Ports that can only be used as VCPs.

Under certain conditions, uplink ports that are supported as VCPs can automatically be converted into VCPs when interconnecting a member into an existing Virtual Chassis (see Automatic Virtual Chassis Port (VCP) Conversion). Otherwise, you must manually convert uplink ports into VCPs using this procedure. See Virtual Chassis Port Options for a list of VCP options on each type of switch. For complete details about where a switch has dedicated VCPs, default-configured VCPs, or ports that can be configured as VCPs, and what transceivers and cables are supported to use for VCP connections on that switch, see the hardware documentation for the switch.

You typically configure an uplink port as a Virtual Chassis Port (VCP) for one of the following reasons:

  • You want to interconnect two switches into a Virtual Chassis that have dedicated VCPs but are located in different wiring closets or sites, and the switches are farther apart then the maximum length of a dedicated VCP cable.

  • You are configuring a Virtual Chassis composed of switches that support Virtual Chassis but do not have default-configured VCPs or dedicated VCPs.

  • You are using default-configured VCPs or dedicated VCPs to interconnect members in a Virtual Chassis, and want to add redundant VCP links between members using additional ports that can be configured into VCPs.

    Caution

    If you configure an uplink port as a VCP to create a redundant link with a dedicated VCP connection on EX4200, EX4500, or EX4550 switches, to avoid traffic looping within the Virtual Chassis, you must reboot the Virtual Chassis after configuring the port conversion and cabling the VCP link. See Troubleshooting an EX Series Virtual Chassis for more information.

The following is a summary of VCP options or recommendations for switches that support Virtual Chassis:

  • EX2200 switches—You explicitly configure VCPs to connect EX2200 switches together to form an EX2200 Virtual Chassis. See Setting a Port on an EX2200 Switch as a Virtual Chassis Port (CLI Procedure).

  • EX2300 switches—You explicitly configure 10-Gigabit uplink ports with SFP+ transceivers as VCPs to connect EX2300 switches or multigigabit EX2300 switches together to form an EX2300 Virtual Chassis. (You cannot use ports with SFP transceivers as VCPs on EX2300 switches.)

  • EX3300 switches—Explicitly configuring VCPs is usually not needed when configuring an EX3300 Virtual Chassis. Uplink ports 2 and 3 on an EX3300 switch are configured as VCPs by default and, therefore, do not require user configuration to be set as VCPs. We recommend that you use this procedure to configure an uplink port on an EX3300 switch as a VCP only if you configured ports 2 and 3 as network uplink ports and the ports need to be reconfigured as VCPs, or when ports 2 and 3 cannot be used as VCPs for some reason. You can use this procedure to configure any uplink port on an EX3300 switch as a VCP.

  • EX3400 switches—Explicitly configuring VCPs is usually not needed when configuring an EX3400 Virtual Chassis. The QSFP+ ports on EX3400 switches, which correspond to PIC (pic-slot) 1 ports 0 and 1, are configured as VCPs by default. Use this procedure only if you want to configure an SFP+ port on an EX3400 switch as a VCP, or if you want to reconfigure a QSFP+ port that had been configured into a network port back into a VCP. (You cannot use ports with SFP transceivers as VCPs on EX3400 switches.)

  • EX4300 switches—Explicitly configuring VCPs is usually not needed when configuring an EX4300 Virtual Chassis. QSFP+ ports on EX4300 switches are configured as VCPs by default. Use this procedure only if you want to configure an SFP+ port on an EX4300 switch as a VCP, or if you want to reconfigure a QSFP+ port that had been configured into a network port back into a VCP.

  • EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches—EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches have dedicated VCPs that are usually used to interconnect these switches into a Virtual Chassis. You can also interconnect EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches that are beyond the reach of the dedicated Virtual Chassis cables as members of a Virtual Chassis by using the uplink ports—including the ports on the SFP uplink module, SFP+ uplink module, or XFP uplink module—and connecting the uplink ports. To use the uplink ports or SFP network ports for interconnecting member switches, you must explicitly set the uplink ports as VCPs.

  • QFX Series switches—Explicitly setting up VCPs is required on any QFX Series switches to form a Virtual Chassis. QFX Series switches that support Virtual Chassis do not have any dedicated or default-configured VCPs, but you can configure any non-channelized QSFP+ ports (or QSFP28 ports, where supported) into VCPs.

When an uplink port is set as a VCP, it cannot be used for any other purpose. You can set one port as a VCP and configure other uplink ports in trunk mode as an uplink to another switch. You cannot use channelized ports as VCPs.

Before you set an uplink port as a VCP:

  1. Verify that the port can be used as a VCP in your particular configuration. See Virtual Chassis Port Options for a summary of the VCP options on switches that support Virtual Chassis, and the hardware documentation for each type of switch for complete details about the ports and installed transceivers that can be used as VCPs.
  2. If you are configuring an uplink module port as a VCP, if needed, install the uplink module in the member switches that you want to interconnect.
  3. Power on and connect to the switch that you plan to designate as the master of the Virtual Chassis.Note

    Do not power on the other switches at this point.

  4. Run EZSetup on the switch that you are configuring to be the master. Follow the prompts to specify the hostname and other identification, time zone, and network properties. See Connecting and Configuring an EX Series Switch (CLI Procedure) for details. The properties that you specify for the master apply to the entire Virtual Chassis, including all the member switches that you later interconnect with the master.
  5. If you want to configure and manage the Virtual Chassis remotely, specify the VME global management interface. You can configure the VME global management interface when you are setting up the master or you can do it after completing the other configuration steps for the Virtual Chassis. See Configuring the Virtual Management Ethernet Interface for Global Management of an EX Series Virtual Chassis (CLI Procedure).
  6. Configure mastership of the Virtual Chassis by using either the nonprovisioned or preprovisioned configuration. See Configuring Mastership of a Virtual Chassis for details.
Note

A Virtual Chassis has two Routing Engines, one in the master role and the other in the backup role. Therefore, we recommend that you always use commit synchronize rather than simply commit to save configuration changes made for a Virtual Chassis. This ensures that the configuration changes are saved in both Routing Engines.

Before you begin to interconnect a Virtual Chassis across long distances, such as between wiring closets:

  • Prepare the existing Virtual Chassis for interconnecting with a potential member switch that is beyond the reach of a dedicated Virtual Chassis cable by setting at least one uplink VCP on an existing member of the Virtual Chassis.

  • Prepare the potential member switch for interconnecting with the existing Virtual Chassis by setting at least one uplink VCP on the standalone switch.

You can set uplink VCPs on a standalone switch before interconnecting one link into an existing Virtual Chassis, or set uplink VCPs for a switch after interconnecting one link into an existing Virtual Chassis. In either case, you must set the ports as VCPs that are used to interconnect the switch into the Virtual Chassis for the master to detect the switch and complete the process of adding it as a member.

Note

We recommend that you set up two uplink VCP connections within each wiring closet for redundancy.

From the Virtual Chassis, you can set an uplink port on the local member or on a specified member as a VCP.

Note

If you use the SFP+ uplink module, you must configure all member switches to support either 1-gigabit SFP transceivers or 10-gigabit SFP+ transceivers on EX4200 switches. See Setting the Mode on an SFP+ or SFP+ MACSec Uplink Module .

To set the uplink ports for the local member switch (for example, member 0) and for a different member switch (for example, member 1) to function as VCPs:

  1. Set one uplink port of member 0 as a VCP. You do not need to specify the member member-id option, because the command applies by default on the member where it is executed.


    user@switch> request virtual-chassis vc-port set pic-slot 1 port 0
  2. Set one uplink port of member 1 as a VCP.


    user@switch> request virtual-chassis vc-port set pic-slot 1 port 0 member 1

    This step includes the member member-id option, because it is executed on a different member switch than the local member switch.

    Note

    You can also connect to a member switch individually using the request session member command, and set a VCP locally on that member. (As in Step 1, you do not specify the member option in that case.)

You can set an uplink VCP on a standalone switch before interconnecting the link into an existing Virtual Chassis. You must set the port as a VCP for the Virtual Chassis master to detect the switch and complete the process of adding it as a member.

To set one uplink VCP on the potential member, which is currently operating as a standalone switch:

  1. Power on the standalone switch.
  2. Set one uplink port as a VCP. You do not need to specify the member member-id option, because the command applies by default on the member where it is executed.


    user@switch> request virtual-chassis vc-port set pic-slot 1 port 0
    Note

    If you do specify the member member-id option, use member ID 0. Because the switch is not yet interconnected with the other members of the Virtual Chassis, its current member ID is 0. Its member ID will change when it is interconnected with the Virtual Chassis. It does not impact the functioning of the uplink VCP that its VCP is set with 0 as the member ID. The VCP has significance only on the local switch.

  3. After you have set the uplink VCP on the standalone switch, physically interconnect its uplink port with the VCP uplink ports of the members in the existing Virtual Chassis.

    The new member switch reboots and joins the now expanded Virtual Chassis with a different member ID.

    Note

    The setting for the new member switch's uplink VCP remains intact and is not affected by the change of member ID.

  4. If you have additional members in the second wiring closet, set a redundant VCP uplink on another member switch by issuing the request virtual-chassis vc-port command.