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Autoinstallation of Configuration Files

 

Autoinstallation is the automatic configuration of devices over the network without manual intervention, or without any need for any configuration.

Understanding Autoinstallation of Configuration Files

Autoinstallation is the automatic configuration of a device over the network from a preexisting configuration file that you create and store on a configuration server—typically a Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) server. You can use autoinstallation to configure new devices automatically and to deploy multiple devices from a central location in the network.

You enable autoinstallation so that the switches in your network implement autoinstallation when they are powered on. To configure autoinstallation, you specify a configuration server, an autoinstallation interface, and a protocol for IP address acquisition.

Note

The QFX5200 switches only work with HTTP for autoinstallation. TFTP and FTP protocols are not supported.

This topic describes:

Typical Uses for Autoinstallation

Typical uses for autoinstallation of the software include:

  • To deploy and update multiple devices from a central location in the network.

  • To update a device—Autoinstallation occurs when a device that has been manually configured for autoinstallation is powered on.

Autoinstallation Configuration Files and IP Addresses

For the autoinstallation process to work, you must store one or more host-specific or default configuration files on a configuration server in the network and have a service available—typically Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)—to assign an IP address to the switch.

You can set up the following configuration files for autoinstallation on the switch:

  • network.conf—Default configuration file for autoinstallation, in which you specify IP addresses and associated hostnames for devices on the network.

  • switch.conf—Default configuration file for autoinstallation with a minimum configuration sufficient for you to telnet to the device and configure it manually.

  • hostname.conf—Host-specific configuration file for autoinstallation on a device that contains all the configuration information necessary for the switch. In the filename, hostname is replaced with the hostname assigned to the switch.

If the server with the autoinstallation configuration file is not on the same LAN segment as the new device, or if a specific device is required by the network, you must configure an intermediate device directly attached to the new switch, through which the new switch can send TFTP, Boot Protocol (BOOTP), and Domain Name System (DNS) requests. In this case, you specify the IP address of the intermediate device as the location to receive TFTP requests for autoinstallation.

Typical Autoinstallation Process on a New Device

When the device configured for autoinstallation is powered on, it performs the following autoinstallation tasks:

  1. The device sends out DHCP or BOOTP requests on each connected interface simultaneously to obtain an IP address.

    If a DHCP server responds to these requests, it provides the device with some or all of the following information:

    • An IP address and subnet mask for the autoinstallation interface.

    • The location of the (typically) TFTP server, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server, or FTP server on which the configuration file is stored.

    • The name of the configuration file to be requested from the TFTP server.

    • The IP address or hostname of the TFTP server.

      If the DHCP server provides the server’s hostname, a DNS server must be available on the network to resolve the name to an IP address.

    • The IP address of an intermediate device if the configuration server is on a different LAN segment from the device.

  2. After the device acquires an IP address, the autoinstallation process on the device attempts to download a configuration file in the following ways:
    1. If the DHCP server specifies the host-specific configuration file hostname.conf, the device uses that filename in the TFTP server request. The autoinstallation process on the new device makes three unicast TFTP requests for hostname.conf. If these attempts fail, the device broadcasts three requests to any available TFTP server for the file.
    2. If the device does not locate a hostname.conf file, the autoinstallation process sends three unicast TFTP requests for a network.conf file that contains the device’s hostname-to-IP-address mapping information. If these attempts fail, the device broadcasts three requests to any available TFTP server for the file.
    3. If the device fails to find a network.conf file that contains a hostname entry for the device, the autoinstallation process sends out a DNS request and attempts to resolve the device's IP address to a hostname.
    4. If the device determines its hostname, it sends a TFTP request for the hostname.conf file.
    5. If the device is unable to map its IP address to a hostname, it sends TFTP requests for the default configuration file device.conf. The TFTP request procedure is the same as for the network.conf file.
  3. After the device locates a configuration file on a TFTP server, the autoinstallation process downloads the file, installs the file on the device, and commits the configuration.

Configuring Autoinstallation of Configuration Files (CLI Procedure)

Autoinstallation is the automatic configuration of a device over the network from a pre-existing configuration file that you create and store on a configuration server—typically a Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) server. You can use autoinstallation to automatically deploy multiple devices from a central location in the network.

To specify autoinstallation to run when you power on a switch already installed in your network, you can enable it by specifying one or more interfaces, protocols, and configuration servers to be used for autoinstallation.

Before you explicitly enable and configure autoinstallation on the switch, perform these tasks as needed for your network’s configuration:

  • Have a service available—typically Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)—to assign an IP address to the switch

  • Configure a DHCP server on your network to meet your network requirements. You can configure a switch to operate as a DHCP server. For more information, see Configuring a DHCP Server on Switches (CLI Procedure).

  • Create one of the following configuration files, and store it on a TFTP server (or HTTP server or FTP server) in the network:

    • A host-specific file with the name hostname.conf for each switch undergoing autoinstallation. Replace hostname with the name of a switch. The hostname.conf file typically contains all the configuration information necessary for the switch with this hostname.

    • A default configuration file named switch.conf with the minimum configuration necessary to enable you to telnet into the new switch for further configuration.

  • Physically attach the switch to the network using a Gigabit Ethernet port.

  • If you configure the DHCP server to provide only the TFTP server hostname, add an IP address-to-hostname mapping entry for the TFTP server to the DNS database file on the Domain Name System (DNS) server in the network.

  • If the switch is not on the same network segment as the DHCP server (or other device providing IP address resolution), configure an existing device as an intermediate device to receive TFTP and DNS requests and forward them to the TFTP server and the DNS server. You must configure the LAN or serial interface on the intermediate device with the IP addresses of the hosts providing TFTP and DNS services. Connect this interface to the switch.

  • If you are using hostname.conf files for autoinstallation, you must also complete the following tasks:

    • Configure the DHCP server to provide a hostname.conf filename to each switch. Each switch uses its hostname.conf filename to request a configuration file from the TFTP server. Copy the necessary hostname.conf configuration files to the TFTP server.

    • Create a default configuration file named network.conf, and copy it to the TFTP server. This file contains IP-address-to-hostname mapping entries. If the DHCP server does not send a hostname.conf filename to a new switch, the switch uses network.conf to resolve its hostname based on its IP address.

      Alternatively, you can add the IP-address-to-hostname mapping entry for the switch to a DNS database file.

      The switch uses the hostname to request a hostname.conf file from the TFTP server.

To configure autoinstallation:

  1. Specify the URL address of one or more servers from which to obtain configuration files.
    [edit system]

    user@switch# set autoinstallation configuration-servers tftp://tftpconfig.example.com
    Note

    You can also use an FTP address, for example, ftp://user:password@sftpconfig.example.com.

  2. Configure one or more Ethernet interfaces to perform autoinstallation and one or two procurement protocols for each interface. The switch uses the protocols to send a request for an IP address for the interface:
    [edit system]

    user@switch# set autoinstallation interfaces ge-0/0/0 bootp

To verify autoinstallation:

  1. From the CLI, enter the show system autoinstallation status command.
    user@switch> show system autoinstallation status