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EX4200 Virtual Chassis

 

Understanding EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 Virtual Chassis Hardware Configurations

You can interconnect EX4200 switches together to form a Virtual Chassis composed exclusively of EX4200 switches. You can interconnect EX4500 switches together to form a Virtual Chassis composed exclusively of EX4500 switches. You can interconnect EX4550 switches together to form a Virtual Chassis composed exclusively of EX4550 switches. You can also interconnect EX4200 switches with EX4500 switches or with EX4550 switches or with both switches to form a mixed Virtual Chassis.

Ports Used to Interconnect Virtual Chassis Members

You can use the following ports to connect Virtual Chassis members:

  • On EX4200 switches:

    • The dedicated Virtual Chassis ports (VCPs) on each switch

    • SFP, SFP+, or XFP uplink module ports configured as VCPs

    • SFP network ports on EX4200-24F switches configured as VCPs

  • On EX4500 switches:

    • The dedicated VCPs on the Virtual Chassis module

    • SFP+ network ports configured as VCPs

    • SFP+ uplink module ports configured as VCPs

  • On EX4550 switches:

    • The dedicated VCPs on the Virtual Chassis module

    • SFP+ network ports configured as VCPs

    • SFP+ expansion module ports configured as VCPs

    • 10GBASE-T network ports configured as VCPs

    • 10GBASE-T expansion module ports configured as VCPs

    • 40G QSFP+ expansion module ports configured as VCPs

    Note

    You can use the 10GBASE-T Ethernet network ports, 10GBASE-T expansion module ports, and QSFP+ expansion module ports configured as VCPs to interconnect only EX4550 switches in a Virtual Chassis. These ports cannot be used to connect an EX4550 switch with an EX4200 switch or an EX4500 switch in a Virtual Chassis.

Number of Switches, Required Software Releases, and Member Roles That You Configure in the Virtual Chassis

A Virtual Chassis must have one member designated as the master switch and one member designated as the backup switch. All other switches in the configuration are designated as being in the linecard role. You manage Virtual Chassis operation through the master switch.

The number of switches that you can configure in a Virtual Chassis and the role that can be assigned to each switch in a Virtual Chassis depend on the Juniper Networks Junos operating system (Junos OS) release that is running on the switches.

See the following tables:

Table 1: Number of Switches and Switch Roles for an EX4200 Virtual Chassis, per Junos OS Release

Junos OS Release

Number of Switches

Role

9.0 or later

Up to 10 EX4200 switches

There must be a master and a backup; the remaining switches must be in the linecard role.

Table 2: Number of Switches and Switch Roles for an EX4500 Virtual Chassis, per Junos OS Release

Junos OS Release

Number of Switches

Role

11.1—11.3

Up to 2 EX4500 switches

There must be a master and a backup.

11.4 or later

Up to 10 EX4500 switches

There must be a master and a backup; the remaining switches must be in the linecard role.

Table 3: Number of Switches and Switch Roles for an EX4550 Virtual Chassis, per Junos OS Release

Junos OS Release

Number of Switches

Role

12.2 or later

Up to 10 EX4550 switches

There must be a master and a backup; the remaining switches must be in the linecard role.

Table 4: Number of Switches and Switch Roles for a Mixed EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 Virtual Chassis, per Junos OS Release

Junos OS Release

Number of Switches

Role

11.1

Up to 2 EX4500 switches and up to 8 EX4200 switches

EX4500 switches must be in the master and backup roles and EX4200 switches in the linecard role.

11.2, 11.3

Up to 2 EX4500 switches and up to 8 EX4200 switches

Master and backup must be of the same switch type—either both EX4200 or both EX4500 switches. The remaining switches must be in the linecard role.

11.4 or later

Up to 10 total of both EX4200 and EX4500 switches

Any switch type in any role. There must be a master and a backup and the remaining switches must be in the linecard role.

12.2 or later

Up to 10 total of EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches

Any switch type in any role. There must be a master and a backup and the remaining switches must be in the linecard role.

Virtual Chassis Module

Virtual Chassis modules are available for EX4500 and EX4550 switches. However, installing a Virtual Chassis module is not mandatory for using these switches in a Virtual Chassis configuration.

Note

On EX4500 switches that are running Junos OS releases earlier than Release 11.4R1, you must install a Virtual Chassis module for using the switch in a Virtual Chassis configuration. Starting with Release 11.4R1, you can use uplink port connections to interconnect EX4500 member switches into a Virtual Chassis.

Switch Role and Member ID on the LCD Panel

For each switch in the Virtual Chassis, the LCD panel of the switch displays:

  • Role of the switch—RE for master, BK for backup, and LC for linecard member

  • Member ID for the Virtual Chassis member—A number in the range 0 through 9

Planning EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 Virtual Chassis

Before interconnecting EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches in a Virtual Chassis configuration:

  • Verify that the rack in which you will install the switches meets the requirements described in Rack Requirements. You can mount the switches in a Virtual Chassis on a single rack or on multiple racks.

  • Verify that the installation site meets the power requirements of the switches in a Virtual Chassis.

  • Verify that you have installed a Virtual Chassis module in an EX4500 switch running Junos OS releases earlier than Release 11.4R1. The Virtual Chassis module must be installed in an EX4500 switch to form a Virtual Chassis.

Table 5 describes the Virtual Chassis components and the Junos OS release running on switches that you need to consider when you plan your EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 Virtual Chassis configuration.

Table 5: Virtual Chassis Components to Consider When Planning an EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 Virtual Chassis

Virtual Chassis Components

Junos OS Release Running on the Member Switches

Virtual Chassis Details

EX4200 switches only

Junos OS Release 9.0 and later

You can interconnect two to ten EX4200 switches to form a Virtual Chassis composed exclusively of EX4200 switches.

EX4500 switches only

Junos OS Releases 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3

You can interconnect two EX4500 switches into a Virtual Chassis composed exclusively of EX4500 switches.

Junos OS Release 11.4 or later

You can interconnect up to ten EX4500 switches into a Virtual Chassis composed exclusively of EX4500 switches.

EX4550 switches only

Junos OS Release 12.2 or later

You can interconnect up to ten EX4550 switches into a Virtual Chassis composed exclusively of EX4550 switches.

EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches

Junos OS Release 11.1

You can interconnect up to two EX4500 switches and up to eight EX4200 switches into a mixed Virtual Chassis.

EX4500 switches must always be configured in the master and backup roles.

Junos OS Releases 11.2 and 11.3

You can interconnect up to two EX4500 switches and up to eight EX4200 switches into a mixed Virtual Chassis.

The same type of switch must act in the master and backup roles.

Junos OS Release 11.4 or later

You can interconnect up to ten total EX4200 and EX4500 switches into a mixed Virtual Chassis .

Any switch can be configured in any role in any configuration.

Junos OS Release 12.2 or later

You can interconnect up to ten total EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches into a mixed Virtual Chassis.

Any switch can be configured in any role in any configuration.

Table 6 describes the cabling requirements for a Virtual Chassis.

Table 6: Cabling Requirements for a Virtual Chassis

Distance Between Virtual Chassis Members

Virtual Chassis Cable Lengths Supported

Details

Up to 0.5 m

0.5 m

You can interconnect EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches into a Virtual Chassis through Virtual Chassis ports (VCPs) using the 0.5-meter Virtual Chassis cable.

  • This Virtual Chassis cable is supplied with an EX4200 switch.

  • You must order this cable separately for EX4500 and EX4550 switches, including EX4500 switches that are shipped with a preinstalled Virtual Chassis module.

0.5 m through 5 m

1 m, 3 m, and 5 m

You must order these cables separately for EX4200, EX4500, and EX4550 switches, including EX4500 switches that are shipped with a preinstalled Virtual Chassis module.

Greater than 5 m

  • To interconnect EX4200 switches that are installed farther apart than 5 m, you must configure the SFP, SPF+, or XFP uplink module ports or the SFP network ports in the EX4200-24F switch as VCPs and use them to interconnect the switches.

  • To interconnect EX4500 switches that are installed farther apart than 5 m, you must configure either the uplink module ports or the SFP+ network ports as VCPs and use them to interconnect the switches.

  • To interconnect EX4550 switches that are installed farther apart than 5 m, you must configure either the expansion module ports or the network ports as VCPs and use them to interconnect the switches.

Note

With separately ordered Virtual Chassis cables, you can use the cable connector retainers provided with the original cable; you can also use separately ordered Virtual Chassis cable connector retainers.

Virtual Chassis Cabling Configuration Examples for EX4200 Switches

You can install EX4200 switches in a single rack or multiple racks, or in different wiring closets, and interconnect them to form a Virtual Chassis. There are two dedicated Virtual Chassis ports (VCPs) on the rear panel of the EX4200 switch that are used exclusively to interconnect EX4200 switches as a Virtual Chassis. The physical location of the switches in a Virtual Chassis is restricted only by the maximum length supported for cables to connect the VCPs. The maximum cable length for interconnecting the dedicated VCPs is 5 meters. If you want to interconnect EX4200 switches that are located beyond the reach of the dedicated VCP cables, you can install the XFP uplink module, the SFP uplink module, or the SFP+ uplink module and set the uplink module ports as VCP interfaces. See Setting an Uplink Port on an EX Series or QFX Series Switch as a Virtual Chassis Port.

Note

The interfaces for the two dedicated VCPs are operational by default. However, if you are using the uplink module ports as VCPs, you must explicitly set the uplink module ports to function as VCPs.

The following illustrations describe various Virtual Chassis cabling configuration examples.

Note

For increased availability and redundancy, we recommend that you always configure your Virtual Chassis in a ring topology.

Figure 1 and Figure 2 show five EX4200 switches stacked vertically in a rack and interconnected in a ring topology using four short Virtual Chassis cables and one long Virtual Chassis cable.

Figure 1: EX4200 Switches Mounted on a Single Rack and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Short and Long Cables: Option 1
EX4200 Switches
Mounted on a Single Rack and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Short
and Long Cables: Option 1
Figure 2: EX4200 Switches Mounted on a Single Rack and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Short and Long Cables: Option 2
EX4200 Switches
Mounted on a Single Rack and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Short
and Long Cables: Option 2

Figure 3 shows five EX4200 switches stacked vertically in a rack and interconnected in a ring topology using short-length and medium-length Virtual Chassis cables.

Figure 3: EX4200 Switches Mounted on a Single Rack and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Short and Medium Cables
EX4200 Switches
Mounted on a Single Rack and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Short
and Medium Cables

Figure 4 and Figure 5 show five EX4200 switches mounted on the top rows of adjacent racks and interconnected in a ring topology using medium-length and long-length Virtual Chassis cables.

Figure 4: EX4200 Switches Mounted on Adjacent Racks and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Medium and Long Cables: Option 1
EX4200
Switches Mounted on Adjacent Racks and Connected in a Ring Topology
Using Medium and Long Cables: Option 1
Figure 5: EX4200 Switches Mounted on Adjacent Racks and Connected in a Ring Topology Using Medium and Long Cables: Option 2
EX4200
Switches Mounted on Adjacent Racks and Connected in a Ring Topology
Using Medium and Long Cables: Option 2