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About This In Focus Use Case

Use Case

Use the Apstra Fabric Conductor to design, build, and deploy your data center fabric.


Data center network administrator

Knowledge Level

General familiarity with data center network architectures and underlay and overlay routing.


  • Use intent-based networking and intent-based analytics to manage your fabric throughout its life cycle.

  • Increase efficiency and network awareness by managing your data center as a whole rather than as a collection of independent devices.

  • Reduce the risk of error and misconfiguration through automation.

Products Used

  • Juniper Apstra Release

  • QFX Series switches running Junos OS

    • tested on QFX10002 running Junos OS 20.2R2-S1.3 as a spine device

    • tested on QFX5110 running Junos OS 20.2R2-S1.3 as a leaf device

For the full list of supported devices and OS versions, see Supported Juniper Devices.


Are you interested in getting hands-on experience with the topics and operations covered in this guide? Visit Juniper Networks Virtual Labs and reserve your free sandbox today! You’ll find the Apstra Fabric Conductor lab by scrolling down to the Switching category.

This use case demonstrates how you can use the Apstra Fabric Conductor to design, build, and deploy a data center network. The Apstra Fabric Conductor is an intent-based networking and assurance solution that provides full life cycle management of your data center network, including:

  • the initial design, build, and deployment of the fabric including the overlay networks

  • the ongoing management of changes (intended or unplanned network events) throughout the fabric’s life cycle

  • the ongoing validation of your intent against the actual deployment throughout the fabric’s life cycle

Central to the Apstra Fabric Conductor is the Juniper Apstra software, the horizontally-scalable, microservices-based application that brings intent-based networking to standard off-the-shelf servers. With Apstra, you design and deploy your data center network fabric and overlay networks using a declarative methodology that captures your intent. Apstra then translates this intent into commands that the fabric devices understand.

In this use case, you’ll use Apstra to design a simple 3-stage Clos network, build a network blueprint, and deploy that blueprint by pushing configuration to the fabric devices. Apstra checks your work every step of the way, first in pre-deployment to verify the soundness of your design, and then in post-deployment to verify that the deployment matches your design intent.

Figure 1 shows the network fabric you’ll design, build, and deploy. The fabric consists of two QFX10002 switches acting as spine devices and two QFX5110 switches acting as leaf devices. Each leaf device is housed in a rack that also contains two servers running CentOS. The spine-to-leaf links are all 40 Gbps and the leaf-to-server links are all 10 Gbps. Apstra manages the fabric devices over the out-of-band management network.

Figure 1: DC1 Data Center FabricDC1 Data Center Fabric

Once you set up the fabric, you’ll use Apstra to create the overlay networks. Figure 2 shows the overlay networks you’ll create in this use case. DC1-Green and DC1-Red represent security zones or segmented networks, which are implemented as VRFs on the QFX5110 switches. DC1-Green contains routes for two virtual networks (subnets and DC1-Red contains routes for one virtual network (subnet Traffic cannot pass between the security zones as these represent different tenants (or segmented networks) that share the same fabric. Attached to the overlay networks are the bare metal server endpoints (BMS1 through BMS4). These are the CentOS servers from Figure 1. You use Apstra to configure the fabric down to the fabric edge, but you configure the actual servers themselves outside of Apstra.

Figure 2: DC1-Green and DC1-Red Overlay NetworksDC1-Green and DC1-Red Overlay Networks

One important feature of Apstra is its ability to separate the site-specific details from the generic parts of a network design. To help you better understand this separation, we add a DC1 prefix to the name of any resource or construct that is typically site-specific.