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The Apstra Day 2 Usage Guide

Use Case

This guide is designed to demonstrate typical Day 2 activities used to stand up a brand new data center. It shows you how to use Juniper Apstra to design, build, and deploy your data center fabric.


Data center network administrator

Knowledge Level

General familiarity with EVPN-VXLAN data center network architectures and underlay and overlay routing. See the related topics section for background information on EVPN-VXLAN technology.


  • 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 errors and misconfiguration through automation. Reduce service delivery times when compared to manual provisioning.

Products Used

  • Apstra Release 4.0.0

  • 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 sandbox by scrolling down to the Switching category.

This use case demonstrates how you use Apstra to design, build, and deploy an EVPN-VXLAN data center network. Apstra 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

Juniper Apstra software is a horizontally-scalable, microservices-based application that brings intent-based networking to standard off-the-shelf switches. With Apstra, you design and deploy your data center network fabric 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 use Apstra to:

  • design a simple 3-stage Clos network

  • build a network blueprint

  • deploy that blueprint to the fabric devices

Apstra checks your work every step of the way, first before you deploy to verify the soundness of your design, and again after deployment when Apstra verifies network operation and compliance with your design intent.

Figure 1 shows the EVPN-VXLAN 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 Fabric DC1 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 routing 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 routing 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 shown in 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 Virtual Networks DC1-Green and DC1-Red Overlay Virtual Networks

An important Apstra feature is the 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.