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Understanding Build Mode in Network Director

In Build mode, you build the network managed by Junos Space Network Director. It provides you with the ability to use device discovery to bring devices under Network Director management, to customize your view of the devices, to configure devices, and to perform some common device management tasks.

This topic describes:

Discovering Devices

Device discovery finds your network devices and brings them under Network Director management. You provide Network Director with identifying information about the devices you want Network Director to manage—an IP address or hostname, an IP address range, an IP subnetwork, or a CSV file that contains this information. Network Director uses the information to probe the devices by using either ping or SNMP get requests. If a device probe is successful, Network Director then attempts to make an SSH connection to the device using the login credentials you supply. If the connection is successful and the device is a supported device, Network Director adds the device to its database of managed devices. Network Director uses Juniper Network’s Device Management Interface (DMI), which is an extension to the NETCONF network configuration protocol, to connect to and configure its managed devices.

You can also discover devices using the device discovery feature provided by the Junos Space Network Management Platform. Devices you discover using Junos Space device discovery are brought under Network Director management if they are supported by Network Director.

Besides bringing your devices under Network Director management, device discovery:

  • Reads the device configuration and saves it in the Junos Space configuration database. Network Director uses this record of the device configuration to determine what configuration commands it needs to send to a device when you deploy the configuration on the device. For this reason, it is important for the Junos Space configuration record to match, or be in sync with, the device configuration. For more information about how the Junos Space configuration record and device configuration are kept in sync, see Understanding Resynchronization of Device Configuration.

  • Imports the device configuration into the Build mode configuration. For more information about importing device configurations, see Importing Device Configurations.

Building the Logical, Location, and Custom Views

When a device is discovered in the physical network mode, it is added to the network tree in the View pane. In Logical View, all switches are added to the Unassigned node under the switching network. You can then assign them to the Access, Aggregation, or Core nodes to complete the Logical View of the switching network.

Similarly, in Location View, all discovered devices are added to the Unassigned node. You can use Build mode to create the Location View—that is, create the sites, buildings, floors, closets, and outdoor areas that reflect the physical location of your network devices—and to assign the discovered devices to these locations.


Network Director displays the Virtual Chassis systems in the Location view network tree only if at least one of their member devices are not assigned to any location entity. If all the member devices are assigned to location entities, then the Virtual Chassis systems are not displayed in the network tree.

The Custom Group View displays only the top level—My Network—until you create one or more custom groups. Custom group is another way of grouping your devices based on your business needs. You can create custom groups and add devices to each custom group. You can manually add devices to a custom group or you can define rules to add devices, that match the rule condition, to the custom group once they are discovered by Network Director. You can view the custom groups and devices that are assigned to each group in the Custom Group view.


This section does not apply to virtual devices that Network Director manages.

Configuring Devices

In Build mode, you can define the configuration of network devices in your Physical network. To support rapid, large-scale deployment of devices, you can define much of your Build mode configuration in a set of profiles. You can reference profiles in other profiles or apply them to multiple objects in your network—devices, ports, logical entities. For example, you can create a Port profile that sets up class-of-service (CoS), authentication, firewall filters, and Ethernet switching settings that are appropriate for access ports that connect to employee desktop VoIP phones and then assign that profile to access ports across multiple switches.


This section does not apply to virtual devices that Network Director manages.

Figure 1 shows an example landing page for profile configuration, in this case VLAN profiles. This page lists all existing VLAN profiles. From this page you can create new profiles, modify or delete existing profiles, assign profiles to objects, and change or view assignments. For more information about profiles, see Understanding Network Configuration Profiles.

Figure 1: Manage VLAN Profiles PageManage VLAN Profiles Page

In addition to creating configuration profiles, in Build mode you can configure network domains, Link Aggregation Groups (LAGs) on switches, and so on.

Deploying Device Configurations

After you build your device configurations in Build mode, you need to deploy the configurations on the devices. None of the configurations you create in Build mode affect your devices until the configurations are actually deployed on the devices.

To deploy the configuration on devices, use Deploy mode. When you change a device’s configuration in Build mode, the device becomes available in Deploy mode for configuration deployment.

For more information about deploying configuration changes, see Deploying Configuration Changes.

Importing Device Configurations

As part of device discovery, Network Director analyzes the configuration of a newly discovered device and automatically imports the configuration into the Build mode configuration for that device.

As it imports the device configuration, Network Director automatically creates profiles to match the configuration. It first determines whether any existing profiles match the configuration, and if so, assigns those profiles to the device. It then creates and assigns new profiles as needed. For example, if an access switch has some ports that match the configuration of an existing Port profile, Network Director assigns the existing Port profile to those ports. For the other ports, Network Director creates as many Port profiles as needed to match the port configurations and assigns them to the ports.

You can manage the profiles that Network Director creates as part of device discovery in the same way that you manage user-created profiles—that is, you can modify, delete, or assign them to other devices.

Out-of-Band Configuration Changes

Out-of-band configuration changes are configuration changes made to a device outside of Network Director. Examples include changes made by:

  • Using the device CLI.

  • Using the device Web-based management interface (the J-Web interface or Web View).

  • Using the Junos Space Network Management Platform configuration editor.

  • Using RingMaster software.

  • Restoring or replacing device configuration files.

When an out-of-band change is made, the device configuration no longer matches the Build mode configuration, and the device configuration state changes to out of sync. You cannot deploy configuration on a device that is out of sync. Use the Resynchronize Device Configuration task in Deploy mode to resynchronize the device configuration. For more information about how Network Director resolves out-of-band configuration changes and synchronizes the Build mode configuration with the device configuration, see Understanding Resynchronization of Device Configuration.


Before you make configuration changes in Build mode, make sure that devices that will be affected are in sync. Resynchronizing the device configuration can result in losing pending Build mode configuration changes for that device.

Managing Devices

In addition to the tasks that allow you to build your network, Build mode provides a number of tasks for day-to-day device management. For example, you can:

  • View a device’s hardware component inventory or its installed licenses

  • Reboot a device or groups of devices

  • Connect to a device’s CLI through SSH or to its web-based management interface

  • View the profiles assigned to a device