Expert Advice: Automating single-home "Junos Fusion deployment with standalone satellites" with Network Director 3.0

By Elevate posted 02-13-2017 23:59



In the past few releases, Network Director has greatly eased the complexity in provisioning and managing different topologies such as Virtual Chassis Fabric, Layer 3 Fabric, and so on. Network Director 3.0 supports provisioning and managing Junos Fusion systems. The objective of this article is to illustrate how Network Director simplifies the deployment of single-home Junos Fusion with standalone satellites by automating several aspects that are required in setting up Junos Fusion.


Network Builder

It would be easier if all supported topologies are integrated as part of a common workflow. Network Builder is a common launch point that helps the user set up different supported topologies that are applicable to both campus and data center environments.

Build mode in Network Director 3.0 includes a new task group called Network Builder. With the Network Builder task group, you can manage Junos Fusion configuration templates and Junos Fusion fabrics.



In large campus and data center environments, several instances of a similar topology may exist (Virtual Chassis Fabric, Junos Fusion, Layer 3 Fabric, and so on). Not only is it cumbersome to create an instance one at a time but also error prone, making it difficult to manage. The common settings that are applicable to several instances can be abstracted to a template and applied to bring up one or many instances. The template does not have any configuration that is instance specific. The user must provide instance-specific configuration attributes at the time of applying or assigning a template. The user can create as many templates as required for different topologies. After the template is created, the template appears on the template landing page. The user can execute template-related operations from the template landing page.

A global task, Network Builder, is available in Build mode in Network Director 3.0. Under the task is a subtask named “Manage Templates,” which is used to manage templates. When the user selects Manage Templates, a landing page that lists all the templates that are created using Network Director is displayed The user can create a template, clone a template to another, view the details of a template, and delete the template. However, the user cannot edit a template after it is created.


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Figure 1: Manage Fusion Configuration Templates Landing Page 


The user can initiate the workflow to create a template from the template landing page. The workflow prompts the user for input, depending on the topology (single-home or dual-home) selected in the Create Template wizard. In the wizard, to begin with, the user builds the chassis of the aggregation device by mapping the line card to the respective slot as found in the physical device. The user provides cascade ports (that is, ports for connecting the satellite devices) on the aggregation device. In case of a dual-home topology, the user is prompted to provide ports (that is, ICL and ICCP) that connect both the aggregation devices. If the topology contains a cluster of satellite devices, the user also provides the ports on the satellite device models that will be connected to form a ring topology. These are termed cluster ports. Finally, the user selects the default SNOS image that will be loaded on the satellite device model when connected to the aggregation device. The template once created appears on the template landing page and can be applied to bring up one or many instances of Junos Fusion.


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Figure 2: Create Fusion Configuration Template—Template Type


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Figure 3: Chassis Builder


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Figure 4: Create Fusion Configuration Template—Settings


The user can delete a template after it is assigned to one or many instances. The user can also clone a template in order to copy the settings of an existing template.


Apply Junos Fusion Template—Single Home

In order to apply a template, the user must select the template from the template landing page and click Apply.

Network Director 3.0 supports two use cases in setting up Junos Fusion:

  • Junos Fusion setup with devices running the factory default configuration
  • Junos Fusion setup by converting existing devices that are connected

This article focuses on setting up Junos Fusion with devices running the factory default configuration.


Junos Fusion Setup with Devices Running the Factory Default Configuration

This use case addresses the customers' need to bring up Junos Fusion with devices (that is, aggregation and satellite devices) that are not managed by Network Director and the devices running the factory default configuration. When the user clicks Apply, the user is prompted to provide the DHCP server and file server details as the devices go through Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) when brought into the network. The only other information that the user needs to provide is the serial number or MAC address of the aggregation device. Network Director automates the rest of the configuration as devices get connected (according to the ports defined in the template) to the aggregation device. After the template assignment is successful, the details are displayed on the Junos Fusion landing page.


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 Figure 5: Apply Template (Unmanaged Devices)


Discovery/Management of the Aggregation Device in Network Director

When the aggregation device with the Junos factory default configuration is brought into the network, the device goes through Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and retrieves the IP address from the DHCP server and the Network Director-generated configuration from the file server. Network Director is notified about the device coming online (as Network Director is configured as a trap recipient) and the aggregation device is discovered and automanaged in Network Director. If the IP address of the discovered device is allocated for the Junos Fusion aggregation device, Network Director checks whether there is a template assigned for the discovered aggregation device. If a template is found, Network Director obtains the default SNOS image from the template and pushes the SNOS image to the discovered aggregation device. Network Director prepares the aggregation device by pushing the SNOS image to the aggregation device. Network Director also executes the RPC to map the SNOS image for the default SUG. The SNOS image is required for auto-satellite conversion.


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 Figure 6: Junos Fusion Representation in Logical Tree View


Cabling Plan

Network Director automates the configuration push as satellite devices are connected to the aggregation device. In order for the configuration push to be successful, the connection must match the ports selected in the template. To ease connectivity and to eliminate user-connection errors, Network Director provides a cabling plan to the user. The cabling plan can be downloaded as a PDF file that the user can refer to while making the connections. The user can trigger the generation of the cabling plan from the Manage Fusion Fabrics landing page.


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Figure 7: Generate Cabling Plan


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Figure 8: Sample Cabling Plan Generated by Network Director


Auto-conversion to a Satellite Device from a Standalone Device

The user follows the cabling plan and connects the satellite device running Junos OS or SNOS (in standalone mode) to one of the configured cascade ports (for example, ge-1/0/5) on the aggregation device. This in turn results in a link coming up and Network Director is notified about the link event. Network Director executes a series of RPC commands on the aggregation device to determine whether the configuration needs to be pushed for the connection made. If the configuration needs to be pushed for a standalone device to a satellite device, the following configurations are pushed to the aggregation device:



set chassis satellite-management fpc 65
set chassis satellite-management fpc 65 alias sd65
set chassis satellite-management fpc 65 cascade-ports ge-1/0/5



As can be seen from the above configuration, Network Director assigns FPC slot ID 65 to the connected device and the alias is prefixed with “sd”. Network Director loops through the slot ID range and selects the first available slot ID for the connected device.


The following are required for Junos Space Platform auto-satellite conversion to take place:

  1. SUGs are created and the FPC slot is mapped to one of the SUGs.
  2. Auto-satellite conversion is enabled.
  3. The SNOS image exists in the aggregation device.
  4. The SNOS image is mapped to the SUG.

Network Director ensures that the connected device is able to join Junos Fusion by automating all of the requirements listed above. Network Director automates requirements 1 and 2 by creating a default SUG and assigning all the satellites to the default SUG as part of the configuration staged for the aggregation device serial number or MAC address in the DHCP/file server. Network Director automates requirements 3 and 4 by pushing the SNOS image and mapping the SNOS image to the default SUG during the discovery and management of the aggregation device. With all the above requirements met, the connected device is auto-converted from standalone mode to satellite mode. After the device joins as a satellite member in Junos Fusion, the aggregation device sends a system log about the new satellite member coming online in Junos Fusion. Network Director/Junos Space Platform listens for this system log and updates the physical and logical inventories in accordance with the system log.


Configuring Logical or Subinterfaces on Extended Ports

Unlike the default Junos configuration where a logical interface or subinterface (unit 0) is configured for all the ports, the extended ports by default are not configured with logical interface 0 (unit 0). Because the logical interface or subinterface is not configured by default on all the extended ports, LLDP neighbors cannot list any connection on these ports. It is cumbersome to configure logical interfaces or subinterfaces for extended ports given the scale of a fully loaded Junos Fusion. Network Director simplifies this by auto-configuring the logical interface or subinterface (unit 0) on all the extended ports when the system log about the new member joining the Junos Fusion is received.


Below is the logical interface or subinterface configuration pushed to the aggregation device:


set interfaces ge-65/0/0 
set interfaces ge-65/0/0 unit 0 family ethernet-switching 


Similarly, Network Director automates the other satellite-capable devices when connected to cascade ports on the aggregation device to be auto-converted to satellite members and join Junos Fusion. If multiple satellites join Junos Fusion within a stipulated duration (say, two minutes), Network Director configures the logical interface or subinterface on the extended ports for all the FPC slots as a single job.




Managing Single-Home Junos Fusion

After Junos Fusion is set, it may be required to upsize or downsize the scale of Junos Fusion by adding or deleting cascade ports. Network Director eliminates the complexity of these operations by automating several of the subtasks and ensures that  these operations are successfully executed on the aggregation device. After Junos Fusion is discovered and managed in Network Director, it is listed on the Manage Fusion Fabrics landing page.


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Figure 9:  Manage Fusion Fabrics Landing Page


The user must select the Junos Fusion instance from the landing page and click Edit to start making changes. The user can also add or remove cascade ports to make changes to the configuration. Alternatively, the user can remove standalone satellite devices by switching to the Satellite Devices tab. When an active satellite device is removed either from the Satellite Devices tab or by removing the cascade ports connecting to the active satellite device, Network Director shuts down the satellite device so that no traffic flows through the removed satellite device. If the selected port to be converted to the cascade port has any logical interface 0 configured, Network Director removes those configurations before enabling the port to behave like a cascade port.


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 Figure 10: Edit Fusion Fabric



This topic illustrates how Network Director 3.0 automates the deployment of single-home "Junos Fusion with standalone satellites" by abstracting various aspects that are required in deploying Junos Fusion.


In summary, Network Director:

  • Helps the user create a template and apply the template to bring up one or many instances of Junos Fusion
  • Provides a cabling plan to the user to make connections between the aggregration and satellite devices
  • Automates the satellite device configuration by pushing the configuration as satellite-capable devices are connected to the configured cascade ports on the aggregation device
  • Helps to troubleshoot and fix connection errors by running a connectivity report to diagnose problems
  • Helps in managing Junos Fusion after deployment