Exploring Juniper's Virtual Chassis Architecture

Exploring Juniper's Virtual Chassis Architecture

With Juniper Networks routing or switching devices, the virtual chassis functionality offers redundant routing engines for network redundancy and flexibility in network growth with no effect on setup.

A virtual chassis by combining multiple Juniper EX switches into a single logical chassis. The switches are interconnected using special uplink modules and configured to operate as a single unit. 

Juniper VC also allows the network administrator to manage the switches as a single entity, and traffic can be distributed evenly across all the switches in the virtual chassis. Juniper VC can provide improved resiliency and scalability, as well as simplify management tasks such as software upgrades and configuration changes.

Juniper Virtual Chassis
Fig 1.1-Juniper's Virtual Chassis Architecture

You may link supported combinations of EX Series and QFX Series switches into one logical device that you can configure and control as a single unit using virtual chassis technology on switches. Virtual Chassis member switches are switches that are linked to a Virtual Chassis and have a member ID assigned to them.

What is a Virtual Chassis Member Switch and How Does it Work?

In an EX Series or QFX Series Virtual Chassis, member switches can be configured to operate in line card, backup, or principal routing engine roles. It is advised (and in some circumstances necessary) that the member switches in the Routing Engine role for any mixed virtual chassis be of a specific kind or model. The line card role can be utilized by any switch that is supported by a virtual chassis.

A single-member Virtual Chassis with member ID 0 and the principal Routing Engine role as its own primary is the default configuration for a standalone switch that supports Virtual Chassis. The switch will be given a special member ID and may play a distinct function when connected to and configured as a Virtual Chassis with other member switches.

The member switches that take on the primary and backup roles in the event that an existing member switch in the Routing Engine role fails or when new member switches are introduced are chosen by a non-provisioned Virtual Chassis using a primary-role election process. While creating the Virtual Chassis and adding or removing member switches, you give the duties to each member switch in a pre-provisioned Virtual Chassis.

We will come up the scenarios with the Virtual Chassis Architecture for the specific switches and the configurations related to the Virtual Chassis Architecture. 

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