Zero Touch Provisioning (Auto Configuration)

Zero Touch Provisioning enables switches “just out of the box” to automatically gain a management IP address and configuration without serial cables and manual configuration.

ZTP provides:

IPv4 Link-Local Address

Link-Local addressing (subnet 169.254.x.x) allows a host device to automatically and predictably derive a non-routable IP address for IP communication over Ethernet links.

By configuring the Ethernet management port, ‘just out of the box‘, with an IP address, a user can connect a laptop directly to the management Ethernet port. If the laptop is not configured with a fixed IP address, it tries to get an IP address from a DHCP server. If it cannot, it assigns its own Link-Local address putting the switch and the laptop on the same subnet. The laptop can then use telnet or a web browser to access the switch removing the need for the serial cable.

The IPv4 address format is used to make it simple for a user to determine the switch‘s IP address. The formula is to use the lower 2 bytes of the MAC address as the last two numbers in the Link-Local IPv4 address.

MAC address: 00:04:96:97:E9:EE

Link-Local IP address is:

  • 169.254.233.238 or 0xa9fee9ee

Web browsers accept a hexadecimal value as an IPv4 address. (Microsoft IE displays the URL with the number dot notation 169.254.233.239.)

The web URL is http:// 0xa9fee9ee or just 0xa9fee9ee

The user documentation directs the customer to access the web browser by typing 0xa9fe followed by the last two number/letter groups in the MAC address found on the switch label. No hexadecimal translation is required.

With this information, a user can connect the Ethernet port directly from a laptop to this switch using the temporary Link-Local address. You can communicate via web or telnet to perform the initial switch configuration, if needed, and no longer needs a serial cable to configure a switch.

DHCP Parameters

If a DHCP server is available, ZTP tries to contact it alternating between the default VLAN and the management ethernet port. The DHCP server can provide:

  • IP Address
  • Gateway
  • option43 parameters
  • option125 paramters.

If an IP address is provided by a DHCP server on the management port, it replaces the Link-Local management IPv4 address.

If a TFTP server IP address is provided along with the name of a config file, ZTP downloads the config file to the switch. The switch reboots to activate the config file.

For .xos image files, ZTP executes the EXOS download image command to update the switch software. The switch does not reboot after the download image command completes.

Option43

Option43 processing does not require an NMS. If a switch receives option43 as part of the DHCP response, it uses the TFTP protocol to transfer files from the specified TFTP server IP address.

Option43 parameters may contain:
  • TFTP Server to Contact
  • Config file to be loaded or script to be run (.xsf or .py)
  • Policy files (.pol)
  • EXOS image file to be downloaded (.xos)
  • EXOS xmond file to be downloaded (.xmod)
  • SNMP trap receiver address for Extreme MIB traps

Multiple file names may be specified in option43. The file names can be either relative path names or a full URL with the IP address of the TFTP server. If relative path names are specified, the TFTP IP address is also required.

File name examples assuming a TFTP server is present with the IP address 10.10.10.1:
  • exos/summitX-15.7.1.1.xos (specify the IP address in sub option 100)
  • tftp://10.10.10.1/exos/summitX-15.7.1.1.xos (sub option 100 is not required)
Once all of the files specified in option43 have been transferred to the switch, the switch reboots.

ExtremeXOS Image Update

Using ZTP, you can setup a DHCP/TFTP server and connect switches directly to it, possibly via an L2 switch. Switches can then update themselves with an ExtremeXOS generally available software image before being installed into a live network. The following figure shows one possible method of upgrading switches by connecting them to an L2 switch. This approach upgrades the switches before being deployed into a network.

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ZTP DHCP/TFTP Server Setup
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Option125

Option125 depends on Extreme Management Center being present for initial switch configuration and software upgrades.

Option125 parameters contain the Extreme Management Center trap address.

Specifying option125 in the DHCP response causes the switch to issue a etsysConfigMgmtReadyNotification trap to the Extreme Management Center NMS. NetSight then discovers the switch information via SNMP and can, optionally, send a series of commands to the switch to download files or configure the switch.