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Juniper MX Series by Harry Reynolds, Douglas Richard Hanks Jr.

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Summary

Virtual chassis is a powerful tool in the hands of a network engineer. Being able to provide standard high-availability features such as GRES and NSR that span different routing engines in different chassis is a simple but elegant method to mitigate risk when providing chassis virtualization. Besides the obvious OSS/BSS benefits of virtual chassis, the most often overlooked and powerful feature comes from the ability to add and remove members from a virtual chassis; this creates a “plug and play” environment where a new member can be installed into a virtual chassis to immediately scale the number of ports providing network services.

Both Enterprise and Service Provider customers can instantly benefit from virtual chassis. The administration benefits of managing and operating a single control plane versus an entire army of routers have obvious and immediate impacts. Being able to present a single system to SNMP collectors, syslog hosts, and AAA services makes everyone’s life easier. Virtual chassis grants the network operator a single control plane and command line from which to make changes to the system, thereby removing the nuisance of wondering which router to log into to change a particular function.

With great power comes great responsibility. The only downside to virtual chassis is that it makes it much easier to propagate a mistake. For example, if you were modifying a routing protocol setting and made a mistake, it would impact the entire virtual chassis. Virtual ...

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