Juniper vMX Lab Setup on VMware

This is a description on how to deploy a Juniper LAB of 8 vMX routers and making a simple topology in VMware vSphere environment. vMX is Juniper’s virtual production router so this could be the same procedure for deploying vMX device in production except different number of routers and their interconnection with vSwitch setup.

Juniper vMX router

Two VMs interconnected with VLAN801 – making one Juniper vMX router

As you might have seen from my previous post, I’m trying to get into Juniper configuration lately. One of the things that I needed is to set up a simple lab running Juniper vMX machines with multicast forwarding enabled.

It was a simple lab experiment with few commands on each device. As it turns out, being a Cisco fellow, each of those commands presented a complicated googling routine until the thing finally started to work.

Most time I spent configuring Virtual Machines and boot them properly, after that Juniper Configuration Guides were enough to make fist lab scenarios.

Googling went somewhat like this:

  • How to set up Juniper vMX on Vmware ESXi 6.0 and interconnect 8 instances of vMX?
  • How to configure Vmware network and vSwitches to make this work?
  • How to configure VCE and VPE vMX Control and Forwarding plane VM communication?
  • How to configure interfaces and map them to VMware vSwitch interfaces?
  • How to configure Juniper eth interfaces, OSPF, Multicast with PIM Sparse mode?
  • Why this does not work from the first try? Do I need vMX Evaluation licence to do that?
  • What for …. does ‘tunnel-services statement on one or more online FPC and PIC’ mean?

…so when it actually finally worked, I decided to share it so you can have one post that would describe it from start all the way to VLC Multicast streaming.

Previous post is describing the configuration of vMX routers to get IP addressing, routing and multicast routing working. In this one here I wanted to share with you how the actual VMware ESXi setup was made so you do not lose time with those few Juniper posts about it which are maybe not precise enough to make it in first try.

LAB Topology

In case I decide to enhance my Juniper-fu sometime soon I prepared my lab topology in a way that enables multiple paths from Server1 (on the left side) to Server2 (on the other side). In this way it will be possible to test multicast forwarding and multicast traffic engineering by sending streams for different groups across different paths.

I also put on each side one Windows 2K12 machine and one Cent OS 7 machine. It give me more options for which tools I could use to test because some of them are Linux only and some work only from Windows. Lab environment that can test both Linux and Windows servers as end hosts is always a nice thing to have.

Juniper vMX IP topology

Juniper vMX LAB for multicast Topology

 

Deploying Juniper vMX routers in VMware

Version Alert!!
The part below describes VCP and VFP deployment of version 16.1R1 which was the latest one when this articles was published. If you downloaded later versions like 16.1R2, 16.1R3 or something newer, you will get two .ova files only. Then you just deploy .ova files with vSphere selecting File-> Deploy OVF Template and skip to the vSwith networking setup.

Deploy OVF template

Deploy OVF Template


Deploying Juniper vMX routers in VMware (Junos version 16.1R1)

  • In ESXi Datastore create separate folder for each VCP and CFP: Juniper vMX CP 1 … 8, Juniper vMX FP 1 … 8 in my case.
  • Download vMX ESXi from juniper.net website
  • Extract that thing and you will see “vmdk” folder where all your disk are
    • Upload first vmdk ( junos-vmx-x86-64-16.1R1.7.vmdk ) into “Juniper vMX FP 1” folder
    • Upload other three vmdk files ( metadata_usb.vmdk | vFPC-20160617.vmdk | vmxhdd.vmdk ) into “Juniper vMX CP 1” folder
    • Now copy those files to all other folders Juniper vMX CP 1 … 8, Juniper vMX FP 1 … 8 respectively.
  • Start the VMs creation with following steps:

Creating VCP – Control Plane VM:

  • File -> New -> Virtual Machine in VSphere Console
  • In the Wizard’s fist step select: Custom VM
  • In the next step: Name the VM: “Juniper vMX CP 1” – or something similar to let you know later that his is a Control Plane VM of your first vMX router
  • Select the Datastore where your Folders with vmdk files are and save the VM there.
  • Select Virtual Machine Version 8
  • Select Other 64-bit version of OS
  • Select 1 vCPU
  • Select 2GB of RAM
  • Leave networks for now, we will set them up later
  • Select LSI Logic Parallel SCSI controller settings
  • Map disks from VCS datastore folder selecting: Use an existing virtual disk
  • Map the “vFPC-20160617.vmdk” first.
  • Select the Edit virtual machine settings before completion check box and click Continue
  • Add Additional disk: “vmxhdd.vmdk”
  • Add another disk: “metadata_usb.vmdk”

Please keep in mind that those disks must be mapped in this exact order.

Creating VFP – Forwarding Plane VM:

  • File -> New -> Virtual Machine in VSphere Console
  • In the Wizard’s fist step select: Custom VM
  • In the next step: Name the VM: “Juniper vMX FP 1” – or something similar to let you know later that his is a Forwarding Plane VM of your first vMX router
  • Select the Datastore where your Folders with vmdk files are and save the VM there.
  • Select Virtual Machine Version 8
  • Select Other 64-bit version of OS
  • Select 3 vCPU
  • Select 8GB of RAM
  • Leave networks for now, we will set them up later
  • Select LSI Logic Parallel SCSI controller settings
  • Map disks from VCS datastore folder selecting: Use an existing virtual disk
  • Map the “junos-vmx-x86-64-16.1R1.7.vmdk” first.

After making 8 VM of each type we will have something line this visible in VMware vSphere console:

vMX on VMware

This topology is running 8 vMX routers and 4 Servers. 8 vMX routers are visible as 8 VCP + 8 VFP VMs

We can now go on and start interconnecting them, using vSwitch configuration, in order to get our LAB topology working.

Preparing VMware vSwitch Networks for this topology

Juniper vMX router is virtual router which needs two VMs to run. First VM is VCP – Virtual Control Plane VM and the second VFP – Virtual Forwarding Plane VM. If we compare this to normal chassis router it is like having VCP for Management (something like supervisor) and each VFP presenting a line card of that switch chassis. In our case we deployed 8 VCP VMs of each type in previous chapter and now we need to connect each VCP to one VFP making 8 functional vMX devices.

Topology looks like this if we show all VMs making the topology above:

Juniper vMX multicast topology

vMX VPC and VFP VMs interconnected with vSwitch VLAN configuration

VMware configuration is done with 3 Standard vSwitch:

  1. MGMT vSwitch (Demolab vSwitch)
    • This switch, with connection to outside world, is used for Management of routers. Using this connection, routers will be reachable from my local LAN and I will not need vSphere Console to connect to them and manage them. I will simply ssh to them.
  2. Juniper MGMT VLANs
    • Each VLAN from this switch is used for the interconnection of VCP VM with VFP VM. Making this connection we are connecting Control Plane with Forwarding plane and Juniper vMX router is them ready to be turned on. Interconnection of this kind are visible in the topology above as VLAN 801 to VLAN 808.
  3. Juniper TRAFFIC VLANs
    • VLANs on this vSwitch are configured to interconnect Juniper routers effectively creating our topology and enabling inter-Router communication. Each VFP forwarding plane has two or three vNICs in those VLANs creating the data plane. Those VLANs are in the topology above VLANs 9xx, VLAN26, VLAN75

To give you and example, here we have configuration of vMX 1. You can see that first image is showing VCP VM provisioned with 2GB RAMs and 1 vCPU. The only two NICs on every VCP are “DemoLab” for mgmt access to that router and “Juniper mgmt VLAN 801” which will connect this VCP to below showed VFP.

vMX on VMware 2

vMX VCP VM Configuration

The second image is showing VFP VM provisioned with 8GB RAM and 3 vCPUs. Forwarding Plane VM – VFP has three disks mapped and also few vNICs. First NIC is like in all other VMs “DemoLab” for mgmt access on that router (That router’s forwarding and all configs will be done from VCP VM so if you like you can remove that vNIC from VFP VMs.). Next NIC is in VLAN 801 to interconnect him with above showed VCP. All other vNICs are connecting this VFP to other VFP VMs creating our topology.

vMX on VMware 3

vMX VFP VM Configuration

From here on, you can start to turn on the VMs and connect to them with vSphere Console. When connected to VCP VMs you should see that forwarding plane is detected and connected automatically to your VCP with command:

show chassis fpc

If this is working then:

show interface terse

The last command should show your ge-0/0/0, ge-0/0/1 .. etc. interfaces if VCP-VFP communication is working.

The first step after that if to find fxp0 interface and configure MGMT IP address from range available on your local network (DemoLab network in my case). After this interface is configured and static route to your notebook subnet is configured you should get access to that router via ssh.

More info in my first blog post about configuration of Juniper devices can be found here. For questions, leave a comment.

UPDATE on 5 Dec 2016:
Added info about deploying Junos 16.1R2 and newer.

8 Comments

  1. Branko Sabadi August 17, 2016
  2. nick August 30, 2016
    • Valter Popeskic August 30, 2016
  3. raymond eustaquio October 26, 2016
    • Valter Popeskic October 28, 2016
  4. junos December 4, 2016
    • Valter Popeskic December 5, 2016

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