Juniper Zero Touch Configuration (ZTP) Part 1 - Overview

Posted September 9, 2017 by Matthew McGeehan

After spending hours racking a ton of new network switches, have you ever dreamt about powering up the gear and then walking away as it magically configures itself? I have to admit that this thought has crossed my mind a couple of times.

One day after such an event, I went about seeing what I could do to make my pie in the sky dream come true. What I came across is a technology that has been around for some time that most vendors support in one way or another. It may go by slightly different names but the concept is pretty much the same. Do a little bit of pre-work and have the switch magically provision itself during the initial boot process.

Today I will briefly walk through what I've learned about zero touch provisioning (ZTP) on Juniper devices. ZTP works by leveraging DHCP options. In my mind the process is similar to the one used by Cisco phones to grab settings on startup. So how does it all work? Let's walk through the process.

Brief overview of ZTP:

Step 1 - Rack, stack, and cable the management port.

  • The switch will need to have the default factory configuration. Otherwise, run one of the following commands.
    • request system zeroize
    • set chassis auto-image-upgrade

Step 2 - Power up the switch.

  • The switch will power up and attempt to grab an IP address from DHCP.

Step 3 - The DHCP server will use option 150 to tell the switch to do the following.

  • Upgrade Junos OS
  • Load a configuration file
  • If the DHCP server does not pass any of this information along, the switch will keep the preinstalled software and default configuration.

There is a little bit of setup involved to get everything up and running. In future blog posts, I will walk through how to create a test environment for ZTP.