The new Juniper Networks EX2200 Ethernet switches, designed for branch offices and low-density wiring closets, include a number of features designed to make life easier for network administrators.
These features dramatically simplify switch operation and management—critical for environments such as branch offices, where skilled IT staff are not always available. Let’s begin with the switch’s rear panel, where a USB port allows users to easily back up the switch’s operating system software image and configuration files by simply inserting a thumb drive.
This feature, called “system snapshot,” makes copies of all the software files used to run the switch—the complete contents of the /config and /var directories, including the Junos operating system, the active configuration, and the rescue configuration. This snapshot can be used to reboot the switch at the next power-up or as a backup boot option. The Junos software can also be pre-installed on a flash drive and used to boot the EX2200 at any time; this is particularly useful when the switch boots to the loader prompt because it can’t locate the Junos OS in the internal flash memory.
Another feature, called automatic software download, enables network administrators to easily upgrade the EX2200 using the DHCP message exchange process to download and install software packages. Users simply configure the automatic software download feature on EX2200 switches acting as DHCP clients and establish a path to the server where the software package file is installed. The server then communicates the path to the software package file through DHCP server messages.
When the automatic software download feature is enabled, the DHCP client EX2200 switch compares the software package name in the DHCP server message to the name of the software package that booted the switch. If the names are different, the DHCP client EX2200 switch downloads and installs the software package specified in the DHCP server message.
The EX2200 also offers an autoinstallation feature for automatically configuring the switch using a pre-existing file stored on a configuration server—typically a Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) server. Autoinstallation occurs automatically when an Ethernet port on the EX2200 is connected to the network and the switch is powered on using factory default settings. The autoinstallation feature can also be explicitly enabled by specifying a configuration server, an autoinstallation interface, and a protocol for IP address acquisition. This feature is extremely useful for configuring or updating multiple EX2200 switches from a central location.
Initial deployment of the EX2200 switch is also very easy using the “ez-setup” feature. Typing “ezsetup” at the Junos shell prompt root% initiates the ezsetup script, which walks the network administrator through the basic configuration process including hostname, root password, services like Telnet and SSH, in-band and out-band management interfaces, and system date and time. With ez-setup, network administrators who don’t have much Junos knowledge can successfully deploy EX2200 switches with basic mandatory configurations.
By offering these features, combined with other management features such as J-web, Juniper NMS and third-party management system integration, the EX2200 switches satisfy the branch office and low-density wiring closet connectivity requirements of today’s high-performance businesses. Delivering complete Layer 2 and basic Layer 3 switching capabilities with simplified management and easy deployment options, the EX2200 represents a highly effective solution for today’s enterprise network.
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