Cumulus Linux vs Cisco NX-OS: Auto Provisioning

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Zero touch provisioning enables a switch to be simply plugged into the management network from where it can download the network OS and a script to automate the installation of the OS and/or a one-time script that can install any packages and/or configuration the switch may initially need.

Cumulus LinuxCisco Nexus 3000 Series

Zero touch provisioning

  1. Boot up Cumulus Linux on switch.
  2. Zero touch provisioning (ZTP) gets invoked if eth0 on the switch is connected to a DHCP server and a DHCP response with option 239 is present.
  3. The ZTP script is executed if the # CUMULUS-AUTOPROVISIONING flag is present in the script.
  4. When the script return a code of 0, this indicates that provisioning has completed.

Power On Auto Provisioning (POAP)

  1. Boot up into POAP mode (if no configuration file found or the boot poap enable command was used).
  2. USB discovery.
  3. DHCP discovery.
  4. Script execution (hosted on TFTP or HTTP server).
  5. Post-installation reload.

Extremely expansive 3rd party application installation supported via Debian packages.

This ZTP script can be written in any programming language that can be or is already installed on the switch. Bash, Python, Ruby, etc...

Limited 3rd party application installation supported.

Cisco states - "We provide sample configuration scripts that were developed using the Python programming language and Tool Command Language (Tcl)."

For more information, see the Cumulus Linux 2.5 ZTP chapter in the user guide.

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