Management VRF — a subset of VRF (virtual routing tables and forwarding) — provides a separation between the out-of-band management network and the in-band data plane network. For all VRFs, the main routing table is the default table for all of the data plane switch ports. With management VRF, a second table, mgmt, is used for routing through the switch's Ethernet ports. The mgmt name is special cased to identify the management VRF from a data plane VRF. FIB rules are installed for DNS servers since this is the typical deployment case.
Cumulus Linux only supports eth0 as the management interface, or eth1, depending on the switch platform. The Ethernet ports are software-only parts that are not hardware accelerated by
switchd. VLAN subinterfaces, bonds, bridges and the front panel switch ports are not supported as management interfaces.
When management VRF is enabled, logins to the switch are set into the management VRF context. IPv4 and IPv6 networking applications (for example, Ansible, Chef and
apt-get) run by an administrator communicate out the management network by default. This default context does not impact services run through
systemd and the
systemctl command, and does not impact commands examining the state of the switch; for example, using the
ip command to list links, neighbors or routes.
The management VRF configurations in this chapter contain a localhost loopback IP address (127.0.0.1/8). Putting the loopback address in the management VRF's L3 domain prevents issues with applications that expect the loopback IP address to exist in the VRF, such as NTP.
Enabling Management VRF
To enable management VRF on eth0, complete the following steps:
Bringing the Management VRF Up after Downing It with ifdown
If you take down the management VRF using
ifdown, to bring it back up you need to do one of two things:
ifup --with-depends <vrf>
ifreload -a disconnects the session for any interface configured as auto.
To enable NTP to run in the mgmt VRF:
- Configure the
mgmtVRF as described in the Enabling Management VRF section above.
If NTP is running, stop the service:
By default, NTP is running in the default VRF, and to automatically start when the system boots; the NTP service needs to be stopped, disabled, and then restarted once the mgmt VRF is configured.
Disable NTP from automatically starting in the default VRF:
Start NTP in the mgmt VRF.
Verify that NTP peers are active.
Enable ntp@mgmt so that it starts when the switch boots:
snmpd to run in the mgmt VRF:
mgmtVRF as described in the Enabling Management VRF section above.
snmpddaemon if it is running:
snmpdto ensure it does not start in the default VRF if the system is rebooted:
snmpdin the the mgmt VRF:
Enable snmpd@mgmt so it starts when the switch boots:
Using ping or traceroute
By default, issuing a
traceroute assumes the packet should be sent to the dataplane network (the main routing table). If you wish to use
traceroute on the management network, use the
-I flag for ping and
OSPF and BGP
In general, no changes are required for either BGP or OSPF. Quagga was updated in Cumulus Linux 3.0 to be VRF-aware and automatically sends packets based on the switch port routing table. This includes BGP peering via loopback interfaces. BGP does routing lookups in the default table. However, one modification you may consider has to do with how your routes get redistributed.
Redistributing Routes in Management VRF
Management VRF uses the mgmt table, including local routes. It does not affect how the routes are redistributed when using routing protocols such as OSPF and BGP.
To redistribute the routes in your network, use the
redistribute connected command under BGP or OSPF. This enables the directly connected network out of eth0 to be advertised to its neighbor.
This also creates a route on the neighbor device to the management network through the data plane, which may not be desired.
Cumulus Networks recommends you always use route maps to control the advertised networks redistributed by the
redistribute connected command. For example, you can specify a route map to redistribute routes in this way (for both BGP and OSPF):
These commands produce the following configuration snippet in the
SNMP Traps Use eth0 Only
SNMP cannot use a switch port to send data. For any SNMP traps, this traffic gets sent out to eth0. Cumulus Networks plans to support switch ports in the future.
For SNMP, this restriction only applies to traps. SNMP polling is not affected.
Using SSH within a Management VRF Context
If you SSH to the switch through a switch port, it works as expected. If you need to SSH from the device out of a switch port, use
vrf exec default ssh <ip_address_of_swp_port>. For example:
Viewing the Routing Tables
When you look at the routing table with
ip route show, you are looking at the switch port (main) table. You can also see the dataplane routing table with
net show route vrf main.
To look at information about eth0 (the management routing table), use
net show route vrf mgmt.
Viewing a Single Route
Note that if you use
ip route get to return information about a single route, the command resolves over the mgmt table by default. To get information about the route in the switching silicon, use:
To get the route for any VRF, run:
Using the mgmt Interface Class
ifupdown2 interface classes are used to create a user-defined grouping for interfaces. The special class mgmt is available to separate the switch's management interfaces from the data interfaces. This allows you to manage the data interfaces by default using
ifupdown2 commands. Performing operations on the mgmt interfaces requires specifying the
--allow-mgmt option, which prevents inadvertent outages on the management interfaces. Cumulus Linux by default brings up all interfaces in both the auto (default) class and the mgmt interface class when the switch boots.
You configure the management interface in
/etc/network/interfaces. In the example below, the management interface, eth0, and the mgmt VRF stanzas are added to the mgmt interface class:
When you run
ifupdown2 commands against the interfaces in the mgmt class, include
--allow=mgmt with the commands. For example, to see which interfaces are in the mgmt interface class, run:
To reload the configurations for interfaces in the mgmt class, run:
However, you can still bring the management interface up and down using
ifup eth0 and
Management VRF and DNS
Cumulus Linux supports both DHCP and static DNS entries over management VRF through IP FIB rules. These rules are added to direct lookups to the DNS addresses out of the management VRF. However, nameservers configured through DHCP are automatically updated, while statically configured nameservers (configured in
/etc/resolv.conf) only get updated when you run
Because DNS lookups are forced out of the management interface using FIB rules, this could affect data plane ports if there are overlapping addresses.
Incompatibility with cl-ns-mgmt
Management VRF has replaced the management namespace functionality in Cumulus Linux. The management namespace feature (via the
cl-ns-mgmt utility) has been deprecated, and the
cl-ns-mgmt command has been removed.