Netbox: New installation (2.8.5) and cabling and assigning IP addresses

The guys from netbox released version 2.8.5 a couple of days ago, so I decided to do a new setup of my netbox installation - which gives me also the chance to document my setup and go through the device configuration, new features like power feeds and power panels, cabling and scripts. The second part covers the filled up rack and the cabling of each network port. This part contains also IPAM (IP Address Management) and handling of Provider Circuits.

Continuation of Device Type definitions

For two devices I need a more specialized definition. One of those is a 19″ Patch Panel and the other one is a 19″ Shelf which houses two Synology DS418, one on the left, the other on the right.

19″ Patch Panel

The Patch Panel has a more special Device Type definition because it has Rear and Front Ports, which must be mapped. On the Front Ports the connection to an access layer switch are patched. Consolidation Points or Network Outlets are cabled to the Rear Ports. In my case the mapping of a Patch Panel looks like this:

Netbox: Port mapping of Patch Panel
Netbox: Port mapping of Patch Panel

19″ Shelf for Synology

Because I have two Synology DS418 placed next to each other, I need to define a 19″ Shelf which is capable to house the two devices. This can be accomplished by using the Device Bay feature on this 19″ Shelf. The Synology DS418 consume about 4U (Height Units), therefore I’m defining the 19″ Shelf as a 4U device. Note: The 19″ Shelf need to be defined as Parent, the Synology need to be defined as Child devices. The 19″ Shelf looks then like shown in the screenshot below:

Netbox: 19″ Shelf with two device bays for Synology DS418
Netbox: 19″ Shelf with two device bays for Synology DS418

Rack with all devices installed

After all devices installed, the final setup of my rack looks like shown below. However a rack with installed hardware is only one part of documenting an IT rack or cabinet. Connections of Power cables and Network Patch cords need to be defined as well. On top, IP addresses need to be assigned to network ports and a lot of other information can be documented with Netbox too.

Netbox: Rack with all devices installed
Netbox: Rack with all devices installed

Cabling and Virtual Interfaces

In Netbox, Device Interfaces can be easily connected, Interfaces like LAG (Link Aggregation) or Virtual Interfaces can be added to a Device as well to “mirror” the reality in software.

Network Ports and Link Aggregation

The Patch cord connections can be established by using the Cabling feature of Netbox. In version 2.8.5 four types of connections are available: Interface, Front Port, Rear Port and Circuit Termination. In the example below I show how I connect my Cisco Wireless Controller to my Core-Switch with an Interface connection.

Netbox: Connecting Gigabit Ethernet Interface with a patch cord
Netbox: Connecting Gigabit Ethernet Interface with a patch cord

Because my Cisco Wireless Controller is connected with all four Gigabit Ethernet Ports as LAG (Link Aggregation) Interface, I’m adding a LAG interface in Netbox too. All four Gigabit Ethernet Ports are then assigned to this one LAG Interface as illustrated below:

Netbox: Selecting Gigabit Ethernet Ports and assign to LAG Interface
Netbox: Selecting Gigabit Ethernet Ports and assign to LAG Interface

Virtual and VLAN interfaces

I’m adding Virtual and VLAN interfaces on the device directly (and not to the device type, which acts as template). For example on my Cisco Wireless Controller I am adding the interface “management” as virtual interface and marking it as out-of-band management.

Netbox: Adding Virtual and VLAN Interface
Netbox: Adding Virtual and VLAN Interface

IP Address Management

Before any IP address is assigned to an Interface of a Device, some preparation in IPAM needs to be done first. This includes for example the definition of VLANs and Prefixes.

Creating VLANs

VLANs can be easily created by adding the VLAN number and the name of the VLAN. All VLANs are configured on my Core Switch and are distributed with VTP (Virtual Trunk Protocol) to the Access Switch. In my setup, the VLANs I created looks like this.

Netbox: Creating a set of VLAN's
Netbox: Creating a set of VLAN’s

Creating Prefixes

A network Prefix is a subnet created by the VLSM (Variable-length subnet masking) rules. In my network, I’m using a RfC1918: Address Allocation for Private Internets range, split it up by VLSM into smaller subnets and assigning them to a VLAN. My Prefixes in Netbox looks like shown in the screenshot below:

Netbox: Creating Network Prefixes
Netbox: Creating Network Prefixes

Assigning an IP address to a Device Interface

On a Device Interface the IP address is set like illustrated below. The IP address will appear automatically in the Prefixes defined earlier with the status used. Sophisticated setups of IP addresses like HSRP (Hot Routing Standby Protocol) or CARP (Common Address Redundancy Protocol) are supported as well.

Netbox: Assigning an IP address to a Device Interface
Netbox: Assigning an IP address to a Device Interface

Provider and Circuits

One newer feature in Netbox is Provider and Circuits. This comes handy when from a global perspective a lot of different Providers and Circuits need to be managed. In my case I need only to “manage” three Providers and three Circuits. In detail: Internet Provider, SIP provider and Mobile Provider for my Cell phone. The example below shows the Internet Provider, where the circuit terminates to a CPE (Customer-premises equipment).

Netbox: Providers and Circuits
Netbox: Providers and Circuits

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