[j-nsp] EX4550 and MX104

Richard McGovern rmcgovern at juniper.net
Tue Jul 17 10:24:59 EDT 2018

Felt need to jump in here, and hopefully get some of the real facts straight.  Prior to ELS CLI Juniper had basically 2 different CLI’s – one for EX Products and branch SRX one for MX and a like.  M/MX CLI came first and used the terminology IRB and Bridge Domains.  These products were designed for primarily L3, and L2 was added later.  I think this started in like mid-1990s.

From there the industry started to use VLANs for L2, and VLANs with associated Routing for L3 Switching.  When Juniper developed their original EX Access switch product line they choose to use the now common term VLAN in their CLI, as these devices are primarily used for L2. This time frame was around 2008/9.  This now made the original EX CLI different than the M/MX Junos CLI.

Now fast forward to 2013.  Juniper had some decisions to be made with regards to future platforms and strategic direction.  Be it good or bad, Juniper decided on 2 approaches.  1 a common CLI for all future products (and therefore some new ‘name’), and to move away from Marvell and onto Broadcom as a strategic 3rd party chip vendor.  This was especially for price competitive products, like L2 (and TOR) switches.  The new [ELS] CLI was/is based more on MX, than older original EX for a variety of reasons, be they now good or bad.  This is the reason that the new Broadcom based switches have a different [ELS based] CLI that the original EX switches.  So, the original EX CLI and newer ELS based CLI are 100% based upon hardware platform in use, and not SW release, and do not BREAK anything from working.  You cannot change from one CLI to the other via Junos SW code release changes.  This CLI change only happens when one switches to a different newer hardware platform.

Does this make the transition a little more difficult, yes.  This is really no different, IMHO, then CISCO CAT CLI, vs IOS CI, etc.  One difference is Juniper now has one solid CLI moving forward. I am not sure CISCO could make the same claim.

FACT – all Juniper Broadcom based devices, outside of original QFX3500/3600 (not even 100% sure if Broadcom based) use only the newer ELS based CLI.  Same as true for all newer and future Junos based devices.

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