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calendar_month 07-Mar-24

Preparing Campus Switches

Following initial unboxing and inventory, the next step in deploying a campus network involves the physical installation of the switches. At the core and aggregation layers, verify the airflow configuration for the products to be installed to make sure they support the cooling design of the installation location. At the access layer, ensure that sufficient power and cooling are provided for the planned endpoint density and power requirements. Rack space, mechanical fasteners, patch cables, and optics or DACs are critical components to have on-hand before initiating physical installation.

Table of contents

Switch Installation

Before installing the switches, download the Aruba Installation Guide for the specific model to be deployed. Review the requirements for power, cooling, and mounting, and ensure that the required infrastructure is available at each location where campus switches will be installed.

Step 1 Open a web browser and navigate to the Aruba Support Portal at

Step 2 On the Support Portal page, select the Software & Documents tab.

Step 3 On the Software & Documents tab, select Switches.

Step 4 Select the filter options on the left.

  • File Type: Document

  • Product: Aruba Switches

  • File Category: Installation Guide

Step 5 Download the Installation Guide version for the switch model to be installed.

Step 6 Complete the physical installation of switches in the racks.

Note: Installation locations have a range of infrastructure limitations and standards. Ensure that the equipment to be installed is compatible with those parameters. If not, consult with Aruba TAC or a local SE.

Note: In many cases, initial configuration of a switch can be completed and validated prior to permanent physical installation. Consider if a “bench configuration” methodology is appropriate to the deployment.

Physical Cabling

Consistent port selection across the campus switching infrastructure results in increased ease of configuration management, monitoring, reporting, and troubleshooting tasks throughout the network. Document all connections and ensure that distance limitations are observed for endpoint connections, AP connections, and between switches. In most cases, a structured cabling vendor should be consulted.

In large campus environments, the ESP network may be deployed in phases. For each phase, complete all layer 1 interconnects between switches before beginning the configuration process in Central.

Switch Profiles and Interface Groups

Aruba CX 8xxx model switches have configurable hardware that addresses a range of performance requirements at the core and aggregation layers of a campus network.

  • Switch profiles assign system resources strategically for the deployed role. Campus-specific switch profiles include core and aggregation roles. Refer to the “Hardware forwarding table commands” section of the model-specific Aruba CX Fundamentals guide for feature details.
  • Interface groups allocate switch ports for features that must be enabled on a group of ports at the same time. Port speeds on 8325 (all ports) and 8360-32Y4C (ports 1-4) switches are configured as port groups. In both cases, the default port speed is 25 Gb/s and must be set to 10 Gb/s to support transceivers of that speed. Refer to the “Network Ports” section of the model-specific Aruba CX Switch Series Installation and Getting Started Guide for complete, model-specific details.


A new switch must receive an IP address, DNS server address, and a default gateway via DHCP in order to connect with Central for successful Zero Touch provisioning.

In some settings, it may be desirable to reserve an IP address for each switch on a DHCP server. This ensures a predictable IP address for local management connections, such as SSH, while also enabling the switch to contact Aruba Central immediately on boot.

When switches are unpacked and prepared for bench configuration or rack mounting, access the orange luggage tag on the switch and record the base MAC address. The MAC address of the management interface is the base MAC + 1. For example, 02:00:00:00:00:00 becomes 02:00:00:00:00:01. Use this management MAC address for a DHCP reserved lease configuration.

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