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05 - Site Separation

Site separation

The site represents a separate collection of devices. A site can be a branch, a factory, a production floor, a campus, or anything that might represent a logical group for a user.

By default, the Site distribution is generated automatically after the discovery process ends and is based on the rules described below. It can also be triggered manually without the need for the whole discovery process by going to Settings → Site separation (In global or Snapshot settings).

Manual Site Separation (Device Attributes)

The Manual Site Separation enables the Device Attributes feature to create manual separation if a device does not follow a standard hostname rule or perhaps the hostname is duplicated in multiple locations.

To configure Device Attributes first enable the toggle in the Site Separation Menu and select Configure or the Device Attributes menu under settings. Site separation manual site separtion

Device Attributes

Site separation device attributes

  • Serial Number is IP Fabric’s "Unique Serial Number" (API column sn); this is not the column "Serial Number" which represents the Hardware SN (API column snHw)
    • Devices discovered via API can also be assigned using Device Attributes.
  • Hostname is populated by IP Fabric when a device matching the Serial Number is found
  • Attribute is the Device Attribute to assign, since we want to set the Site based on the serial number set it to Site name
  • Value is the attribute’s value to assign, in this case we want to split site L35 into separate sites named 35COLO, 35PRODUCTION, 35HEADOFFICE

Creating Rules In The UI

You are able to create rules in the UI by selecting the Add attribute button. This will provide you a form to fill out. Site separation add attribute

The dropdown is intuitive and will let you search based on SN or hostname. Currently there is an issue where IP Fabric will not search for devices discovered via an API in the UI. Even though it appears no devices match the SN it will still perform the site separation correctly on the next snapshot.

Site separation add attribute dropdown

Creating Rules Via The API

This is the preferred method of creating rules as it allows bulk importing.

Method PUT
URL https://<IPF_URL>/api/v5.0/attributes/global
Data {"attributes": [{"sn": "<IPF SERIAL NUMBER>", "value": "<SITE NAME>", "name": "siteName"}]}

Routing And Switching Domain


With this setting, you can manually edit the distribution of sites later. Sites can be also renamed.

By default, the site is comprised of the topology of all contiguously interconnected protocols, and the boundary of a site is formed by the network protocol relation that is not under management using the provided authentication credentials.

The default separation is useful for MPLS networks where directly connected routing infrastructure at the site’s edge is not accessible.

For situations where an inaccessible routed firewall is used at the site (i.e. device under different management team), an option Firewall at site can be turned on so the infrastructure before and behind the firewall is not separated into two different sites.

For networks that have direct routing connectivity between sites, such as DMVPN or Leased Lines (usually over Serial or MFR interfaces), an option to separate the site using tunnel and/or serial the interface should be selected.

Routing and switching domain site separation

Regular Expression Site Separation


Site distribution cannot be changed manually when regex rules are used. Sites cannot be renamed.

Alternatively, site separation can follow a specific Regular Expression (RegEx) where separation will be performed based on portion of a device hostname or SNMP location.


If you cannot cover the names of the sites with one regex, you can use logical or. Use | (pipe) the character between RegEx rules or use the Device Attributes method shown below.

Hostname Regex

Go to Settings → Site separation and change Routing & Switching Domain to RegEx based on hostname or create a new rule by Add rule button.

Transform hostname is used to normalize site names based on hostname:

  • Upper case (default) - first hostname PRAGUE-RTR1, second hostname prague-rtr2 => result is that both devices in one site named PRAGUE
  • Lower case - first hostname PRAGUE-RTR1, second hostname prague-rtr2 => result is that both devices in one site named prague
  • No transformation - first hostname PRAGUE-RTR1, second hostname prague-rtr2 => result is that each device has its own site named PRAGUE and prague Site separation hostname regex

In this example the regular expression will match items such as PRAGUE-, LONDON-, etc.

SNMP Location Regex

Go to Settings → Site separation and change Routing & Switching Domain to RegEx based on SNMP location or create a new rule by Add rule button. Site separation SNMP regex


The UI now allows you to edit and test your rules directly in the browser when selecting the Test rule option. Here you can see a live preview of devices that will match the regex you created. Site separation testing

You can also test SNMP location rules:

Site separation testing snmp

Regex Example

We have several locations whose name is logically designed as one letter with one to three numbers. From the point of view of a regex, such a site can generally be expressed as "^([a-zA-Z]\d{1,3})". Unfortunately, we have two other sites that do not fit into this schema. These sites can be defined with their own regex and this can be added to the original one using the logical operator or:

^([a-zA-Z]\d{1,3}|HWLAB|static\d{1}) - 1st option OR 2nd option OR 3rd option

Device Neighborship

Site separtion device neighborship

This option will try to define a device based on its neighbor relationship if a device does not match any previous rule. Perhaps you have devices in your environment that do not follow the normal standard like in a DMZ zone or Day 0 devices that have not been fully configured. If that device is connected to a device that did match a rule, IP Fabric will intelligently group it to the correct site.

Creating Rules With python-ipfabric Package

Please see the example located on Community Fabric GitHub.

Rule Priority

Site separation rule priority

Rule precedences are followed in a top down manner.

  1. Manual site separation (if enabled) will look at the Device Attributes and try to first assign a device based on serial number if a match is found.
  2. Defined Rules. In the example above it will check the following
    1. If SNMP Location matches IPFABRIC, (LAB01) → Site LAB01
    2. If hostname matches ^L21 → Site MPLS
    3. If hostname matches ^(L\d{1,2}) → Site L2-99
  3. Try to assign devices without sites based on device neighborship (if enabled)