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Site Separation

Sites are separated collections of devices. Rule precedence is defined by the order from top to bottom.

A Site can be a branch, a factory, a production floor, a campus, or anything that represents a Site from a your point of view.

By default, a Site consists 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 provided authentication credentials. The default separation is good for MPLS networks, where the directly connected routing infrastructure at a Site’s edge is not accessible.

Regular Expression Site Separation


Site distribution cannot be changed manually when regular expression (regex) rules are used. Sites cannot be renamed.

Alternatively, site separation can follow a specific regex, where separation will be performed based on a portion of a device hostname or SNMP location.


If you cannot cover the names of the Sites with one regex, you can use a logical or. Use the | (pipe) operator between regex rules or use the Device Attributes method detailed below.

Hostname Regex

Go to Settings → Discovery & Snapshots → Discovery Settings → Site Separation, select Regex based on hostname, and click + Add rule to create a new rule.

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

  • UPPER CASE – First hostname PRAGUE-RTR1, second hostname prague-rtr2 → result: both devices are in one Site named PRAGUE.
  • lower case – First hostname PRAGUE-RTR1, second hostname prague-rtr2 → result: both devices are in one Site named prague.
  • None (default) – First hostname PRAGUE-RTR1, second hostname prague-rtr2 → result: each device is in its own Site (PRAGUE-RTR1 being in PRAGUE and prague-rtr2 being in prague).

Hostname regex

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

SNMP Location Regex

Go to Settings → Discovery & Snapshots → Discovery Settings → Site Separation, select Regex based on SNMP location, and click + Add rule to create a new rule.

SNMP regex


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


You can also test SNMP location rules:

SNMP location

Regex Example

We have several locations whose names are 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 these can be added to the original one using the logical operator or. The following example will match one of three options:


Regex Example – Lookahead

You can match a part of the string, only if it contains, or does not contain, a specific expression afterward, by using lookahead (positive or negative). In the example below, we want to match the first two letters and one number only if we don’t see the pattern -dev afterward. Using this regex:

  • BL1-router01 – The regex will match, and the device will be assigned to the Site BL1.
  • PA2-router02-dev – The regex will not match, as we can see -dev in the hostname.

Read more about regular expression and assertion at

The brief explanation:

  • (^[a-zA-Z]{2}[a-zA-Z0-9]) – We are going to match those first three characters: AP1, or LO2
  • (?![a-fA-F0-9]{3}[.][a-fA-F0-9]{4}[.][a-fA-F0-9]{4}) – … only if it is NOT followed by what would be a MAC address.

Device Neighborship

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, such as those 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.

Manual Site Separation (Device Attributes)

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

To configure Device Attributes, first enable the Manual site separation toggle in Settings → Discovery & Snapshots → Discovery Settings → Site Separation, and then select Configure device attributes:

Configure device attributes

or go to Settings → Discovery & Snapshots → Global Configuration → Device Attributes:

Device Attributes menu

Device Attributes

Device Attributes table

  • Serial number is IP Fabric’s “Unique Serial Number” (API column sn). This is not the Serial Number column, 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 siteName.
  • Value is the attribute’s value to assign. In this case, we want to split the Site L35 into separate Sites 35COLO, 35PRODUCTION, and 35HEADOFFICE.

Creating Rules in the UI

You can create rules in the UI by clicking + Add attribute. This will provide you with a form to fill out.

Add Attribute


Creating Rules via the API

The API is the preferred method of creating rules as it allows for bulk importing. Use the PUT method on the endpoint https://<IPF_URL>/api/<IPF_API_VERSION>/attributes/global. Below is an example of the payload:


    "attributes": [
        {"sn": "<DEVICE SERIAL NUMBER01>", "value": "<SITE NAME>", "name": "siteName"},
        {"sn": "<DEVICE SERIAL NUMBER02>", "value": "<SITE NAME>", "name": "siteName"}


It’s important to specifically use the siteName attribute to define the Sites in IP Fabric. You can define other attributes as well, but site separation is solely based on siteName.

Rule Priority

Rule priority

Rule precedence is defined by the order from top to bottom. So, in the example above:

  1. Manual site separation (if enabled) will look at the Device Attributes and try to first assign a device based on its serial number if a match is found.

  2. Rules you define. 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).

Reporting Rule Matches With python-ipfabric Package

Please see the example on GitLab: