Cisco ACI and NetBrain: Delivering Application-Centric Network Operations
Today, we launched Cisco ACI – NetBrain joint solution that extends NetBrain core capabilities to Cisco ACI. Please read the Press Release here. This blog is meant to raise awareness on how this solution and its key features benefit customers to transition to an Application-Centric Datacenter and further optimize Day-2 data center network operations.
NetBrain is renowned for its network automation and troubleshooting capabilities and has regularly featured in Gartner’s Market guide for Network automation. NetBrain also boasts a strong 2000+ Enterprise customer base to complement its numerous awards and innovation recognition.
Cisco ACI is a market leading, SDN based networking technology that keeps applications as the focal point of data center infrastructure and enables the creation of an agile, open and secure architecture.
Transitioning to an Application Centric data center and getting used to the new network operation model is a gradual process. To ensure a smooth transition, it is important to have tools to manage this heterogeneous network environment, where modern SDN based, open networking technologies are deployed alongside legacy networks. In such a scenario customers struggle to get deep visibility, effectively monitor and troubleshoot security and change management issues without impacting SLA.
The NetBrain solution for Cisco ACI provides a single consistent view containing both network-centric and application-centric contexts of data centers, aiding enterprises to seamlessly transition to an application-centric, intent-based network enabled by Cisco ACI. The integration creates a scalable, versatile automation platform to provide network visualizations and automation for “Day 2” operation workflows, giving network operations teams deeper network visibility and enhanced workflow management for operational tasks.
NetBrain utilizes ACI open REST API framework to collect network data which feeds into its modeling engine. The resulting data model is used to dynamically create visualizations and serve as the foundation for automation and troubleshooting.
Key Use Cases and Benefits
- Enhanced visibility across heterogeneous infrastructures
The solution provides numerous forms of visualizations that allow users to visualize ACI network alongside legacy networks, trace application path end-to-end among other visualizations capabilities thereby providing a deep understanding of different design aspects in a heterogeneous environment.
- Real-time insights
With the solution, the user can superimpose different data sets from ACI as well as from other management systems in a single consistent view getting powerful change management, correlation, and troubleshooting capabilities.
- Cross-organization collaboration and Knowledge management
Using the integration, users can code best practices and solutions to known problems in the form of a Runbook automation routine and share across the organization. This fosters not only better cross-organization collaboration but also helps enterprise move towards standardizing their troubleshooting workflows.
- Reduced resolution time
Leveraging executable Runbook monitor the solution can monitor incidents and trigger a “Level-0” troubleshooting diagnosis as the first course of action. This utility can be further integrated with any ticketing and monitoring solution for expedited incident management.
NetBrain solution for Cisco ACI provides an elegant approach that allows users to quickly start extracting benefits from the Application-Centric Infrastructure enabled by ACI, thus creating an agile network operation model. As adoption of the solution becomes widespread, we will continue to add more use cases and capabilities to the current solution.