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Cisco’s automation solutions continue to embrace multi-vendor networks

 This blog was authored by Shlomi Barsheshet, Product Manager for Service Providers Network Automation

As with its recently introduced Crosswork Network Automation platform, Cisco continues to show its commitment to providing management and automation solutions that support carrier-grade multi-vendor networks, by adding third-party support to EPN-M.

The Cisco Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Manager is a simplified, converged, multilayer management solution for today’s converging packet and optical networks. This all-in-one, next-generation product, provides device management, network service provisioning, and network assurance across core, edge, aggregation, and access networks.

EPN Manager provides end-to-end management of Carrier Ethernet, Layer 3 MPLS VPN, Cable, Optical transport and Circuit Emulation over Packet networks.

Built on a model-based architecture with content decoupled from the platform, it dramatically improves agility in content delivery. It is a flexible, easy-to-deploy solution with a visually appealing user interface and a common inventory and data model.

Cisco EPN Manager Multivendor Device Support via 3PP program

With ever-growing complex hybrid networks, the elements that constitute carrier grade networks are composite and comprise of products from multiple vendors. The ecosystem expands in volume and diversity rapidly, thereby posing an increasing challenge for a single lifecycle management solution.

Customers require an integrated solution to manage their third-party devices within the same framework of single pane management. They need a solution that will:

  • Reduce operational expenses and overhead of maintenance;
  • Eliminate the need to build custom operational applications to deploy and maintain different vendor products for a single network;

Cisco EPN Manager Third Party Pack program (3PP) is developed based of generic support within EPNM with the opportunity for extensibility using southbound interfaces. The interfaces enable a partner to develop Third Party Packs independently without the need to make any changes to EPNM main product. Thus, EPNM acts as an open platform to enable multi-vendor device support.

 

EPNM Architecture

Third Party Device Features / Capabilities in Cisco EPN Manager

  • Device Identification
  • Inventory System – Summary, Physical Modules, Physical Ports, Environment, Memory Pool
  • Inventory Interfaces – Ethernet, IP, All Interfaces
  • Configuration – BGP, OSPF, STP
  • Service Discovery – CE Services
  • Topology – BGP, OSPF
  • Event and Fault Management – Standard and Device Specific
  • Configuration Archive – Archive, Deploy, and Rollback
  • Software Image Management – Import, Distribute, Image Activate
  • Performance Monitoring – Interface Statistics, CPU and Memory Utilization
  • Reports

The Third-Party Pack program (3PP) program enables partners to develop device packs independently and monetize with customers who require multi-vendor support in EPNM. This opens up a new revenue opportunity for partners.

Partners work with Cisco to take the device packs to market. With the 3PP program EPN-M can support almost any device.

HCL Technologies a Cisco Partner has recently developed Third Party device Packs for EPNM to enable single pane of management of Cisco & non-Cisco devices. For the complete case study please visit this page.



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