Go back

NetBrain Integrates with Cisco ACI to Deliver Agile Network Operations

by Mark Harris May 8, 2018

Today, we are pleased to announce Cisco ACI-NetBrain integration that is aimed to provide enhanced network operations to application-centric data centers enabled by Cisco ACI. As a scalable and versatile visibility and automation platform, NetBrain integrates with Cisco ACI to provide extensive visualization and automation for operational workflows such as monitoring, troubleshooting, and visualization of the heterogeneous network.

Cisco ACI is an industry-leading secure, open, and comprehensive Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solution. Cisco ACI’s policy-based, application-centric model radically simplifies, optimizes, and expedites application deployment and the underlying infrastructure provisioning.

Customers who are used to operating their data centers in a network-centric context often struggle to transition to the application-centric way of data center operations. Enterprises are looking for a gradual transition towards the application-centric approach.

The NetBrain Solution for Cisco ACI

The NetBrain solution for Cisco ACI offers an elegant approach, aiding enterprises to transition to an application-centric data center enabled by Cisco ACI. Using NetBrain’s powerful visualization, A-B path mapping, and Runbook Automation, the solution provides extensive capabilities in the form of network and application-centric views, troubleshooting and on-demand monitoring that helps users to not only seamlessly transition to ACI but also optimize day-2 data center operations.

Utilizing this joint solution, any network team supporting a network with ACI deployment can:

  • Get deep visibility into physical and logical constructs in the new ACI fabric
    Targeted at Network Operations teams, the solution leverages APIC REST APIs to bring ACI’s physical and logical constructs into NetBrain, and make both network and application contexts easy to navigate using NetBrain’s Resource Tree. This enables users to understand the ACI fabric from both network and application-centric perspectives. (Figure 1)

Cisco ACIFigure 1

Further, using Context Maps, users can plot relationships between applications and the corresponding network infrastructure, and create dynamic and customizable Data Views to get one-click access to all relevant data points. (Figure 2)

ACI blog 2Figure 2

  • Optimize Day-2 enterprise network operations
    Designed for an architecture where the ACI fabric is working closely with traditional networks, the solution provides extensive visibility and numerous tools to optimize the overall enterprise network operations. Further, the solution helps users to bring the ACI fabric as an integrated part of the entire network, bringing both ACI and non-ACI network components into a single consistent view. (Figure 3)

ACI blog 3Figure 3

Further, Netbrain’s A-B path tracing capability allows users to gain a hop-by-hop view of the network path traversing across traditional network and ACI fabric. (Figure 4)

ACI blog 4Figure 4

  • Minimize network disruptions through accelerated troubleshooting
    In an era where the per hour cost of network disruption is reaching millions of dollars, enterprises are increasingly looking for solutions that accelerate troubleshooting and minimize downtime.Along with extensive visibility and rich Data Views, the solution offers powerful troubleshooting capabilities in Runbook Automation and Triggered Diagnosis.With Runbook Automation, users can codify their design and troubleshooting knowledge in the form of Executable Runbooks. While troubleshooting, users can directly execute a Runbook routine in the Context Maps and further drill down into individual devices and interfaces for deeper root-cause analysis. (Figure 5)

ACI blog 5Figure 5

Additionally, Runbook Automation acts as a collaboration tool where design experts can create a Runbook procedure that can be reused and shared across organizations. (Figure 6)

ACI blog 6Figure 6

For transient problems where capturing the diagnostic information is critical along with immediate actions, the solution provides Triggered Diagnosis capability. Users can create a routine that listens to real-time notifications from APIC and, upon triggering, automatically maps the problem area, executes data collection and analysis actions, and save results in the map. (Figure 7)

ACI blog 7Figure 7