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SDN: What’s New in Integrated Edition 8.0

September 30, 2019

Social media, mobile devices and cloud computing are pushing traditional data centers to their limits. Our traditional way of managing networks are no longer making the cut.  IT requirements have evolved.  Applications are at the heart of the data center and core to any enterprise strategy. We are finding that today’s networks need to be able to evolve at the speed of software to quickly meet changing business demands. At NetBrain we recognize that the shift to SDN networks and the focus on applications to drive business strategies are creating problems for network teams as they try to shift to a more application centric view. To help make that transition we have enabled our platform to be just as effective in an SDN environment as it is in a traditional one. With 8.0 we further strengthen SDN management capabilities with added support for:

  • ACI Multi-pod
  • ACI contract verification
  • Improved hybrid pathing

If you are managing today’s SDN networks, you know they pose the same challenges as traditional networks, but we often lack the same level of visibility or diagnostic capability. Our ACI customers are able to leverage NetBrain’s Dynamic Maps to visualize the ACI fabric that includes IPNs, spines, leaf nodes and APIC controllers, L3 Out, L2 Out, end points and the connected traditional network in a single view – for data correlation across both the ACI and traditional network environment. This newly enhanced capability is the foundation of NetBrain’s solution to ACI operational challenges of reduced visibility, increased design complexity and skills gap for engineers unfamiliar with the new world they must operate in.

NetBrain Traditional Infrastructure SDN Infrastructure - Hybrid
Discover and Map the Hybrid Network

With the high degree of abstraction, complex traffic flows, and application, services and virtual infrastructure being spun up in minutes it is no wonder why network teams are being stressed out as they try to meet the same demanding SLAs and MTTR as they did with traditional networks. SDN adds so much new complexities of managing a hybrid network but give so limited visibility into the entire infrastructure.  NetBrain helps by automatically mapping hundreds of live application paths end-to-end, hop by hop, though multi-pod Cisco ACI fabric as well as non-SDN infrastructure.

But wait there’s more.  New in version 8.0, NetBrain is able to gain insight into contract policies at every hop. We can even check if a contract denies the traffic while executing path calculations. As the figure below shows, we are retrieving and checking.

Check ACI Contract - SDN table

And there is more.  In the following scenario we are finding out that the traffic is not allowed by the contract which leads to the application being broken.

NetBrain Data View - Traffic Not Allowed
With NetBrain you can see your SDN and non-SDN environments as a single holistic network. You are able to better visualize and understand what’s really going on within SDN in real time.  You can efficiently automate data collection analysis across physical and virtual environments in seconds, not hours reducing operational impact and hopefully improving your network team’s moral.