Today’s networks are made up of many vendors and a mix of both traditional and software-defined technologies. Having end-to-end visibility, regardless of vendor, is crucial. With NetBrain, teams can manage complex infrastructure in a single context, using a Dynamic Map as the user interface to the network.
Multi-vendor Driver Support
New device types and vendor models can be easily integrated into NetBrain’s multi-vendor framework via new device drivers.
Device Type refers to a group of devices categorized by the operating system for centralized management. Devices that have the same version or similar version operating systems are defined as one device type, to share the same supported feature set.
Device drivers define how to retrieve and parse configuration files, route tables, inventory information and other data tables. NetBrain supports 100+ built-in drivers. Users can add and define the device driver properties manually or import from a file.
In order to add new device drivers, users simply define the new device type, what methods it should use to retrieve data, and specific port numbers for data collection.
Data can be easily retrieved through the following methods:
Advanced Path Support with Expandable Path Library
NetBrain can discover and map any SNMP reachable devices. The device driver will determine what operations are supported. The high-level operations that are supported are as follows:
Unlike traditional path tools, NetBrain’s A/B Path Calculator feature emulates real packet forwarding to analyze how traffic flows across the network. NetBrain provides Tier 3 support for special path technologies across different vendors when calculating a path.
Expand Variables To be Tracked with Parser Library
NetBrain can collect and analyze data from many different data sources including CLI automation, API, and SNMP. In total, there are over 12,000 possible data points which NetBrain can analyze for any one device.
Parsers are specialized files that help make sense of the raw, unstructured output of a device’s command line interface. With foreknowledge of how a specific device will reply to various CLI commands, NetBrain can identify specific variables within the output that will be valuable to the engineer.
NetBrain leverages its extensive library of multi-vendor CLI parsers in its Qapps – in effect, all automation is essentially an enhanced expression of CLI parsers, as they use identical data. For example, when a Qapp is activated on a Dynamic Map, NetBrain procedurally logs into each device, parses the CLI output, and visualizes that data for the engineer.
Apply Variable Mapping to Automation
Variable mapping translates parser variables from one vendor or operating system to another. NetBrain comes with many customizable parsers from different device vendors. Variables that can be mapped include CLI, API and SNMP data.
Variable mapping is applied in many automation functions. This key feature allows engineers to write automation for the vendor platform they are familiar with and NetBrain will automatically translate it to be run on other vendor platforms. These mappings can be applied instantly, on-demand, scheduled, with Qapp, Gapp or instant Qapp.
Engineers can easily expand support for multi-vendor environments by simply matching data variables from multiple vendors to a common variable. When variables are mapped together from different vendors, NetBrain will automatically pull the data using the correct syntax regardless of vendor.
NetBrain provides an API interface for third-party systems to trigger NetBrain maps and runbooks in the event of a network issue. Event-triggered diagnosis include operations such as:
Triggered automation helps you implement NetBrain into your existing Network Operations workflows to scale troubleshooting automation.
Use Map as a Single Pane of Glass
Enterprise network teams use a myriad of tools to manage and troubleshoot their networks. A Dynamic Map correlates and consolidates data from multiple tools and systems.
It unifies all these separate data silos into a single, contextual view; a single pane of glass that serves as a shared analytics console
Map and analyze any network data from any source to ensure that you have all the information needed to automate and fully diagnosis your network.
Visualize Data from Multiple Sources
As systems and tools become more complex and oftentimes fragmented, finding one piece of data becomes tedious and is often a manual process of issuing CLI commands and jumping between different disparate tools.
Whether it’s visualizing maintenance information or the status of open tickets, any third-party data can be visualized on a Dynamic Map through pre-defined layers.
Integrate with Ticketing Systems
Integrate NetBrain with ticketing systems and pull any related data from the ticket such as open/pending cases related to specific devices or if there are similar issues for other devices on the map.
Having one place to check ticketing information based on NetBrain topology speeds up issue verification and troubleshooting by consolidating data silos.
Integrate with Monitoring Systems
The process of investigating an alert is often a slow and manual process. Network teams need in-depth visibility and proactive monitoring to maintain optimal network operations.
Today’s 24×7 monitoring systems monitor the network for issues and raise alerts when conditions deviate from baselined network conditions.
NetBrain can be integrated with 24×7 monitoring solutions to visually document the results of the monitoring solution on a Dynamic Map.
This seamless integration and visual representation of the problem accelerates troubleshooting and helps network teams reduce MTTR.
Access 3rd Party Tools from a Map
NetBrain is a shared console and launching point for teams to visualize, collaborate, identify and resolve any network, security, or application issue.
NetBrain enhances operational workflows and the value of existing third-party tools by linking all of them together via an API framework.
NetBrain able to ingest data from 3rd party systems and display on a Dynamic Map and serve as a single pane of glass for all tools without the “swivel chair” effect.
Users don’t need to be familiar with the different features and pages of a 3rd party tool. NetBrain can be configured to point directly to the relevant data, straight from the map.
Automate Advanced Diagnostics with Cisco TAC Integration
You can integrate NetBrain with Cisco TAC to leverage thousands of scripts from Cisco’s TAC experience.
This helps leverage Cisco TAC’s existing know-how while also streamlining the analysis of any data via automation. This unique integration brings the power of NetBrain automation with the intelligence of Cisco TAC.
With one click, NetBrain can gain access to Cisco’s intellectual capital via API by issuing and passing on the results of CLI commands such as “show technology “through a secure API link to TAC.
Once it’s been collected, the data will then be passed through hundreds of automated scripts built from knowledge gained from Cisco TAC cases. TAC will analyze the outputs automatically and send back a list of recommendations for each device.
This powerful integration leverages 20+ years of TAC experience to diagnose, troubleshoot and potentially resolve issues directly through NetBrain’s Dynamic Map.
Trigger External Tools from NetBrain
Not only can NetBrain ingest data from 3rd party systems, it can also trigger functionality on a 3rd party system, such as creating a new change request on their ticketing system.
In this example, once this is complete, this ServiceNow request is visible from Dynamic Map.
This feature allows NetBrain to act as a central command console for all of their relevant 3rd-party tools.
Embedded Map Integration
Many service providers and enterprises offer remote portals, which integrate with different network management systems to provide users with a single point of read-only access to necessary resources.
NetBrain also provides the ability to embed Dynamic Maps directly into portals by utilizing REST API to query NetBrain Map data.
With this resource, users can access Dynamic Maps via their provider’s portal, apply data views, browse various map pages, and calculate critical paths in their environment.