Traffic Path Engine

Networks are designed to move traffic bi-directionally between point A and point B, but the specific paths data must traverses changes all the time based on other network conditions. NetBrain allows users to visualize, analyze and interact with these dynamic traffic paths across complex networks, taking into account:

NetBrain provides a historic view of traffic paths so that users can visually compare the traffic flow patterns over time. Traffic path analysis can save a tremendous amount of an engineer’s time throughout the network troubleshooting process.

Dynamic Path

NetBrain’s dynamic path feature visualizes the forwarding of the packet and emulates the real packet forwarding process by looking up route tables in your live network and provides end-to-end visibility across any network path. In addition to looking up route tables to find the next hop, it can also investigate PBR, NAT, ACL, firewall policy, and other traffic control technologies to ensure the correctness of a path. And it understands that forward and reverse paths can be different because its data model for visualization is based on the actual device tables, between the two points.

A to B Path Across Traditional Network

NetBrain includes specific support for the control plane logic of hardware devices from more than 300 vendors and over 5000 of their hardware models, interfaces, and firmware versions. Given this native access, any A/B path can be calculated end-to-end, across any complex technology including:

  1. Live A-B Path Discovery – Retrieves the routing table from the live network and presents both forward and reverse pathways.
  2. Historical A-B Path Reference Golden Path Calculation – for determining what the “normal” network path looks like (e.g., for a given application) and how it may have changed over time
  3. Mapping a traffic path – A hybrid L2/L3 map of the traffic flow is automatically calculated and drawn, in real-time. Path logic assesses the traffic-forwarding characteristics of all the devices involved including the routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, and more. In addition, NetBrain’s enhanced path framework will automatically calculate based on the topology dependency of the outbound interface at each hop and calculate path types such as L2, L3, IPsec VPN, VPLS, OTV or VXLAN. This feature can be utilized to isolate the critical network components to investigate network or application problems, as part of design review projects, or to proactively assure application availability.

A to B Path Across Public Cloud

While many organizations treat cloud-based services as black-boxes (which allow little if any network visibility), NetBrain offers complete native network support for all the major public cloud providers. This enables true end-to-end path calculation in a hybrid/multi-cloud environment- even if both ends are in the public cloud! With multi-cloud support, your network automation, visibility and control no longer stops at the cloud.

History, Live, and Reference Path

NetBrain doesn’t generalize device type modelling, but instead has direct support for the control plane logic of more than 5000 devices from over 300 vendors. With this native control plane access, any A/B path can be calculated end-to-end, across any complex technology including:

  • Live A/B Path Discovery
  • Historical A/B Path Reference
  • Golden Path Calculation – for determining what the “normal” network path looks like (e.g. for a given application) and what may have changed over time.

Multicast Path

Compared with a unicast path, various calculation logics are available for a multicast path. The system adds an “Multicast Route Table” and uses it to look up L3 next-hop devices during a path calculation.

Note: For the first-hop device, the system looks up its next-hop device based on the original routing table. When checking ACL/Policy on interfaces, the system checks whether the group IP as a destination is matched and continues path calculation based on the matching result.

The Path at Port Level

The path at the port level can be used to calculate the paths for TCP, UDP or other protocols. As shown below, the TCP traffic to the F5 load balancer’s port 80 is load balanced to 3 different endpoint servers.