Network Service Orchestration | NCX


Anuta Networks NCX is an industry leading software solution designed to deliver complete network service orchestration for campus, branch, and data center networks by leveraging both physical and virtual devices across multi-vendor network infrastructures.

Network operations teams are expected to manage increasingly complex, heterogeneous environments. NCX enables network administrators to scale rapidly and efficiently without adding headcount. With its model based approach to network automation, NCX enables you to do anything from automating simple, repetitive task to deploying large-scale network services.

NCX Benefits & Features

1. Service provider grade, multi-vendor orchestration platform built specifically for network operators.
2. Rapidly design, automate and orchestrate complex network operations for both physical and virtual network devices.
3. Lower operating expenses and faster time to delivery of network services, because of automated provisioning, default alerts, and a consolidation of tools and correlated information.
4. Improved network availability and reliability with fewer trouble tickets, thanks to automated configuration management and comprehensive auditing.
5. Quicker problem recognition and troubleshooting through improved visibility.
The NCX Controller is deployed in the data center and the NCX Remote Agents are geographically spread and deployed closer to the network infrastructure. The agent runs as a VM on a router compute blade or on an external host, or as a stand-alone application. The NCX controller has a REST API, allowing it to integrate with existing enterprise or MSP (Manager Service Provider) self-service portals. Also, NCX itself can be used as a self-service portal.
NCX discovers the existing physical and virtual network infrastructure consisting of multiple vendor devices. The discovery engine identifies device type, device role, device capacity as well as connections with remaining infrastructure. Based on this information, NCX builds the network topology and inventory. Administrators can organize the discovered resources into multiple pods and resource pools for service provisioning.Further, NCX maintains the inventory of physical and virtual network resources. This real-time status information is utilized to compute the capacity and availability for each service offering. In addition, NCX generates threshold based alerts to proactively inform the impacted tenants and departments.
The abstraction engine enables NCX to develop normalized data models for network functions offered by multiple vendor devices. NCX utilizes existing protocols such as CLI, NETCONF, XML or API to communicate as well as abstract network functions. South bound data models include device base configuration model, device inventory model, device operational model, device notification model and communication model. On the north bound, NCX has a normalized network service operation model for major functionalities including Firewall, ADC, IPS, VPN and others.
NCX manages the underlying infrastructure to intelligently identify network resources, topology, device roles, available services and capacity. Upon a network service request, NCX selects the appropriate resources based on operational health and policy variables and automates a sophisticated multi-phase operation, consisting of hundreds of configuration operations across multi-layer heterogenous networks. If any errors are encountered during the deployment, NCX, rolls back all changes made during prior operations and leaves the network in a consistent pre-deployment state.
NCX enables administrators to combine multiple layers of the network into a bundled catalog offering. This network service catalog allows administrator to build service packs that can be easily ordered by a network operator or customer.NCX also offers a comprehensive dashboard that helps administrators track the effectiveness of each service catalog entry. The administrator can track which tenants have ordered which network service packs and for how long. This analytical information can be extremely useful in further optimizing your services. Changes to the service catalog can be quickly performed by using the NCX service designer engine. This flexibility reduces time to introduce new services for end customers from weeks to minutes.
NCX makes it easy to enhance existing network services through Service Insertion. NCX enables self-served networking so that the Lines of Business (LOB), Business Units (BU) or Departments in a university campus can make changes to their part of the L2-L7 network such as adding new VLANs, enabling WAN Optimization, introducing firewall rules etc. This patent-pending feature brings the cloud dynamism to enterprise networks providing significant agility and cost savings while ensuring greater customer satisfaction.
Virtual Appliances (a.k.a VNFs) accelerate on-demand delivery of network services by avoiding long hardware deployment cycles. And, operators can support dynamic work loads by scaling out virtual appliances. However, support for virtual appliances introduces new challenges such as placement, management and troubleshooting in a multi-vendor environment.NCX Virtual Appliance Lifecycle manager enables administrators to customize the Virtual Appliance configuration (e.g. image management, placement) , activate licenses, provision services and monitor the Virtual Appliance performance and availability. The NCX service orchestrator introduces new Virtual Appliances to dynamically scale-up and scale-down the network.
Anuta Networks offers perpetual as well as subscription licensing options for NCX. The total price depends on the deployment size (charged per access port or per number of devices) and the specific use-case. Please contact us for detailed pricing options.
Anuta Extensible NCX (EnX) enables customers and partners to develop their own device, service and operational models using YANG. EnX South Bound Extensibility includes basic device models, network operations and notifications. North Bound Abstraction provides normalized network service operation model for major functionalities including Firewall, ADC, VPN etc.As part of the EnX framework, customers and partners will receive development tools including an SDK to develop extensions to Anuta models and also define their own implementations of the abstractions provided in EnX.
NCX offers comprehensive support for role based access control and integrates with existing identity stores such as AD and LDAP to enforce authorization policies. Roles and permissions can be customized to satisfy various organizational structures. Users can be restricted to a small set of actions, given complete control or any other variations in between.
NCX distributed architecture scales to several tens of thousands of devices in the network. The solution enables administrators to implement business driven network policies within minutes to thousands of branch and retail locations. Both the NCX controller and agent are stateless resulting in a highly available solution. This distributed architecture makes expansion of NCX's reach as easy as creating a new virtual machine (VM).
Anuta NCX Orchestrator uses a model-driven approach to ensure compliance for multi-vendor network infrastructure. At the time of installation, NCX scans multi-vendor devices and discovers previously configured services using the admin defined YANG models. Further, NCX periodically performs inventory job and validates the actual device configuration against the device state in NCX. If there is any discrepancy, NCX will generate an alarm. The administrator can either Overwrite NCX (i.e. Update the NCX state to include the current device configuration) or Overwrite Device to revert the out-of-band changes.The configuration reconciliation feature ensures that NCX state is always in-sync with the device configuration thus enabling Service Assurance.
Anuta NCX utilizes Key Performance Indicators (KPI) driven orchestration to ensure Service Monitoring and Service Assurance. Administrators can define KPI metrics from multiple nodes and links. For example, KPI may include CPU, RAM usage, the number of sessions in one or multiple network functions (Router, FW, LB, SBCs) along with link parameters such as utilization, jitter and delay. The KPI will be defined using Yang data models that include a workflow or sequence of events. NCX will execute the data model and automate the necessary corrective actions.

NCX Platform


NCX- Network Service Orchestration using YANG models

NCX Benefits



1. Service provider grade, multi-vendor orchestration platform built specifically for network operators.

2. Rapidly design, automate and orchestrate complex network operations for both physical and virtual network devices.

3. Lower operating expenses and faster time to delivery of network services, because of automated provisioning, default alerts, and a consolidation of tools and correlated information.

4. Improved network availability and reliability with fewer trouble tickets, thanks to automated configuration management and comprehensive auditing.

5. Quicker problem recognition and troubleshooting through improved visibility.

NCX Deployment


The NCX Controller is deployed in the data center and the NCX Remote Agents are geographically spread and deployed closer to the network infrastructure. The agent runs as a VM on a router compute blade or on an external host, or as a stand-alone application. The NCX controller has a REST API, allowing it to integrate with existing enterprise or MSP (Manager Service Provider) self-service portals. Also, NCX itself can be used as a self-service portal.

Resource and Capacity Management



NCX discovers the existing physical and virtual network infrastructure consisting of multiple vendor devices. The discovery engine identifies device
type, device role, device capacity as well as connections with remaining infrastructure. Based on this information, NCX builds the network topology and inventory. Administrators can organize the discovered resources into multiple pods and resource pools for service provisioning.

Further, NCX maintains the inventory of physical and virtual network resources. This real-time status information is utilized to compute the capacity and availability for each service offering. In addition, NCX generates threshold based alerts to proactively inform the impacted tenants and departments.

Resource and Capacity Management


Network Abstraction Engine



The abstraction engine enables NCX to develop normalized data models for network functions offered by multiple vendor devices. NCX utilizes existing protocols such as CLI, NETCONF, XML or API to communicate as well as abstract network functions. South bound data models include device base configuration model, device inventory model, device operational model, device notification model and communication model. On the north bound, NCX has a normalized network service operation model for major functionalities including Firewall, ADC, IPS, VPN and others.

Network Service Design



Traditionally, setting up secure, high-performance networks and introducing the latest technologies has been very complicated and time consuming. Anuta Networks is radically changing the network policy creation paradigm. Our patented Service Designer allows administrators to drag-and-drop policy elements onto a design surface to simplify the creation of complex network configurations, spanning various devices from multiple vendors, in minutes.

No more switching between command line interfaces (CLIs) and complex consoles. Our Service Designer creates a unified user interface simplifying service template design creation.

Network Service Design


Network Service Catalog



NCX enables administrators to combine multiple layers of the network into a bundled catalog offering. This network service catalog allows administrator to build service packs that can be easily ordered by a network operator or customer.

NCX also offers a comprehensive dashboard that helps administrators track the effectiveness of each service catalog entry. The administrator can track which tenants have ordered which network service packs and for how long. This analytical information can be extremely useful in further optimizing your services. Changes to the service catalog can be quickly performed by using the NCX service designer engine. This flexibility reduces time to introduce new services for end customers from weeks to minutes.


Network Service Orchestration


NCX manages the underlying infrastructure to intelligently identify network resources, topology, device roles, available services and capacity. Upon a network service request, NCX selects the appropriate resources based on operational health and policy variables and automates a sophisticated multi-phase operation, consisting of hundreds of configuration operations across multi-layer heterogenous networks. If any errors are encountered during the deployment, NCX, rolls back all changes made during prior operations and leaves the network in a consistent pre-deployment state.

Network Service Orchestration

Dynamic Services



NCX makes it easy to enhance existing network services through Service Insertion. NCX enables self-served networking so that the Lines of Business (LOB), Business Units (BU) or Departments in a university campus can make changes to their part of the L2-L7 network such as adding new VLANs, enabling WAN Optimization, introducing firewall rules etc. This patent-pending feature brings the cloud dynamism to enterprise networks providing significant agility and cost savings while ensuring greater customer satisfaction.

Dynamic Network Service Orchestration

Virtual Appliance Life Cycle Manager



Virtual Appliances (a.k.a VNFs) accelerate on-demand delivery of network services by avoiding long hardware deployment cycles. And, operators can support dynamic work loads by scaling out virtual appliances. However, support for virtual appliances introduces new challenges such as placement, management and troubleshooting in a multi-vendor environment.

NCX Virtual Appliance Lifecycle manager enables administrators to customize the Virtual Appliance configuration (e.g. image management, placement) , activate licenses, provision services and monitor the Virtual Appliance performance and availability. The NCX service orchestrator introduces new Virtual Appliances to dynamically scale-up and scale-down the network.


Distributed Architecture



NCX distributed architecture scales to several tens of thousands of devices in the network. The solution enables administrators to implement business driven network policies within minutes to thousands of branch and retail locations. Both the NCX controller and agent are stateless resulting in a highly available solution. This distributed architecture makes expansion of NCX's reach as easy as creating a new virtual machine (VM).

Distributed Architecture

Extensible YANG Models



Anuta Extensible NCX (EnX) enables customers and partners to develop their own device, service and operational models using YANG. EnX South Bound Extensibility includes basic device models, network operations and notifications. North Bound Abstraction provides normalized network service operation model for major functionalities including Firewall, ADC, VPN etc.

As part of the EnX framework, customers and partners will receive development tools including an SDK to develop extensions to Anuta models and also define their own implementations of the abstractions provided in EnX.


Role Based Access Control



NCX offers comprehensive support for role based access control and integrates with existing identity stores such as AD and LDAP to enforce authorization policies. Roles and permissions can be customized to satisfy various organizational structures. Users can be restricted to a small set of actions, given complete control or any other variations in between.

Role Based Access Control

Compliance and Reconciliation Engine



Anuta NCX Orchestrator uses a model-driven approach to ensure compliance for multi-vendor network infrastructure. At the time of installation, NCX scans multi-vendor devices and discovers previously configured services using the admin defined YANG models. Further, NCX periodically performs inventory job and validates the actual device configuration against the device state in NCX. If there is any discrepancy, NCX will generate an alarm. The administrator can either Overwrite NCX (i.e. Update the NCX state to include the current device configuration) or Overwrite Device to revert the out-of-band changes.

The configuration reconciliation feature ensures that NCX state is always in-sync with the device configuration thus enabling Service Assurance.


Orchestrated Service Assurance



Anuta NCX utilizes Key Performance Indicators (KPI) driven orchestration to ensure Service Monitoring and Service Assurance. Administrators can define KPI metrics from multiple nodes and links. For example, KPI may include CPU, RAM usage, the number of sessions in one or multiple network functions (Router, FW, LB, SBCs) along with link parameters such as utilization, jitter and delay. The KPI will be defined using Yang data models that include a workflow or sequence of events. NCX will execute the data model and automate the necessary corrective actions.


Flexible Licensing Options



Anuta Networks offers perpetual as well as subscription licensing options for NCX. The total price depends on the deployment size (charged per access port or per number of devices) and the specific use-case. Please contact us for detailed pricing options.