This episode (re-)introduces Carl Moberg and dives into Tail-f’s Network Control System (NCS). We talk through the moving parts of Network Control System at a technical level and discuss why you should care about this product. If you have been interested in tools that do multivendor automation of the network then you will be interested in this discussion.
And, since this is Packet Pushers, we also cover what to do if you’re floating mid-air, what makes Ethan sweat, and why network engineers should gather in bars comparing sizes of outages they personally caused.
NCS sits on top of networks made up of any mix of current generation (hardware-based) network gear, network appliances in VMs and OpenFlow switches. It makes use of available protocols (NETCONF, CLI, SNMP, REST, OpenFlow) to talk to the network elements.
Users of NCS are usually:
- Network engineers using Web UI or network-wide Juniper or Cisco CLI to do much more faster
- Software using APIs (Java, Python) or protocols (REST, NETCONF) to do network automation
Network engineering teams are using it for a wide variety of purposes in their multi-vendor networks, including:
- Service chaining across various types of network appliances from many vendors (firewalls, load balancers, etc)
- Firewall ACL management
- Various types of VPNs (L2 and L3)
So, if you have a network consisting of equipment from several vendors that needs to be changed frequently, you are likely to find a new way to solve these problems.
From the website:
NCS provides a single network-wide interface to all network devices and all network applications and services, as well as a common modeling language and datastore for both services and devices. A transaction engine handles transactions from the operations at the service layer to the actual deployment of configuration changes in the network.
Designed to be a generic SDN solution, NCS supports the implementation of network applications and service on a wide variety of networking devices, both traditional hardware-based devices and virtual software appliances. NCS can also support Openflow-based applications through a built-in Openflow controller, Tailflow; alternatively, applications built on top of other Openflow controllers can be easily integrated into NCS.
Tail-F Network Control System product page.
Show 81 -Tail-F and Network Configuration Management – Sponsored – our last show with Tail-F