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Fixing Multi-vendor Community Administration Complexity with OpenConfig

Because the business strikes in the direction of controller managed networks, the place the operator describes what and never how you can handle, configuring and sustaining networks from a single vendor stays very complicated. Add in the necessity to handle gadgets from a number of distributors, and the complexity is multiplied.  But community operators usually have gadgets from a number of distributors and should use their fashions to configure, combine, take a look at, and handle these gadgets.

A greater approach to handle multi-vendor networks is right here: Using fashions from OpenConfig, which is totally supported in Cisco IOS XE Software program.

Why use OpenConfig?

OpenConfig is an effort by community operators in collaboration with distributors to construct open, software-defined, vendor-neutral, and model-driven rules for community configuration and administration. OpenConfig allows using:

  • Knowledge fashions for configuration and administration utilizing Yang 1.0 which can be vendor impartial
  • Streaming telemetry for monitoring and acquiring incremental updates (SNMP is passé), which allows a Pub/Sub interface that alerts the collector of modifications nearly as quickly as they happen on the machine

The OpenConfig individuals embody massive firms and repair suppliers like Google, British Telecom, Microsoft, Fb, Comcast, Verizon, and Stage 3.

OpenConfig additionally permits distributors like Cisco so as to add their very own tweaks by way of extensions to the fashions.

Determine 1 exhibits the OpenConfig fashions, that are revealed on GitHub.

Determine 1. OpenConfig Fashions

Cisco’s Embrace of OpenConfig

Many purchasers with Massively Scalable Knowledge Facilities (MSDCs), corresponding to Microsoft, are very concerned about OpenConfig as they run enormous information facilities with gadgets from a number of distributors. Varied different networking distributors corresponding to Juniper and Arista additionally assist OpenConfig fashions.

The Cisco IOS XE structure in Determine 2 lends itself to implementation of OpenConfig fashions with little effort as a result of Cisco IOS XE already helps the OpenConfig enabler:  streaming telemetry.

Determine 2: Cisco IOS XE – Practical Structure

Cisco builders have examined and applied many native fashions for a lot of the Cisco IOS XE options. Native fashions are particular to Cisco gadgets and platforms. We will implement the OpenConfig fashions so there isn’t a duplication of effort. The request for an OpenConfig information ingredient is transformed to the corresponding native information ingredient as a result of Cisco fashions are usually a superset of what OpenConfig gives.

The structure diagram in Determine 2 exhibits how the configuration and operational databases are frequent for native and OpenConfig fashions. We solely want a approach to translate between the native and the OpenConfig mannequin components.

Usually, we request a configuration or operational information components, like these listed in Determine 3, and a corresponding native information ingredient related to it. Cisco IOS XE supplies infrastructure to translate the OpenConfig information ingredient to the corresponding native information ingredient. So, the method of supporting OpenConfig fashions is usually not very onerous if the native fashions for the corresponding OpenConfig fashions exist.

Determine 3. OpenConfig and Native Interfaces

Implementing Operational Telemetry with Cisco IOS XE

Cisco IOS XE supplies two methods to implement operational telemetry, relying on whether or not the weather have efficiency implications, such because the variety of interfaces and statistics on all of the interfaces. These could be massive numbers, since Cisco helps modular switching platforms with a number of line playing cards. Cisco IOS XE supplies a approach to get the info from the database utilizing FastPath. For environments with fewer interfaces, the mapping infrastructure can be utilized to get the info from the corresponding native ingredient.

Over the previous couple of months, Cisco IOS XE builders have been actively concerned in creating the OpenConfig fashions in a number of areas on Catalyst 9000 Collection swap platforms for a buyer with the intention to fulfill very attention-grabbing use circumstances which contain migration from SNMP. This entailed testing with using the shopper’s community information platform and optimizing the implementation for scale and efficiency. The implementation catered to varied telemetry varieties together with on-change and periodic notification.

We engaged the shopper in a co-development mannequin the place we supplied a picture with the brand new mannequin implementation and the shopper examined it within the community and gave us suggestions. This ensured a fast turnaround time for any points discovered on the buyer web site and completion of the use circumstances with verification in an precise deployment. The event cycle was accomplished as soon as we utterly automated the testing. We used Genie for operations and telemetry and an in-house software for configuration fashions. This mannequin of growth eradicated the necessity for custom DevTest and resulted in faster supply to the shopper.

We’ve often run into points when a sure information ingredient couldn’t be supported, as a result of lack of performance on the machine. We’ve additionally encountered situations when the illustration of an information ingredient was inaccurate. Except for working with the shopper on that situation, Cisco can be elevating the issue with the OpenConfig taskforce to make modifications to the fashions.

Cisco continues to develop extra OpenConfig fashions and also will improve the revision of the present fashions to the newer variations revealed within the upcoming releases of Cisco IOS XE. For those who’re a community operator battling configuring and managing a multi-vendor community, wrestle no extra—OpenConfig is the way in which ahead.




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