Cisco Network Services Manager User Guide, 5.0
Introducing Cisco Network Services Manager
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Introducing Cisco Network Services Manager

Table Of Contents

Introducing Cisco Network Services Manager

Network Services Manager Overview

Network Services Manager Architecture

Administration UI

Network Services Manager Engine

Network Services Manager Controller

Integration with External Systems


Introducing Cisco Network Services Manager


This chapter provides an overview of Cisco Network Services Manager (Network Services Manager) and includes the following topics:

Network Services Manager Overview

Network Services Manager Architecture

Network Services Manager Overview

Network Services Manager is network management software that helps build the network services you need to securely create and deploy a cloud computing infrastructure. By using Network Services Manager, you can organize your network resources into a flexible cloud infrastructure that integrates the network with your existing IT tools and processes.

Network Services Manager includes the following features:

Table 1-1 Network Services Manager Features 

Feature
Description

Abstraction and virtualization

Network Services Manager virtualizes network services by abstracting a logical representation of the physical network that it manages. The abstraction and virtualization allow you to provision and deploy numerous individual network components quickly, thereby reducing network operations costs and accelerating service delivery.

Policy implementation and adherence

Policies enforce topology models, network features, and network behaviors, thereby ensuring adherence to organizational or architectural requirements, such as security or access to resources.

Dynamic topology support

Network Services Manager retrieves abstract information from a business model, converts that information into device-specific configurations, and implements the resulting configurations on the appropriate devices. If the physical topology changes and the topology model is updated, Network Services Manager evaluates the defined policies against the new topology model to determine the best option for providing the required services while adhering to the rules and policies that you defined. Network Services Manager automatically disseminates the updated device-specific configurations to the affected devices to ensure ongoing adherence to policy.

Use of network containers

A network container is a logical group of virtual network resources that are created and managed as a unit. With network containers, Network Services Manager enables you to quickly and easily configure physical and virtual network infrastructure and network services to interoperate with computing and storage resources.

Administration user interface (UI)

Network Services Manager provides a browser-based Administration UI that enables you to view multiple virtual platforms (domains) and domain-specific policies.

Northbound (NB) Application Programming Interface (API)

The Network Services Manager NB API provides an integration interface for automated network provisioning as part of a larger cloud environment. The NB API enables you to instantiate cloud service models and topologies, create new cloud service offerings, modify existing offerings, and support containers and workloads.

Additions, changes, or deletions made using the NB API are reflected in the Administration UI.


Network Services Manager Architecture

Network Services Manager includes the following components, as shown in Figure 1-1:

Administration UI

Network Services Manager Engine

Network Services Manager Controller

Integration with External Systems

Figure 1-1 Network Services Manager Architecture

Administration UI

The browser-based Administration UI (Admin Console in Figure 1-1) enables you to view network characteristics, services, and behaviors.

Options are available for:

Viewing the running configuration on a device.

Viewing metamodels, metaproperties, resources, zones, and sites.

Viewing system alerts.

For more information, see Using the Network Services Manager Administration UI.

Network Services Manager Engine

The Network Services Manager engine automates the provisioning of end-to-end network services and dynamically generates the configuration instructions that control the devices and services in a multiple-tenant environment. The engine dynamically builds and deploys these configuration instructions by sending them to the Network Services Manager controllers for implementation.

Network Services Manager Controller

The Network Services Manager controller is the agent for the device stack. As the device stack agent, the controller requires:

A configured device stack

Functioning connections to the engine and all devices in the stack

When a user creates a container that is subordinate to a tenant (such as a zone, VLAN, or service policy), the engine verifies via the controller that the devices in the stack can support the policies required by the new container.

If the policies can be supported, the controller translates the request for the new container into specific device configurations for each device in the stack, depending on the device role in the topology.

Integration with External Systems

Network Services Manager can be integrated with external systems such as order entry portals or service catalogs, where user requests for network services can be captured and pushed to the Network Services Manager engine for provisioning. Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud can also use this interface to move critical information to and from Network Services Manager. This is also true for other ecosystem technologies, such as higher-level orchestration frameworks or specific configuration management systems.

External systems communicate with the Network Services Manager engine through the NB API. The NB API adheres to the Representational State Transfer (REST) conventions and architectural style, which provides a uniform interface for:

Resource identification

Resource manipulation through representations

Self-descriptive messages

Navigation by hyperlinks

For more information, see Using the Network Services Manager NB API.