For service providers and enterprises evolving their network to Cisco IP next-generation network equipment, Cisco Active Network Abstraction (ANA) delivers network management capability for end-to-end networks consisting of Cisco and non-Cisco equipment that ranges across access, aggregation, edge, and core devices.
ANA virtual network element (VNE) driver technology discovers and maintains an accurate network model of physical and logical services allowing for event monitoring in near real time. Using VNE technology to mediate device-specific management information from each device, ANA provides a "single pane of glass" management view of the network.
For customers with multivendor environments, ANA introduces third-party VNE drivers that are available for common non-Cisco network devices. These ANA third-party VNE drivers are supported and maintained by Cisco as part of the ANA product. This includes VNE upgrades for device releases to maintain management interface compatibility. For non-Cisco devices that are not supported by a standard ANA third-party VNE driver, ANA supports two VNE alternatives for management. ANA provides a generic VNE using standard MIB II to discover the device, but this has limited capabilities. Additionally, customers can also create extensible, user-defined VNE drivers for specific non-Cisco device types. Cisco Advanced Services routinely provides expert support for either of these approaches and further customization.
Network operators benefit from using ANA as a highly available and scalable platform to manage both Cisco and non-Cisco devices. ANA provides a single, authoritative view into a network consisting of heterogeneous devices. This reduces operating expenses (OpEx) by providing a unified user experience for real-time device discovery, network topology, and centralized fault management. Additionally, organizations can further reduce OpEx and OSS integration costs by utilizing a single northbound interface regardless of the network equipment vendor.
A side-by-side comparison of the options for third-party device management offered within ANA is provided in Table 1.
Table 1. Cisco ANA Third-Party Device Management Options
Features and Functionalities
NMTG developed VNE for Cisco device
NMTG developed VNE for 3rd party device
VNE with Generic template
Model for IP and Ethernet topology, logical attributes for routing table, ARP, bridge using standard SNMP MIB
Monitor standard SNMP traps
User extensible with ANA Toolkit
Physical Inventory discovery using device specific MIB
L2/L3 Logical inventory and topology discovery using device specific MIB
üNote3, Note 7
Support for device specific SNMP traps and syslogs per customer specification
Image Management and Configuration Archive/Restore
Maintain compatibility with ANA update release
Support Service Requests for device OS and management interface changes that impact device inventory discovery and event monitoring
ANA RTM and SAS Cost (Prime Network will have new RTM structure)
Group 0 to 9
Group NC1, NC2, NC3
Field extension for additional physical inventory, events and device maintenance upgrade
Activation scripting using Soft-properties and Command Builder Cost
1. Generic VNE is not customizable. It is the default for any not device not recognized by ANS.
2. User-defined Generic VNE created using VNE Customization Builder generic template at run time.
3. Contingency on device configuration and instrumentation available in customer lab devices.
4. VNE for Cisco IP NGN devices are also updated based on interlock with Cisco releases.
5. Field extension of VNE can be done by customer, their SI or AS. The customization is private to customer.
6. Activation are handled typically handled by Soft-properties and Command Builder scripting done by SI or AS.
7. Layer 2: Ethernet, VLAN, Dot1Q, QinQ, EtherChannel, Link Aggregation, POS, ATM, IMA, FR, PPP, DSL, VPLS, Local Switching, LLDP, Layer 3: IP and Routing, MPLS, LDP, MPLS-TE, VRF, RSVP-TE, MP-BGP, OSPF, PW, GRE, BFD; Not all ANA advanced features will be supported for ANA third-party VNEs. For example, the following are not included: Image Management, Configuration Archive Restore, Event Correlation, Impact Analysis, Service Activation.
Requesting a New ANA Third-Party VNE
Requesting a new ANA third-party VNE entails the following:
• The customer communicates the requirement to the Cisco account team and a product enhancement request is submitted
• Requests are prioritized based on customer commitment to provide device lab access, device configuration, management interface specification, and early acceptance test feedback
• The time required to release a new VNE for acceptance after a customer commits to the request depends on a variety of factors including device lab access. Specific estimates will be provided on a case-by-case basis
• At the end of the acceptance period, the final VNE image and documentation are released for general availability
• Customers can then place orders for the newly supported third-party device and for Software Application Support for support and maintenance
The product numbers given in Table 2 for the Right-to-Manage license for each non-Cisco device managed by ANA can be found as options within the ANA-37x-SOFTWARE product.
Table 2. Right-to-Manage License Numbers for Cisco ANA
ANA Right-to-Manage for non-Cisco access device
ANA Right-to-Manage for non-Cisco aggregation/edge device