Cisco Crosswork Network Controller Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:May 11, 2023

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Updated:May 11, 2023


Cisco Crosswork Network Controller empowers customers to simplify and automate intent-based network service provisioning, monitoring, and optimization in a multivendor network environment with a common GUI and API.

Product overview

Network operators are facing challenges to support the exponential growth of network traffic while addressing the pressures to efficiently run network operations. Operators are reducing the management complexity by converging and collapsing their networks, migrating to Software-Defined Networks (SDNs), and automating daily operational tasks to become more efficient and competitive. Automating service lifecycle functions is vital to their success as it helps them to accelerate time to revenue, improve end-user experience, and boost the operational agility.

Cisco Crosswork Network Controller allows customers to deploy services faster and offers intent-based health monitoring and network optimization, improving service delivery while mitigating network congestion issues. Cisco Crosswork Network Controller has been shaped by the experience of helping multiple tier-one service provider and large enterprise customers automate everything from simple device turn-up to sophisticated full lifecycle service management. It delivers critical capabilities for automating service orchestration and fulfilment, network optimization, service path computation, service health monitoring, along with programmable closed-loop. The underlying goal is to preserve the service policy intent and associated SLA.

As a turnkey solution, Cisco Crosswork Network Controller combines multiple innovative, industry-leading capabilities such as Advanced Traffic Engineering, Segment Routing Path Computation Element (SR-PCE), Flexible Algorithms, Intent-based Assurance — with common API and UI, providing visibility and control via a single pane of glass.

With Cisco Crosswork Network Controller, you can realize a number of outcomes:

      Segment Routing (SR) policy provisioning with explicit intent (for example, bandwidth constraints, latency minimization, etc)

      Services provisioning (for example, L2VPN, L3VPN services with associated segment routing policy)

      Collect real-time performance information and optimize the network to maintain the intent of the associated segment routing policy.

      Tactically optimize the network during times of congestion with bandwidth optimization techniques.

      Gain the most from migration to next-generation networks and technologies (for example, migration from RSVP-TE to SR-TE, implementing multicast with SR Tree-SID, embracing 5G network slicing, etc.).

      Monitor and troubleshoot health of L2VPN and L3VPN services by combining empirical data plane verification with infrastructure health to realize true service impact. Service health status visualization can be augmented with infrastructure alarms.

      Streamlining and automation of network-focused Method of Procedure (MOP) for remediation and maintenance tasks.

Cisco Crosswork Network Controller enables you to realize multiple benefits:

      Model-based approach helps to expedite provisioning of new services, underlying transport and changes to existing services.

      Improved service delivery and end-user experience with ability to effectively maintain service intent.

      Enhanced operational efficiency with unified visibility and simplified operations across service lifecycle functions.

      Increased profitability and reduced costs through optimized investments and better OpEx utilization.

SDN Transport Automation

Figure 1.            

SDN Transport Automation

Features and benefits

Table 1.        CNC Feature and benefits



Connectivity and IP topology auto-discovery

  Auto-discovery based on the IETF standard, Border Gateway Protocol Link State
(BGP-LS), to automatically discover the IP topology across multiple vendors

Intent-based service provisioning and visualization

  Rapid L2VPN and L3VPN service provisioning in conformance to the intent expressed in the service models
  Extend and customize the packaged sample L2VPN and L3VPN service definitions

Transport policy provisioning

  Service-oriented transport network policy provisioning with explicit SLAs by specifying optimization objective (latency/IGP/TE metric minimization) and constraints (affinities, disjoint paths, bandwidth, etc.)

Brownfield service support

  Onboard existing L2VPN and L3VPN service models previously developed with Cisco Crosswork NSO
  Provision and visualize such brownfield services with Crosswork Network Controller

SRv6 discovery and visualization

  Discover and visualize SRv6 topology
  Provision PCC-initiated SRv6-TE policies

Tree-SID topology discovery, provisioning and visualization

  Accurate and intuitive visibility into SR-based multicast deployments
  Effective alignment with Controller architecture

Segment routing flexible algorithm visualization

  Enhance traffic engineering utilizing flexible algorithms that allow customization of IGP shortest-path computation according to specific service needs
  Discover and visualize prefix-SIDs (SR-MPLS), locators (SRv6), and flexible algorithm affinities

Traffic engineering dashboards

  Network-wide visibility to help drive optimal traffic engineering decisions
  Gain historical insights into LSP utilization, path change events, and related details

Closed-loop intent optimization

  Leveraging real-time protocols such as BGP-LS and Path Computation Element Communication Protocol (PCEP), Crosswork Network Controller enables closed-loop tracking of the network topology state changes, reacting quickly to changes in network conditions creating a self-healing network.
  React to bandwidth and latency demand fluctuations in real time

SR Circuit Style Provisioning and Visualization

  Reserve bandwidth for bidirectional co-routed paths including backup and protection paths
  Enable support for transport-circuit-like services (e.g. Optical circuits, TDM circuit) over a Segment Routing network

Local Congestion Mitigation (LCM)

  Effectively handle link congestion in a localized manner using tactical TE policies
  Customize automatic deployment of LCM recommended policies and actions
  Group recommendations by IGP domains and deploy a specific set of actions for one domain without having to deploy it for others in the network

Tree-SID topology Discovery, Visualization and Provisioning

  Visualize your dynamic and static SR Multicast Tree-SIDs
  Provision your MVPNs and static SR Tree-SIDs in an intent based automated wokflow.

Service health monitoring and troubleshooting (included with CNC Advantage)

  Dynamically associate service intent to capture telemetry and key performance indicators on a service basis; underlying resources are dynamically associated to service, monitored individually and data correlated to reflect service health
  Improves ability to meet end-customer SLAs by reducing the Mean Time to Identify (MTTI) or Mean Time to Know (MTTK)
  Knowledge within heuristic package, assisting and automating troubleshooting tasks

Programmable closed-loop automation (Optional Add-on)

  Intelligently tie network observations to network-focused actions in order to implement remediation, or maintenance workflows. Codify workflows using parameterized plays and stitch them as a playbook for execution in a continuous or step-by-step fashion offering programmability and user-control.

Secure Zero-Touch Provisioning (Optional Add-on)

  Reduce cost with rapid provisioning and onboarding of network devices (aligned to RFC 8572) at a mass-scale

Inventory Visualization

  Augment the device and interface information with deeper inventory details to identify the pluggable and line cards for a select device
  Keep track of the installed HW by visualization of all FRU Part numbers and Serial numbers

Device Fault Dashboard

  Expedite troubleshooting with a consolidated view of the alarms collected from managed devices

Single pane of glass

  Crosswork Network Controller enables real-time visibility of the network topology, service inventory, and transport policy visualization from a single pane of glass
  Service provisioning UI (dynamic model driven) for customized L2VPN/L3VPN service types

Northbound API

  An open and programmable framework enables network operators to develop their own applications based on API and integration into existing toolset
  API integration pretested with Crosswork Hierarchical Controller supporting Cisco RON architecture

Layered Service Architecture (LSA) support

  Utilize LSA as a design approach to implement massively large and scalable service provisioning function with Cisco NSO integrated within Crosswork Network Controller


  Crosswork Network Controller is a multivendor capable of network and service provisioning, data collection, and network control leveraging industry standards—BGP-LS, SNMP, gNMI, PCEP, segment routing, NETCONF/YANG


  Prebuilt function packs for service and transport policy provisioning
  Extensibility through custom development

Flexible consumption

  1-year, 3-year, and 5-year subscription licenses

Product specifications

Cisco Crosswork Network Controller has been shaped by helping large, tier-one service provider and enterprise customers automate everything from simple device turn-up to cross-domain automation to sophisticated full lifecycle service management. Cisco Crosswork Network Controller is built on industry standards enabling multivendor compliance. Cisco Crosswork Network Controller has three areas of touch points into the network:

1.     Provisioning: A model-based programmatic interface (NETCONF/YANG) that allows for control of everything from simple device turn-up and configuration management to sophisticated, full lifecycle service management.

2.     Data collection: A common performance data collection using gNMI (gRPC Network Management Interface), SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), MDT (Model Driven Telemetry), CLI (Command Line Interface), etc.

3.     Network control: Real-time network topology discovery via BGP-LS and network optimization and traffic control using PCEP.

Cisco Crosswork Network Controller provides a standards-based northbound interface to enable integration with external entities (for example, OSS/BSS or higher-level orchestration systems).

Table 2.        Standard protocol support: SBI and NBI


Protocol details

Device, service, and policy provisioning


Real-time topology discovery


Network traffic control


Path engineering

SR-TE, RSVP-TE, SRv6, SR FlexAlgo

Network performance data collection

SNMP, gNMI/OpenConfig, MDT, CLI, Syslog

Northbound API


Protocol support

Table 3.        Standard protocol support: Key protocols



RFC 5440

Path Computation Element (PCE) Communication Protocol (PCEP)

RFC 8231

Path Computation Element Communication Protocol (PCEP) Extensions for Stateful PCE

RFC 8281

Path Computation Element Communication Protocol (PCEP) Extensions for PCE-Initiated LSP Setup in a Stateful PCE Model

RFC 3209

RSVP-TE: Extensions to RSVP for LSP Tunnels

RFC 3630

Traffic Engineering Extensions to OSPF Version 2

RFC 3784

(IS-IS) Extensions for Traffic Engineering (TE)

RFC 7752

Northbound Distribution of Link-State and Traffic Engineering (TE)


SR Replication Segment for Multipoint Service Delivery


Segment Routing Point-to-Multipoint Policy


Segment Routing Point-to-Multipoint Policy PCEP Extensions for p2mp sr policy


Multicast and Ethernet VPN with Segment Routing P2MP and Ingress Replication

Please reach out to your Cisco account representative for a detailed list of all supported RFCs and IETF drafts and any additional information.

System requirements

Cisco Crosswork Network Controller is designed for different customer network sizes. Only Cisco can offer this comprehensive and holistic automation approach delivered in a single pane of glass. Cisco Network Controller delivers a fully integrated solution targeting for your most challenging real-world problems. Contact your Cisco sales representative to learn more about the system requirements matching your network scale.

Ordering information

Cisco Crosswork Network Controller offers modular packaging to effectively meet your deployment use-cases. The packages include functions classified as Essentials, Advantage along with optional Add-on components. Contact your Cisco account representative for details on how to order Cisco Crosswork Network Controller.

Warranty information

The Cisco Crosswork Network Controller is covered by the following warranty:

Cisco environmental sustainability

Information about Cisco’s environmental sustainability policies and initiatives for our products, solutions, operations, and extended operations or supply chain is provided in the “Environment Sustainability” section of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

Reference links to information about key environmental sustainability topics (mentioned in the “Environment Sustainability” section of the CSR Report) are provided in the following table:

Sustainability topic


Information on product-material-content laws and regulations


Information on electronic waste laws and regulations, including products, batteries, and packaging

WEEE Compliance

Cisco makes the packaging data available for informational purposes only. It may not reflect the most current legal developments, and Cisco does not represent, warrant, or guarantee that it is complete, accurate, or up to date. This information is subject to change without notice.

Implementation and optimization services

Experience streamlined support across the products and providers in your Cisco network environment with Cisco Solution Support. If an issue arises, skip the triage and just contact us. Cisco primary point of contact engineers are available 24x7 to deliver expert, centralized support across your software and hardware from Cisco and third-party technology vendors. We’ll resolve your issue, or when needed, lead issue coordination with additional support teams inside and outside of Cisco to get the job done. The results: 44% faster complex issue resolution on average than using single product-focused support[1]; 49% more efficient IT network infrastructure teams; 51% lower productivity losses due to unplanned downtime; >2x more staff time spent on innovation[2].

Solution support

Maximize performance, reliability, and ROI of your Cisco Crosswork Network Controller with Cisco Solution Support. You get access to a team of Cisco solution experts who are your primary point of contact, delivering centralized support across your deployment 24x7x365. Whether you have an issue with a Cisco product or one from another vendor—or are just looking for guidance and assurance on your new solution—simply contact us. We’ll take it from there and remain accountable for your case, from first call to resolution.

Note:      If issues are identified as being due to third-party vendor devices, we expect you to engage the third-party vendor. Cisco will work with you to provide triage information to the third party.

Solution Support can help increase staff efficiency by 32 percent, reduce incident occurrence by 21 percent, save $37 million in downtime, and increase company revenue by an average of $3.5 million. We have a track record of resolving complex issues on average 43 percent more quickly than product support, making it the right kind of technical service for Cisco Crosswork Network Controller solution environments.

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Learn more

For more information on Cisco's network automation portfolio for service providers, please visit To learn more about Cisco Crosswork Network Controller or to schedule a demonstration, contact your Cisco sales representative.

Document history

New or Revised Topic

Described In


Updated data sheet version 3

Data sheet

November 2, 2021

Updated data sheet version 2

Data sheet

February 22, 2020

Created data sheet version 1 (draft)

Data sheet

February 5, 2020




[1] July 2020 Cisco internal study of 300,000 support cases.

[2] 2021 IDC: The Business Value of Cisco Customer Experience Services; based on the experience of study participants using Solution Support.

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