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FRINX Introduces New OpenConfig Solution

October 17, 2017

FRINX has come out with a new version of its OpenConfig-based network automation solution. The one-year-old Slovakian company also has introduced a 

Unified node manager module.

Version 3.1.0 of the FRINX ODL network automation solution delivers out of the box automation capabilities for many devices and services from an array of suppliers. Enterprises and service providers use this solution to automate their branch offices, and access, core, and edge. It provides a means of gaining control and visibility across multivendor networks. And it comes with an open source device library that supports various operating systems, platforms, and suppliers.

OpenConfig, on which this solution is based, is an industry effort to develop programmatic interfaces and tools for managing networks in a more dynamic, vendor-neutral way. “OpenConfig’s initial focus is on compiling a consistent set of vendor-neutral data models (written in YANG) based on actual operational needs from use cases and requirements from multiple network operators,” the organization’s website explains. “These models may be developed directly by OpenConfig, or compiled from third party modules that conform with the OpenConfig requirements. OpenConfig is interacting with standards bodies, and network equipment manufacturers - and intends that these models will become the basis of widely-adopted, standardized interfaces.”

That does seem likely considering OpenConfig’s membership. AT&T, BT, Google, and Microsoft contributed technology to get the effort started. Others involved with OpenConfig include Apple, Bell Canada, Comcast, Cox, DT, Facebook, Level 3, Verizon, and Yahoo!

In a late 2015 presentation Anees Shaikh of the network architecture team at Google said large network operators want more visibility into their networks, to move from a push to a poll model, and to be able to specify the data they’re trying to get from the network. Service providers should be able to describe what the network should look like instead of how it should happen, he said.

Such functionality will make it easier on large network operators like Google, he said. And Shaikh added that Google itself has more than 20 network device roles, more than a half dozen vendors and multiple platforms, 4 million lines of configuration files, around 30,000 configuration changes per month, lots of CLI scraping to get data off it devices to learn what’s going on in the network, and many and multiple generations of tools.

“The network keeps evolving,” he said. “We need a way to manage the complexity.”

Ethan Banks, co-founder of Packet Pushers Interactive, said OpenConfig’s informal working group was very productive. In its early days it created models for BGP, MPLS, and interfaces, he said. The group also has formulated models for network telemetry and routing. And Cisco and Juniper Networks have both announced support for OpenConfig, he noted.

“In my understanding, OpenConfig was, in part, started as a reaction to the cat-herding and slow-moving processes of the IETF — not to mention the politics,” wrote Banks. “However, OpenConfig is also engaged with the IETF to help move their work into the various standards tracks.”

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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