Pluribus is well known for radically automating the deployment and management of small- and large-scale underlay and overlay data center fabrics, whether located at a single site or across geographically distributed locations. We do this via our unique controllerless-SDN Adaptive Cloud Fabric (ACF) software which is powered by our Netvisor ONE OS. Pluribus offers multiple approaches on how network operations (NetOps) teams interface with Netvisor ONE and ACF: through our command line interface (CLI), via the fully CLI-compatible REST API and, finally, via our Pluribus UNUM software.
It is important to understand that the SDN intelligence is contained within the fabric itself and that the Pluribus UNUM Management Platform software is not an SDN controller. Pluribus UNUM is a powerful application that allows NetOps teams to interact with the intelligent fabric via a browser-based, rich graphical front end to even further simply deploying, managing and monitoring the fabric. Pluribus UNUMTM has two main components – the Fabric Manager and Insight Analytics. Fabric Manager is a highly intuitive means of performing network tasks and automating workflows for Day 0, 1 and 2 network operations. Insight Analytics is a real-time analytics and performance management module that analyzes per-flow telemetry from the fabric nodes, presents rich dashboards and supports rapid search capabilities.
In December 2020 Pluribus Networks released version 6.1.0 of the UNUM fabric management, analytics and automation user interface. This release includes several new features and improvements that enhance an end user’s experience managing the Adaptive Cloud Fabric.
New features include:
- New Virtual Service Groups Dashboard – vSG’s are a simple way to define policies for connecting specific subnets across tenants, while keeping the rest of the tenant network isolated for unicast virtual routing & forwarding (VRF). A VRF is a logical routing table specific to each tenant, which is normally isolated from the routing table of other tenants. The vSG feature process is also known as “prefix-leaking.” vSG is an extremely powerful feature that can be used for service chaining or allowing partner tenants in a multi-tenant environment to securely connect to one another.Diagram-1 In this example of a virtual service group, subnet-1, subnet-21 and subnet-11 can all communicate via vSG GROUP-A, while all other subnets in the tenant remain isolated.
- New Packet Broker Dashboard – The Pluribus Networks’ Packet Broker solution enables users to deploy modular, scale-out, monitoring fabrics with a distributed architecture that allows the steering of appropriate traffic to visibility and security tools located anywhere in the network. Leveraging tools such as network taps or mirrors, the Network Packet Broker service copies traffic from a production network to the adaptive monitoring fabric’s ingress ports. In turn, the monitoring fabric redirects the traffic arriving on the ingress ports to the monitoring tools located geographically apart. This implementation employs VXLAN overlay to transport packets from ingress ports to monitoring tools and features ECMP in the underlay to address link failures. Administrators can now manage the Packet Broker solution via the UNUM graphical user interface.Diagram 2 – The UNUM Packet Broker Dashboard. Multiple ports can be placed into virtual groups for convenience. In this example, traffic is forwarded from the source port group, through the network monitoring tools to the destination port group.
- New Fabric Upgrades Dashboard – Administrators can now upgrade their Netvisor ONE
fabric nodes directly from UNUM, simplifying the process into a few simple clicks.
Upgrades are enabled with or without internet connectivity and are triggered directly
from the Topology dashboard. Fabric upgrades, which have always been automated by
the fabric, are now further simplified and can be visually monitored via the new fabric
upgrades screens in UNUM.
There are numerous other improvements in this release as well including:
- Bridge Domains – Support for IEEE 802.1ad (VLAN Stacking). With this technology, it is possible to identify up to 16 M services for up to 4K customers. The double-tagged traffic is frequently handed off to a provider (for example, a cloud exchange provider), which can terminate it for end-to-end connectivity.
- Many new IGMP features including snooping, stats, and management.
- Using UNUM Archiver for Disaster Recovery of archived data.
Existing customers should upgrade to take advantage of the numerous improvements.
If you are a new customer or interested in Pluribus Network solutions, please contact us here for more information or to request a demo.
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About the Author
Garry Lemasa pulls double-duty as a product manager and technical marketing engineer on the Pluribus Networks UNUM platform. His twenty-plus year technical career began in storage subsystems, which led to storage networking and then IP based networks. Now he focuses on fabric management and automation, as well as translating technical jargon into language most everyone can understand.Garry lives with his wife, daughter, and three cats in sunny California where he ponders technology and reads science fiction in his spare time.