Top 10 Network Orchestration Tools

Network orchestration tools are used to automate and streamline network management tasks, enabling efficient provisioning, configuration, and monitoring of network devices and services.

Here are some popular network orchestration tools:

  1. Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO)
  2. Ansible
  3. Juniper Contrail
  4. VMware NSX
  5. OpenStack
  6. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
  7. Puppet
  8. SaltStack
  9. VMware vRealize Automation
  10. HPE Intelligent Management Center (IMC)

1. Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO):

NSO provides orchestration and automation capabilities for multi-vendor network environments. It allows you to define and deploy network services across different devices and platforms using a model-driven approach.

Key features:

  • Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO): Provides orchestration and automation for multi-vendor networks, supporting service orchestration and configuration management.
  • Ansible: An open-source automation platform that includes network automation capabilities. It allows for the definition and execution of automation tasks across various network devices.
  • Juniper Contrail: An SDN (Software-Defined Networking) and network automation platform that simplifies the management and provisioning of network services in virtualized environments.

2. Ansible:

Ansible is a widely used open-source automation platform that includes network automation capabilities. It uses YAML-based playbooks to define and execute automation tasks across network devices from various vendors.

Key features:

  • Agentless: Ansible operates without the need for agents on remote systems, simplifying deployment and management.
  • Playbooks: Ansible uses YAML-based playbooks to define and execute automation tasks, enabling the automation of complex workflows.
  • Infrastructure as Code: Ansible treats infrastructure configuration as code, allowing for version control and collaborative development.

3. Juniper Contrail:

Contrail is an SDN (Software-Defined Networking) and network automation platform from Juniper Networks. It provides network orchestration and automation features to simplify the management and provisioning of network services.

Key features:

  • Software-Defined Networking (SDN): Contrail provides a comprehensive SDN solution, enabling network virtualization and automation for agile and flexible network infrastructure.
  • Network Service Orchestration: Contrail simplifies the orchestration and management of network services, allowing for automated provisioning, configuration, and scaling of virtual network services.
  • Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Support: Contrail integrates with leading public and private cloud platforms, facilitating seamless management and connectivity across multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.

4. VMware NSX:

NSX is a network virtualization and security platform that includes orchestration capabilities. It enables the automated provisioning and management of network services and policies in virtualized and cloud environments.

Key features:

  • Network Virtualization: NSX enables the creation of virtual networks, decoupled from physical infrastructure, providing agility, flexibility, and scalability.
  • Microsegmentation: NSX allows for granular network segmentation and security policies at the virtual machine level, enhancing security and reducing the lateral movement of threats.
  • Distributed Firewall: NSX includes a distributed firewall that operates at the hypervisor level, providing east-west traffic visibility and security within the data center.

5. OpenStack:

OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform that includes network orchestration capabilities. It enables the automation and management of network resources, including virtual networks, routers, and firewalls, in cloud environments.

Key features:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): OpenStack provides a comprehensive IaaS platform, offering virtual machines, storage, and networking resources to build and manage cloud infrastructure.
  • Modular Architecture: OpenStack follows a modular architecture, allowing users to choose and integrate various components based on their specific needs, such as computing, networking, storage, and more.
  • Scalability and High Availability: OpenStack is designed to scale horizontally, allowing for the expansion of resources and services as needed. It also supports high-availability configurations for improved system reliability.

6. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform:

Ansible Automation Platform is a comprehensive automation platform that includes network orchestration capabilities. It provides a centralized control plane to define, execute, and manage network automation workflows.

Key features:

  • Comprehensive Automation: Ansible Automation Platform provides a unified solution for automating IT tasks, including configuration management, application deployment, and orchestration.
  • Workflow Automation: It allows users to create complex automation workflows by combining multiple tasks, playbooks, and roles into reusable and scalable automation processes.
  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Ansible Automation Platform offers RBAC capabilities, allowing administrators to define user roles and permissions for secure access control and collaboration.

7. Puppet:

An infrastructure automation tool that supports network device automation and configuration management through its network automation capabilities.

Key features:

  • Declarative Language: Puppet uses declarative language to define and enforce the desired state of infrastructure, making it easy to specify and manage configuration settings.
  • Infrastructure as Code: Puppet treats infrastructure configuration as code, enabling version control, collaboration, and automated provisioning of resources.
  • Cross-Platform Support: Puppet supports a wide range of operating systems and platforms, allowing for consistent configuration management across heterogeneous environments.

8. SaltStack:

A configuration management and orchestration tool that enables automated deployment and management of network infrastructure.

Key features:

  • Event-Driven Automation: SaltStack utilizes an event-driven architecture to enable real-time automation and orchestration of IT infrastructure and services.
  • Remote Execution: SaltStack allows for executing commands and running scripts remotely across a large number of systems, enabling efficient and centralized management.
  • Configuration Management: SaltStack provides robust configuration management capabilities, allowing administrators to define and enforce system configurations across multiple nodes.

9. VMware vRealize Automation:

A cloud management platform with network orchestration capabilities for automating the provisioning and management of network services in virtualized and hybrid cloud environments.

Key features:

  • Self-Service Provisioning: vRealize Automation enables self-service provisioning of virtual machines, applications, and infrastructure resources, empowering users while maintaining IT governance.
  • Policy-Based Automation: It allows the creation of automation policies to enforce governance, compliance, and security rules throughout the provisioning and management process.
  • Multi-Cloud Management: vRealize Automation offers comprehensive multi-cloud management capabilities, enabling the deployment and management of workloads across private, public, and hybrid cloud environments.

10. HPE Intelligent Management Center (IMC):

A network management and orchestration platform that provides automation and monitoring features for network devices and services.

Key features:

  • Network Management: IMC offers comprehensive network management capabilities, including discovery, topology visualization, configuration management, and performance monitoring.
  • End-to-End Visibility: It provides end-to-end visibility into network infrastructure, applications, and services, allowing administrators to monitor and troubleshoot issues effectively.
  • Security Management: IMC offers security management features, including user access control, security event monitoring, and vulnerability assessment, to enhance network security.
Rajesh Kumar
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