cITopus NSX Automation

NSX Automation and Management

The age of the Software-Defined Data Center has arrived, and along with it a revolution in the agility of a modern network. Many leading businesses and government agencies from small to large are virtualizing their networks with VMware NSX for their Software Defined Network (SDN) and Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) environments. NSX virtualizes switching, routing, load balancing, and firewalls in a “network hypervisor” that enhances security and dramatically reduces provisioning time. All while adding flexibility and lowering operating costs.

Transitioning to, and managing, a SDN and SDDC does have its challenges. Most IT organizations still utilize the same static spreadsheets and diagramming software to view, manage, store configuration data, and make critical decisions for their environments. A manual update process utilizing these static documents simply can’t support a flexible, rapidly changing, and evolving SDDC. Furthermore, a manual management process allows for higher probability of network configuration errors, increases time for deployment, and is frequently an outdated view of the network. An agile Software-Defined Data Center requires an agile management and monitoring solution.

Introducing clTopus!

cITopus – Automates and manages the lifecycle of NSX environments. A design, deployment, and management solution bringing powerful and transformational aspects of NSX in an intuitive, modern, and agile software suite. cITopus’ What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor allows engineers to deploy network topologies using drag and drop widgets, dramatically reducing the risk of errors and reducing the time to deploy. The WYSIWYG editor builds live visual topology from an existing NSX environment and allows the engineers to perform changes to the topology visually. cITopus reduces the dependency on outside knowledge experts as the tool performs validations and deploys network topologies using VMware best practices.

Welcome to cITopus!

The Living Data Center

cITopus provides a LIVE topology view. All that is required to configure cITopus are 6 entries into a setup form. From there cITopus can traverse your SDDC, and instantly build a living view of your SDN topology securely within your data center. From there drag and drop SDDC objects onto the view. Share the design with colleagues and once the new design is approved, simply click “Deploy”. With a few entries and a few seconds those objects become real!

Imagine deploying an entire data center visually!

The endless sea of forms are created and managed for you automatically. But you can go behind the scenes and double check any configuration property at any time. Designs that used to take days, weeks, even months to complete can now be finished in fractions of the time.

Deployments that required over 1,000 manual entries, and days or weeks to perform, now can be completed within minutes!

As designed, cITopus is always learning all of the information about your SDDC, and can assist in recommending configurations for new objects, automatically tests them, and will catch configuration mistakes. This is the age of the Living Software-Defined Data Center!

You Manage Your SDDC, Not Vice-Versa

cITopus can streamline the management of your NSX environment: rapidly design and manage new environments, edit existing objects, deploy new nodes, reverse-engineer and manage existing environments, and even clone an entire network topology into a new environment. All the documentation is created the instant the SDDC changed. (regardless if you make the change in cITopus, or directly in vSphere)

Real-Time Updated Documentation

Below: Configuration Workbook

Rapid Management and Administration with cITopus Intuitive Network Creation

cITopus is far beyond a simple form based manual deployment tool. cITopus provides unprecedented automation. The cITopus Intuitive Network Creation (cINC) feature learns the entire data center including complete IP tables, BGP communities, OSPF adjacencies, deployed VM’s, and understands intuitively the hierarchy of configurations required to deploy a SDN in any environment. The advanced modeling engine of cITopus makes it possible to deploy templates with prebuilt Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) networks, and High Availability (HA) clusters.

Furthermore, an innovative Drag-Drop-Deploy feature automatically creates dependent network components and pre-assigns all device information reducing deployment times by up to 95%. With cITopus cINC functionality true rapid deployment is now possible while reducing human error, simplifying design, and reducing overhead by an order of magnitude.

Copy and Paste To Another Data Center

Of course cITopus supports Micro-Segmentation!

The SDDC is not complete without security. cITopus features visual micro-segmentation control. Now re-ordering rules or groups of rules can be done with simple click and drag. The security professional can create new rules, rule segments, and order those rules all within the cITopus interface.

How cITopus Works

  • Installed on a VM inside local network environment
  • One time registration of cITopus with your NSX Manager and vCenter
  • All work is done through a WYSIWYG editor
  • Two-way communication between cITopus and NSX API / vSphere SDK
  • SDN information compiled, mapped and displayed as network topology graph

This functionality places cITopus head-and-shoulders above many scripting tools which require interaction with a terminal command line and offer limited visibility and rigid functionality.

cITopus Is A True Solution!

cITopus is a true 4th generation language developed object oriented program built on a modern javascript platform.  It is NOT a scripting tool!  cITopus was built from the ground up as an asynchronous non-blocking platform, so Citopus has none of the weaknesses of a scripting tool, and even out-performs scripting tools independent of the size of the data center.

Features that Support Full NSX Lifecycle

  • Topology graph view. Unprecedented real-time visibility into SDN structure and relationships
  • Create and configure or update new object shapes (switches, edges) using icon drag and drop
  • Directly deploy into NSX newly created objects, or edits made to existing objects
  • Form validation and behind-the-scenes business logic
  • Pre-built templates consisting of the entire network topology, i.e. routers, switches, edge gateways.
  • Migrate software defined networking and micro-segmentation configurations from one NSX environment to another
  • Automated creation of up-to-date Configuration Workbook, and export to Excel

Benefits of clTopus

  • Drastically reduces the time required to design, create, modify, deploy, and manage NSX environments:

* 50% or more reduction in time

* 50% of more reduction in deployment time

* Up to 90% reduction in creating and managing Configuration Workbook

    • Reducing human error and mistakes typical in manual configuration and administration.
    • NSX Real Time View (NRTV)-Automatically build and graphically display your network topology in real time. Reducing time, and replacing the need for drawing tools and spreadsheets.
    • Automatically document network nodes and relationships.
    • Automatically sync the visualization of your network topology with your actual network.
    • Automatically discover NSX and related vCenter constructs eliminating the need to manually correlate components.
    • Generate component configuration reports pulled directly from your network, versus from spreadsheets which need to be updated manually
    • Advanced Modeling Engine that automatically learns IP tables, dynamic networks, deployed vm’s, and physical interfaces.
    • cITopus Intuitive Network Creation (cINC) – Rapid Deployment
    • Drag-Drop-Deploy – automatically create, assign, configure, and deploy dependent network components
  • Templates for ECMP and HA networks complete with test end-point VM’s with all configuration information pre-defined.

cITopus Features

NSX D3 Design – Deploy – Document

Active SDN Topology Design

  • Live View of SDN
  • Visual Deployment

SDN Introspection

  • Automatically learn existing environment
  • Micro-segmentation configuration automatically loaded in Citopus Firewall Manager

Automated Visual Deployment

  • Drag and Drop Quick Deployment
  • Templated Network Node Deployment

Automated Configuration Workbook

  • Automatic updates to Configuration Workbook from Citopus changes
  • Automatic updates to Configuration Workbook from outside sources such as vSphere Web Client.

Design and Configuration Doc Export

  • Export Topology Map in .SVG format
  • Export Configuration Workbook in .XLSX format

Test Driven Deployment

  • Automatically create Test end-points to verify connectivity
  • Automatic test report after deployment
  • Manually create test end-points for troubleshooting

NSX Configuration Control and Security

Smart Edit and Update of all SDN objects

  • Add static or dynamic routing
  • Configure High Availability
  • Add interfaces with automatically pre-filled suggestions
  • Error handling and capturing

SDN Data Center Comparison

  • Identify and correct differences between multiple similar data centers

SDN Data Center Copy/Paste

  • Template an entire SDN and apply to separate environment.
  • Ensure symmetrical DR

Micro-Segmentation Control

  • Configure Firewall rules, sections, and priority
  • Visually reorder firewall rules and assign to new sections
  • Edit firewall rules

Netellisense – Context Relative IP Suggestion and Autocomplete

  • Citopus IP management engine continuously tracks all static and dynamic networks
  • Whenever new networks are created, cITopus will recommend a network that is appropriate for the context.

Coming Soon To cITopus!

cITopus Pre-Deployment Analyzer that scans the SDDC and provides a live-checklist of all configuration and installation items required before deploying NSX.

Create and Manage Network Design Versions to help administrators train staff, plan and design complex network changes or additions, and troubleshoot your network.

Multi-tenant Micro-segmentation – Create users, roles, and groups and allow privileges on rules along with approval trail and audit.

Copy and Paste Micro-segmentation – Just as cITopus can copy and paste the network topology, micro-segmentation policy will also be deployable from templates.

Configuration Control of the SDDC allows your network administration team to versionize your entire data center and have a clear view of the changes that have been implemented on the SDDC over time. This innovative and powerful feature can be utilized to roll-back minor changes to a network or even perform a Point-In-Time recovery of the SDDC.

 Contact us for more information or a demonstration!