This lab provides an NSO environment to support WWT workshop and training content. The lab contains specific tools and content to support the workshop instructions. However, you can also use this lab for general NSO learning and experimentation. Each lab instance is on-demand and lauched within the WWT Advanced Technology Center vCenter environment. As such, your lab instance does have access to the broader WWT ATC and the internet.
Cisco's NSO (Network Service Orchestrator) is a scalable, extensible orchestration system. It's used to manage network services which are:
- Easy, inexpensive and fast to create
- Highly repeatable
- Managed as a complete service lifecycle (CRUD)
- Spread across multiple vendors and technology domains
- Activated via an API (REST, JSON, etc.) and / or a user portal
- Very simple or very complex (with multiple moving parts, like NFV)
- Delivered as part of an integrated ordering process with your portals, catalogs and CRM systems
As and orchestration system, NSO is different from other IT tools like Ansible, Puppet and Chef. NSO was created to manage services. This means that NSO retains a service instance record of every deployment and can provide detailed lifecycle management including re-deploy and rollback.
Where other orchestration systems are typically used as engineering tools, NSO is typically deployed as part of a complete fulfillment solution, providing key device and configuration management as part of the fulfillment process.
NSO is a truly multi-vendor solution. NSO has an large library of Network Element Drivers (NEDs) which enable NSO to communicate to devices and manage device configuration.
NSO uses NEDs along with service models to instantiate services across network devices and then manage those services. This diagram shows the functional layout of NSO and how it interacts with physical and virtual devices: