FRINX Machine: Make different networks speak the same language

You won’t come across a smarter tool in the networking business. FRINX Machine manages workflow, inventory and network control. It packs a number of different functions into one user-friendly solution stack.

FRINX Machine can be used with network devices of various scale. It’s easy to use and install and you need just three commands to set it up. You can run FRINX Machine on your local PC and on a high-end machine in the cloud.

FRINX UniConfig serves as the cornerstone

FRINX Machine is a dockerized deployment of three main elements. FRINX UniConfig allows FRINX Machine to translate between OpenConfig, vendor proprietary CLI and NETCONF dialects. It also connects to the devices in network and keeps connections between devices alive. Furthermore, it pushes configuration data to devices and pulls configuration and operational data from device.

On top of that we’ve added workflow and inventory capabilities. Our pick for the job went to Netflix Conductor, a micro service orchestration solution. It’s vastly scalable, battle proven and used by the biggest video streaming service amongst others. FRINX Machine uses Netflix Conductor to chain atomic tasks into complex workflows and helps to define, execute and monitor them.

For the inventory system, we have picked Elasticsearch. It’s a great tool and everybody loves to work with it. Moreover, it has a good front-end delivered by Kibana. In FRINX Machine it serves as inventory and log data storage.

The rest of the containerized package consists of FRINX Microservices Engine that is working as a binder between Netflix Conductor and ODL and FRINXit that serves as a command line interface for FRINX UniConfig.

While creating FRINX Machine, the goal was to provide a platform enabling easy definition, execution and monitoring of complex workflows.

Easy to setup and to use, highly available

With just three commands needed for the installation and to run the whole thing, FRINX Machine is refreshingly simple to set up. First, start with git clone to create a copy of the FRINX Machine repository. Second, run install to create all the containers in the infrastructure and third is startup. You can run everything on a minimal environment on your local PC, not needing more that 5 GB RAM, ideally suited for developers. On the other hand, FRINX Machine can also run on high-end scalable machines in the cloud to scale up to your processing and storage needs.

High availability is a hard requirement for many customers. When you run FRINX Machine in a production environment, Execution Logic and State & Transformation components can run in clusters to provide high availability. On the other hand, deploying it into a development or in a less demanding environment, FRINX Machine allows you to scale down to a much smaller footprint.

Real world battlefield

The true strength of FRINX Machine comes to light for mission critical application. It is designed as a cloud native infrastructure workflow engine that manages execution state and related statistics. It provides events, triggers and full visibility into the data that is exchanged between tasks in a workflow. You can look at it as a real-time debugger for your infrastructure, in a high available and high scale environment. Moreover, FRINX Machine offers the ability to write simple tasks, functions dealing with the execution logic, and stringing them together using a workflow.

Why we have decided to combine workflows with network data models

That opens this system to personnel which wasn’t trained to deal with model based systems. Now anyone who is capable of writing code (e.g. Python), can contribute to these workflows, while interacting with the workflow engine, that manages the administration and execution of all tasks. This approach enables new features and capabilities to move from development and test to staging and production in the shortest amount of time possible. Learn more about why we have decided to combine workflows with network data models in the article above.


About FRINX

FRINX was founded in 2016 in Bratislava and consists of a team of passionate developers and industry professionals who want to change the way networking software is developed, deployed and used. FRINX offers distributions of OpenDaylight and FD.io in conjunction with support services. We are proud to have service provider and enterprise customers from the Fortune Global 500 list.