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Create Great Customer Experiences with FRINX Network Automation

Significant progress has been made from the time where a small army of highly certified network engineers had to be dispatched to make standard changes in the network or to enable and troubleshoot customer services. Progress has been made on the equipment vendor side by providing better programmatic interfaces to northbound systems.

Now some of this progress has come in the form of DevOps tooling which makes the life of network engineers somewhat simpler and speeds up routine tasks. Some of these improvements have come in the form of IBM’s Ansible, Puppet/Chef or similar tools which have proven useful as Swiss army knifes to get stuff done. Other improvements have come in the form of vendor specific tools optimized for their equipment. Yet many operators and service providers using these tools have not reached their real goal of robust and sustainable automation from the customer request to the service realization in the network.

DevOps tooling still relies on brittle scripts and playbooks that quickly become as opaque and inconsistent as copies of Excel sheets that contain critical infrastructure information. Vendor specific tools still require unleashing an armada of professional services engineers from a small pool of vendor approved partners to get the job done. Often, today’s forms of network automation still require manual intervention and high levels of coding expertise to implement service logic.

Here are areas where today’s tools fall short in reaching the goal of robust and sustainable network automation.

DevOps Tooling – Naive Automation

Fire and forget – No assurance that the config was changed correctly during the configuration attempt – leaves partially configured devices in the network
Global locks on the network – Every change sent to the automation system locks the system until changes are executed – this architecture creates inacceptable wait times for applications at scale.
No rollback capabilities – When something goes wrong during the configuration attempt, the system does not know how to revert to a well defined state before the configuration attempt
Complete configuration updates
Limited scale and slow execution
Limited device support for OpenConfig
Proprietary network element drivers
Limited or no end-to-end workflow capabilities
Costly and onerous implementation of service logic by a limited number of professional service partners

Robust & Sustainable Automation

Stateful configuration management – Store the intent and commit the diffs between desired and actual state to the network
Independence between changes of intent and commits to network – 100x acceleration of application performance
Rollback to restore failed configuration attempts – Supported even on devices that do not support native rollback
Atomic update operations – Only change the elements of the configuration that need to be modified to commit the intent
massive scale and high performance, parallel execution threads
Broad device support for OpenConfig
Open source device library
Massively, horizontally scalable workflow capabilities
Simple lightweight workers to implement service logic in any system programming language

How much better?

Robust and sustainable automation can reduce the speed from customer service request to action in the network from days to seconds. Our intent data store and independent commit mechanism allows for 100x more transaction throughput towards the network compared to legacy systems that are relying on global locks during commit operations. Our cloud native workflow system scales horizontally by adding workers across public and private clouds and allows for massively parallel workflow execution.

FRINX Network Automation delivers standardized APIs for network control and workflow descriptions that are simple to use and maintain for non-programmers. FRINX provides out-of-the-box inventory, rendering mission critical Excel spreadsheets obsolete. All of that is delivered with open source platforms and libraries with carrier class availability and support. FRINX provides solutions that allow our users to spend their resources on creating unique customer experiences while saving time managing their infrastructure. FRINX helps its users to build a factory for great customer experiences by reducing the time spent and expertise required to manage infrastructure snowflakes.

FRINX enables users to create great customer experiences through robust and sustainable network automation.

About FRINX

FRINX 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 Conductor in conjunction with support services and is proud to have service provider and enterprise customers from the Fortune Global 500 list.

NEWS: UniConfig ♥ Swagger API!

FRINX ODL 3.1.7. is out and we have added a ton of new functionality. We support new CLI and NETCONF capabilities in XR5,6,7, Nexus, JunOS 14, 17,18 and Dasan. We have reduced the size of our distribution for better startup time and we added new OpenConfig models (OSPFv3, probes). Also, we have added Swagger API documentation and GO and Python client libraries for UniConfig to this release.

FRINX ODL Carbon 3.1.7. is out now!

Download FRINX ODL 3.1.7 with UniConfig here (Sign up required):

https://frinx.io/downloads

Check out the release notes for all new features:

https://frinxio.github.io/Frinx-docs/FRINX_ODL_Distribution/Carbon/Release_Notes/frinx-odl-distribution-3-1-7.html

Swagger API Docs & Go and Python Client libraries:

https://frinxio.github.io/Frinx-docs/FRINX_ODL_Distribution/Carbon/FRINX_Features_User_Guide/swagger-docs.html

Use UniConfig features with a simple application

If you like to start working with UniConfig and Python, check out our LACP bundle application that demonstrates how to create a simple app to use the UniConfig features:

https://frinxio.github.io/Learning-Labs/labs/02-labs-01-aggregate-connections-with-LACP/1.html

Tame workflow, inventory and network control with no coding

If you have no appetite for coding your own applications, we have FRINX Machine for you. Check it out and use it for workflow, inventory and network control out of the box – no coding skills required:

https://github.com/FRINXio/FRINX-machine

FRINX Machine Workflow

 

FRINX Machine Inventory

 

FRINX Machine UniConfig Control

For more information about FRINX products, mail to us at support@frinx.io.

FRINX to present at OSN meet-up: Workflow, Inventory and Network Control

Major Russian internet player Mail.Ru Group, will host the Open Source Networking meetup co-organizing the event with the local Open Source networking community. FRINX will present its solution at the event.

The Open Source Network meetup is taking place for the second time this year, this time on the premises of major Russian internet player Mail.Ru.

What are OSN User Groups about?

Open Source Networking User Groups (OSN User Groups) are locally managed groups that are passionate about network transformation through open source. Groups meet periodically to discuss practical applications and the latest innovations from the Linux Foundation networking projects: DPDK, FD.io, ONAP, OpenDaylight and SNAS, as well as other open source initiatives.

Mail.Ru’s Moscow HQ

These groups provide an opportunity to meet face to face with other open networking enthusiasts in the region, share ideas and insights, and work collaboratively to overcome the challenges of Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Management and Orchestration (MANO), cloud, data analytics, and the acceleration of underlying infrastructures.

What’s the plan?

The upcoming event will start on 6th of March at 6 p.m. (GMT +3) in Mail.Ru’s HQ in Moscow. Speakers from three companies will present and discuss Open Source Network topics. Martin Sunal from FRINX will start the guest segment at 6:30 p.m. presenting Workflow, Inventory and Network Control. Factor Group is co-organizing and attending the event.

Vladimir Gurevich from Barefoot Networks will take care of presenting P4 language for beginners at 8:30 p.m. The last guests speaker of the event comes from Noviflow, with a presentation dedicated to gRPC in SDN switches. The exact line-up for the event can be found here.

You won’t be able to attend in person, but would still like to see the presentations – What now?

Don’t worry, the Open Source Networking Moscow User Group has its own YouTube channel. Last month’s event was fully documented, as was the event from July 2018. Click subscribe on The Open Source Networking Moscow User Group’s YouTube channel to be notified about new videos from the event.

FRINX: Small company talking to big guys with confidence

Have you ever heard about small companies revolutionizing the industry? The small Davids in the world of big business Goliaths? Say Hello to FRINX. A small company that fell in love with OpenDaylight and talks to “big guys” with confidence. We are also looking for new colleagues.

FRINX consists of a growing team of passionate developers and experienced professionals. Slovak based startup aims to change a whole networking software industry. So far, our clientele consists of medium sized businesses and Fortune Global 500 members as well. That’s not bad for a young company, operating for less than three years.

Growing fast

In its short lifetime, FRINX achieved a number of impressive goals. Starting with the collaboration between Slovak startup and Japanese tech giant, SoftBank. FRINX OpenDaylight Distribution offered a reliable infrastructure onto which SoftBank creates applications to manage its network. No. 85 in the Fortune Global 500 list also uses FRINX Smart Build Engine. Product, that allows customers to dramatically shorten the build process and system tests for OpenDaylight and its applications.

FRINX also collaborates with the China Telecom Beijing Research Institute. Chinese telecommunication giant is leading the business in development of open source based solutions. FRINX provides parts of source code, libraries and services to help China Telecom in their development. Slovak startup has also joined the Intel Network Builders program, which unites companies from broad spectrum of networking area.

Superstar of the portfolio

Our product line-up flag ship combines a number of open source components, called FRINX Machine. It enables infrastructure engineers to manage workflow, inventory and network control. It’s fantastically easy to setup with just three commands and could be run on local PC as well as on hight-end machine in the cloud. 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. That makes this system open for personnel which wasn’t intended to be dealing with model based systems.

Tempted by FRINX’s story? We are hiring!

We have some seriously cool brand new stuff going on at FRINX, starting right in the beginning of the next year. We demand speed, efficiency, flexibility and a self-starter mentality. Together with sound logical thinking and excellent communication skills as your key attributes. We are looking for applicants who will join us in our office in Bratislava and who will work with our international clients all over the world.

Positions open:

Software Engineer JAVA
Test Automation Engineer

Software Engineer Go & React

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.

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.

FRINX UniConfig: Worldwide leading OSS Network Device Library for Structured Data

We just realized that we have built the worldwide largest open source network device library for structured data. Napalm is not even close and Ansible deals with unstructured data. Also, Ansible requires users to implement their own data store, device version control, parser or mapping between models and transaction logic. All of that and more is part of FRINX UniConfig.

Our customers want us to control a wide range of network devices from many different vendors. Together with our technology partners and customers we have built an open source device library that we are proud of. FRINX’s UniConfig device library contains JunOS, IOS classic (back to 12.0, including the latest versions), IOS XR (4,5,6,7), IOS XE, Nexus OS, Huawei VRP, Brocade, Dasan and many more to come. Our library supports access to devices via CLI, NETCONF and provides translation capabilities from vendor specific CLI and YANG models to standard based OpenConfig models. Our upcoming release (FRINX ODL 4.2.x) also supports native YANG models with our new “UniConfig native” feature.

Choosing the right way

We made some deliberate choices early on when we decided how to build our library. We had to make a decision if we would use templating tools or code to implement our library. In the end we decided to use code to implement the readers and writers in our library. We have built a framework that reduces the amount of code that has to be written to a minimum and allows contributors to focus on the parsing, transforming and writing of commands.

Since we have made that decision, we encountered many situations that required complex mappings and required us to accommodate platform specific dynamic behavior. Those experiences confirmed our decision to implement our device library in code. But all of that is only useful if users can easily find what is supported in which release. Hence, we have built an automated documentation that allows customers to search for features and platforms that are supported in our library. The documentation is part of our build process and always up to date with our latest developments and additions.

Same tools for different devices

FRINX set out to build a network control product that our users love. Our goal is to give them the same tools that they use for software development like diff, snapshots, sync, and commits and make those available to interact with their networks. We read and write network configurations and our built-in datastore allows us to support stateful applications.

We compare intent with actual device configuration and can perform atomic transactions on one device. Or even across multiple network devices. We execute disjunct sets of transaction in parallel and scale up to thousands of connections. FRINX UniConfig enables transactions and rollback across devices that do not have native support for rollback or transactions.

We appreciate your feedback about which devices and features you want us to add next or which ones you would be interested to contribute to our library (no worries, we are happy to help). We look forward to seeing many new use cases of FRINX UniConfig and hearing back from you.

LEARN MORE:

FRINX UniConfig Device Library on GitHub

https://github.com/FRINXio/cli-units
https://github.com/FRINXio/unitopo-units

Device Library Documentation (auto-generated)

https://frinxio.github.io/translation-units-docs/

Device Library Use Case Configuration (manually maintained)

https://github.com/FRINXio/translation-units-docs

Download FRINX Machine and start using our library

https://github.com/FRINXio/FRINX-machine

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 and is proud to have service provider and enterprise customers from the Fortune Global 500 list.

FRINX joins Intel Network Builders program

The Intel Network Builders is an ecosystem of independent companies from broad spectrum of networking area. Software vendors, operating system vendors, original equipment manufacturers, telecom equipment manufacturers, system integrators and communications service providers are all part of Intel’s epic program.

These companies are coming together to accelerate the adoption of network functions virtualization – and software defined networking – based solutions in telecommunications networks and public, private enterprise, and hybrid clouds. Intel Network Builders connects service providers and end users with the infrastructure, software, and technology vendors that are driving new solutions to the market. Intel Network Builders offers technical support, matchmaking, and co-marketing opportunities to help facilitate joint collaboration from the discovery phase to the eventual trial and deployment of NFV and SDN solutions.

The Intel Network Builders program seeks to increase ecosystem alignment and build a strong and sustainable market advantage for our members through solution-centered ecosystem collaboration based on Intel architecture. Today, the Network Builders program counts more than 260 partners, a growing number of end user members and increasing opportunities for collaboration. We are proud to have joined the Intel Network Builders program  which is focused on building the networks of the future.

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 and is proud to have service provider and enterprise customers from the Fortune Global 500 list.

 

 

FRINX and SoftBank Collaborate to Create Open-Source Based Network Operations System

FRINX and SoftBank are collaborating and have created an open-source based operating solution for SoftBank’s networks. Slovak startup FRINX is providing support for its distribution of OpenDaylight, enabling SoftBank to focus on creating their applications.

FRINX offers a fully supported version of OpenDaylight (FRINX ODL Distribution). That makes it a reliable infrastructure onto which SoftBank creates applications to manage their networks. Meanwhile, FRINX provides support, quality assurance and performance enhancements to the code base and manages the up-streaming process. SoftBank also uses the FRINX Smart Build Engine – its development and test environment. That allows customers to automate the build process and system tests for OpenDaylight and its applications in minutes, compared to weeks or months with Do-It-Yourself solutions.

“Open Source has become the de-facto standard for developing new applications in the networking space. SoftBank is one of the leaders in the telecommunications industry leveraging that trend.” said FRINX co-founder and CEO Gerhard Wieser. FRINX and SoftBank are moving the industry forward by building their applications on a supported open-source foundation to evolve SoftBank’s network operations.

Read more about the FRINX ODL Distribution and the FRINX Smart Build Engine here:

https://frinx.io/odl_distribution

https://frinx.io/sbe

About SoftBank

SoftBank Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (TOKYO: 9984), provides mobile communication, fixed-line communication and Internet connection services to customers in Japan. Leveraging synergies with other companies in the SoftBank Group, SoftBank Corp. aims to transform lifestyles through ICT and expand into other business areas including AI, smart robotics, IoT, robotics and energy. To learn more, please visit www.SoftBank.jp/en/corp/group/sbm/

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 and is proud to have service provider and enterprise customers from the Fortune Global 500 list.