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Fabric Services System

Bring intent-based automation to every phase of your data center switching fabric

Nokia Fabric Services System is an intent-based NetOps toolkit that lets you automate your data center network operations to keep pace with new performance and scalability demands while reducing the operational complexity that comes with the emergence of 5G, edge clouds and cloud-based deployments.

A key component of our Data Center Fabric solution, the Fabric Services System complements and extends our Service Router Linux (SR Linux) network operating system (NOS). It enables true operational lifecycle management for your data center fabric, including intent-based automation enriched through highly scalable “on-change” telemetry.

The Fabric Services System adopts an event-driven cloud-native microservice design that is built on top of an open Kubernetes foundation along with many other open-source projects, including Kafka, Kibana, Keycloak and Zookeeper. This approach embraces the latest innovations in cloud computing to run a scalable, distributed and flexible platform in modern, dynamic IT environments.

Why use the Fabric Services System to operate your data center network?

Increase network automation

Automate all phases of your data center network operations with a scalable, distributed automation and operations toolkit.

Transform your operations with NetOps

Bridge the worlds of applications, and networking to create a unified and open framework that fosters service agility, scalability and operational efficiency and supports CI/CD principles.

Manage risk with our Digital Sandbox

Test and validate network changes in a fully emulated environment before applying them to your production network.

Support flexible fabric integrations

Ease Integration with third-party systems and multiple cloud environments with flexible next-generation interfaces such as REST APIs and our Connect microservice.

Improve fabric observability

Use multi-dimensional telemetry to monitor and gain deep insights into east–west and north–south traffic.

Build networks with more efficiency and accuracy

Automate the creation of data center fabrics with a system that combines intent-based design with Nokia-certified fabric design templates.

What is our approach for intent-based automation?

With the Fabric Services System, you can represent the intent and configuration state of your data center fabric in a declarative way. This allows you to create a strong foundation for continuous improvement/continuous deployment (CI/CD) of network infrastructure and fits into the movement toward infrastructure as code (IaC).

The Fabric Services System offers a set of microservices designed to handle various types of intent, including design intent, workload intent and maintenance intent. This enables you to define the desired end state of the fabric in an abstract manner.

By using network telemetry to understand the current state of the fabric, the Fabric Services System can compare with desired intent to identify and implement the required change to the network.


How is NetOps implemented for data center network operations?

The Fabric Services System allows you to simplify operational tasks from the very beginning of the fabric lifecycle. For example, it offers fabric discovery, node bootstrapping and zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) to bring new nodes online for the first time, allowing you to adopt a simple “plug and power up” approach to onboard new devices into the fabric.

The Fabric Services System also enables you to use NetOps principles to simplify network operations. By using intent-based approaches, you can program and implement network automation tasks at scale for each phase of your data center fabric operations, from Day 0 design to Day 1 deployment and Day 2+ operations.

A CI/CD framework lets you test and qualify any change to the fabric before it is implemented in the production network. This NetOps approach helps you reduce risk while promoting the efficient and automated deployment of network changes.

The Fabric Services System is purpose-built to ingest highly scalable “on-change” multi-dimensional streaming telemetry from SR Linux. It optimizes operational tasks with up-to-date fabric state information.


How does the Digital Sandbox provide a cloud-native digital twin?

Our Digital Sandbox is a unique operations tool that enables true emulation of your data center fabric. An integral part of our CI/CD approach, it allows you to trial and validate any changes to the production network before you deploy them in the network. These changes can include initial fabric design, initial workload connectivity, software upgrades, introduction of new devices, policy and configuration changes, and failure scenarios.

Built from a cloud-native design, the Digital Sandbox emulates your leaf and spine switches by deploying a containerized SR Linux instance of each one. The result is a digital twin that provides an exact replica of your data center fabric. The Digital Sandbox uses “on-change” telemetry to maintain absolute parity with the network in both configuration and state.


How do we provide network integration across ecosystem elements?

We’ve designed the Fabric Services System with flexibility in mind. You can deploy it in a variety of environments and use its REST API to give third-party entities full access to the system.

The system’s “Connect” microservice provides a plugin infrastructure that makes it easy to integrate with cloud and virtual infrastructure managers such as OpenStack, VMWare vSphere and Kubernetes. With this integration, the Connect service immediately identifies any change events to workloads (both VNFs and CNFs) and ensures that there is L2/L3 fabric connectivity to support them. This type of integration is essential for scaling next-generation data center networks.


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