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NorthStar Controller UI Overview

 

The NorthStar Controller has two user interfaces (UIs):

  • NorthStar Controller Operator UI (Web)—for working with a live network

  • NorthStar Controller Network Planner UI (Java Client)—for simulating the effect of various scenarios on the network, without affecting the live network

Table 1 shows the Internet browsers that have been tested and confirmed compatible with the NorthStar Controller web UI.

Table 1: Internet Browsers Compatible with the NorthStar Controller Web UI

OS

Browser

Windows 10

  • Google Chrome versions 55, 56

  • Firefox version 53

  • Internet Explorer version 11

Windows 7

  • Google Chrome versions 58

  • Firefox version 53

  • Internet Explorer version 11

CentOS 6.8/6.9

  • Google Chrome versions 56

  • Firefox version 53

Mac OS

  • Google Chrome versions 58

  • Safari version 10.1.1

UI Feature Comparison

Table 2 summarizes the features available through the Operator and Network Planner UIs.

Note

All user administration (adding, modifying, and deleting users) must be done from the web UI.

Table 2: Comparison of UI Features

Feature

Operator UI (Web)

Network Planner UI (Java Client)

Live network model

Archived and current network models

Planned network models

Network information for nodes, links, tunnels, SRLGs

Network information real-time updates from live network

Network information add, modify, delete planned elements that are not part of the live network, for simulation purposes

Network information add, modify, delete live elements

Network information add, modify elements with optional constraints and parameters

Topology map display

Topology interactive with LSP paths, elements, layout, grouping, country map

Topology real-time updates from live network

Topology managing layout views

Topology subviews for protocols, AS, IS-IS, OSFP

Topology legend RSVP live utilization

Topology legend RSVP controller calculated utilization

Topology legend RSVP failure simulation peak utilization

Provision one or multiple primary LSPs

Provision secondary LSP

Provision standby LSP

Provision LSP with optional design constraints and routing methods

Provision LSP with explicit paths

Provision diverse LSP pair

Preview controller calculated LSP path

Provision immediately in real-time

Delta provision: compare current model to live network

Delta provision: compare current model to a planned network model

Maintenance event scheduling

Maintenance event simulation

Report manager for maintenance event simulation

Bandwidth calendar scheduling

Bandwidth calendar timeline

Path analysis

Path design

Path optimization with Analyze Now option

FRR design

P2MP tree design

Interactive simulation

Simulation scenarios

Report manager for simulation scenarios

Dashboard

Timeline for events

Event viewer

User administration

Server and cluster status monitoring

Server logs

System process monitoring

Device profile

Transport controller

Authentication

System administration

Network information transport elements

Multilayer topology map display

Topology interaction with transport paths, elements, SRLG, layout

Groups and Privileges

Users are created into two different permission levels, called groups—Full Access group and View Only group. A user’s group determines the privilege level the user is allowed, either full-access privilege or view-only privilege. Full Access group users can log in with either full-access or view-only privilege. View-only group users are restricted to view-only privilege.

In the Operator UI, users logged in with full-access privilege have provision and modify actions available to them in the NorthStar Controller application, while users logged in with view-only privilege do not. The default privilege is view-only. You must click the Enable Full Access checkbox on the login window to request full-access privilege.

Only Full Access group users have access to the Network Planner UI; View Only group users do not. In the Network Planner, Full Access group users can delta provision, add planned elements, and run design.

Full-access login is granted when requested if:

  • The user belongs to the Full Access group, and

  • The permitted number of logged-in full-access privilege users has not been reached.

A maximum of 64 view-only users and ten full-access users can simultaneously log in to the NorthStar Controller. Because full-access users can log in to either the Operator UI or the Network Planner UI, this means there can be a total of ten full-access users combined between both UIs. If a user attempts to log in with full-access privilege when all of the full-access slots are occupied, an error message is displayed. For the web UI, the user can still log in, but with view-only privilege, assuming there are view-only slots available.

Note

A single user can log into the NorthStar Controller multiple times from different devices, each login occupying one user session slot.

The Administrator Role

The NorthStar Administrator is a special user type, belonging to the Full Access user group. The Administrator (Admin) can log in with either full-access or view-only privilege. When logged in with full-access privilege, the Admin is the only user who can access the User Administration functions. The Admin can always log in to perform admin-only functions, even when all user session slots are occupied. The Admin can also selectively disconnect user sessions.

The NorthStar Controller Login Window

You connect to the NorthStar Controller using a modern web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or later versions of Internet Explorer.

In the address bar of your browser window, type the secure host external IP address, followed by a colon and port number 8443 (for example, https://10.0.1.29:8443). Your external IP address is provided to you when you install the application. The NorthStar Controller login window is displayed, as shown in Figure 1. This same login window grants access to the Operator UI and the Network Planner UI.

Note

If you attempt to reach the login window, but instead, are routed to a message window that says, “Please enter your confirmation code to complete setup,” you must go to your license file and obtain the confirmation code as directed. Enter the confirmation code along with your administrator password to be routed to the Web UI login window. The requirement to enter the confirmation code only occurs when the installation process was not completed correctly, and the NorthStar Controller application needs to confirm that you have the authorization to continue.

Figure 1: NorthStar Controller Login Window
NorthStar Controller Login Window
Warning

To avoid a Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS (BEAST) attack, whenever you log in to the NorthStar Controller through a browser tab or window, make sure that the tab or window was not previously used to surf a non-HTTPS website. A best practice is to close your browser and relaunch it before logging in to the NorthStar Controller.

NorthStar Operator features are available through the Web UI. NorthStar Planner features are available through the Java Client UI.

A configurable User Inactivity Timer is available to the System Administrator (only). If set, any user who is idle and has not performed any actions (keystrokes or mouse clicks) is automatically logged out of the NorthStar Controller after the specified number of minutes. By default, the timer is disabled. To set the timer, navigate to Administration > System Settings.

Logging In to and Out of the Web UI

To access the NorthStar Controller Web UI, enter your username and password. Optionally select the Enable Full Access check box. Click Log In.

Note

You will be required to change your password after logging in for the first time.

To log out of the web UI, click the User Options drop-down menu (person icon) in the upper right corner of the main window and select Log Out. Figure 2 shows the User Options drop-down menu.

Figure 2: User Options Menu
User Options Menu

Logging In to and Out of the Java Client Network Planner UI

To log in to the Java Client Network Planner UI, ignore the Username and Password fields, and just click NorthStar Planner at the bottom of the window. The NorthStar Planner login window displays the default memory allocation. There is no Enable Full Access check box for the NorthStar Planner, so simply click Launch.

Depending on the browser you are using, a dialog box might be displayed, asking if you want to open or save the .jnlp file. Once you respond to any browser requests, a dialog box is displayed in which you enter your user ID and password. Click Login.

To log out of the NorthStar Network Planner UI, select File>Exit to display the Confirm Exit screen. Click Yes to exit.