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New Features

 

EPE Application UI Enhancements

We have added the following enhancements to the EPE Application in the UI:

  • A Menu button in the upper right corner of the window now provides the options to reach Settings, and also to launch the Prototype UI which the NorthStar team uses for development and demonstration.

  • The Settings window now allows you to set your preferences for all new projects you create, including such parameters as Default External Rate, Excess PeerLink Rate, Exec Pace Rate, and many more.

  • New traffic change test options for execution plan steps have been added:

    • Involving Tunnel

    • Involving Unassigned

    • Specific Traffic

  • You can now modify EPE properties for SR tunnels from within the network information table using the Modify LSP window.

See The EPE Planner Application in the UI in the NorthStar Controller User Guide for more information about the EPE Planner application.

Historical Data Extraction for Use in Modeling/Trending

The NorthStar Planner desktop application traffic aggregation functionality has been enhanced to make it more useful for modeling and trending. You can now extract data (such as interface, LSP, and demand statistics) over a long period of time and project it forward. This is made possible by:

  • The addition of a time series option in the Traffic Aggregation window (Series selection field)

  • New daily, weekly, and monthly roll-up indices, useful for longer term data periods

Note

Currently, this functionality is only available in the NorthStar Planner desktop application. A future NorthStar release will bring this feature to the NorthStar Planner web UI as well.

See Traffic Menu: Traffic Aggregation in the NorthStar Planner Desktop Application User Guide for more information.

Diverse P2MP Design with PE-CE Link Diversity

NorthStar now supports diverse P2MP tree design with PE-CE link diversity. The P2MP trees terminate on the PEs connecting to the sites, but the diverse tree calculation is performed all the way to the intended traffic endpoints (CE nodes). The resulting diverse trees correctly account for shared risk link groups and affinity constraints in the PE-CE links.

Each sub-LSP in a diverse pair is routed over a different PE-CE link. From the resulting P2MP to site/node routing, NorthStar can determine the path each sub-LSP in the diverse pair should take and an optimal allocation of the PE nodes for each tree. Each sub-LSP must terminate on the PE node that is the penultimate hop to the destination site.

In the NorthStar Controller UI, you can now add nodes as either individual CE nodes or as sites (that include multiple CE nodes). You can also supply this information via REST APIs. This information is not discoverable.

See Provision and Manage P2MP Groups in the NorthStar Controller User Guide for more information.

Experimental Interface for IPE Provisioning

Ingress Peer Engineering (IPE) involves influencing the flow of traffic over ingress peer links for autonomous systems (AS) using BGP route selection rules. The goal is to direct traffic flows away from or toward certain peer links by way of BGP policy changes. In NorthStar 6.0, we are introducing experimental IPE provisioning support via REST API.

Limited Support for Virtuora T-API

NorthStar’s multilayer functionality now supports Fujitsu Virtuora NC transport controllers (T-API standard). As with other supported standards, NorthStar can:

  • Display the topology

  • Access link discovery and configuration

  • Import SRLG and delay information

  • Provide dynamic updates

See Configuring the Multilayer Feature in the NorthStar Controller User Guide for more information.

RADIUS Authentication Updates

NorthStar Controller user authentication via RADIUS has been enhanced so that RADIUS-authenticated users:

  • Can save user preferences such as time zone and date/format.

  • Cannot change their passwords or have them changed.

Group membership is not defined in RADIUS, so new RADIUS-authenticated users are placed in a default “radius” group with view-only permissions. The Admin can modify the privileges for the radius group and can also move radius group members into other groups.

See Authentication in the NorthStar Controller User Guide for more information.

Ansible Playbook for Automating NorthStar Installation

An Ansible playbook is now packaged with the NorthStar application. The playbook enables automation of NorthStar software installation, and is appropriate for both lab and production systems. The Ansible playbook installs NorthStar with cRPD. There is no playbook available for a Junos VM installation. Installation using the playbook requires a host machine (VM or a laptop/desktop) from which the installation is initiated. This host is called the “control node”. The hosts targeted for NorthStar installation are called the “managed nodes”.

The basic workflow is:

  • Prepare the control node and managed nodes with prerequisite software and ensure connectivity. Copy the playbook and the NorthStar application bundle to the control node.

  • Create the Ansible inventory file (a template is provided as a base).

  • Execute the playbook.

  • Add optional data collectors and secondary collectors.

See Using an Ansible Playbook to Automate NorthStar Installation in the NorthStar Controller Getting Started Guide for more information.

PCEP SR Delegate Mode

You can now delegate SR LSPs to NorthStar using the Configure LSP Delegation tool available under Applications in the UI. SR LSPs are now included in the list of LSPs eligible for delegation. Delegating an SR LSP configures it on the router to include the lsp-external-controller pccd statement as shown in the following example:

If there is a failure along the path, NorthStar reroutes the SR LSP around the failed network element.

Note

This capability is only supported for SR LSPs with a single primary path.

The PCC does not track the operational status of SR LSPs past the first hop. To indicate to the PCC that a delegated SR LSP is down, NorthStar sends an empty ERO, and the PCC is expected to respond by tearing down the LSP.

For the PCC to handle the empty ERO signaling appropriately, the following statement must be configured on the PCC:

Note

This applies only to Juniper Networks PCC devices running Junos OS. This feature has not been tested with other PCC devices. A minimum Junos OS release of 19.4R3 or 20.1R1 is required.

NorthStar Controller UI Enhancements

There have been a number of updates to the NorthStar Controller UI intended to improve the user experience. These are UI changes not associated specifically with other new features. Here are some highlights:

  • Option to force delete LSPs is now available by right-clicking the LSPs in the network information table, Tunnel tab. This can be used to remove LSPs from the topology when the controller was not notified of the removal from the device.

  • A refresh button has been added to several left pane views including Types, Protocols, AS, ISIS Areas, OSPF Areas, and Layers. These network components are automatically refreshed, but not instantly. If you suspect a discrepancy between the display and the live network, use this button to force a refresh, displaying the most current information.

  • The Table Settings window accessible from the bottom tool bar of the network information table (settings icon) now includes an option to specify whether you want to see the utilization parameters in the network information table listed as decimals or as percentages.

  • Ability to select Node A and Node Z in Add Link and Add LSP windows directly from the topology display.

NorthStar Planner Web UI Enhancements

We have added the following functionality to the NorthStar Planner web UI:

  • Navigation features in the Archives tab that are especially useful when there are a large number of archived networks listed. These include pagination, choice of number of rows per page, and the ability to search by date or date range.

  • Additional Add/Modify/Delete functionality in the network information table. Now, you can use all three of those functions for Nodes (new), Links, Tunnels, Demands, and Interfaces (new). Bulk modify and delete are supported as well.

Support for Nokia Through NETCONF

Nokia devices are now supported through NETCONF for the following functions:

  • Add LSP

  • Modify LSP

  • Delete LSP

  • Delegate LSP

In addition:

  • Nokia vendor type and icon are included in the Topology view and in Device Profile.

  • NorthStar supports Nokia PCEP report messages format lspName::pathname.

The following functionality is not yet supported for Nokia devices:

  • P2MP

  • Interdomain AS

  • SR binding SID and color mapping

  • Logical systems