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Interactive Map Features

 

The topology map is interactive, meaning that you can use features within the map itself to customize the map and the network information table. The map uses a geographic coordinate reference system. Some features enabled by that system include:

  • Constrained zooming: NorthStar Controller performs coordinate checking so the view is constrained to the coordinates of the earth.

  • World wrapping/map wrapping: Scrolling the map in one direction is like spinning a globe. This enables representation of links across an ocean, for example.

The following sections describe additional map features and functionality:

Right-Click Functions

Right-click a node, selected nodes, or node group on the topology map to execute node-specific filtering as described in Table 1.

Table 1: Right-Click Options for Nodes or Groups

Option

Function

Diagnostics

Runs diagnostic tools like ping and traceroute as well as a subset of CLI commands.

Filter in Node Table

Filters the nodes displayed in the network information table to display only the selected node(s) or node group(s).

Node SIDs from selected node

Labels the nodes in the topology with the node SIDs from the perspective of the node on which you right-clicked.

View Config

Opens the Configuration Viewer, displaying the configuration of the node on which you right-clicked. See Configuration Viewer for prerequisites for the configuration to be available.

View Neighbors

Opens a new window displaying the neighbors of the node on which you right-clicked.

Tunnels On or Thru Node

Opens a new tab in the network information table to show only those tunnels that meet the On or Thru Node criteria.

Tunnels Starting at Node

Opens a new tab in the network information table to show only those tunnels that meet the Starting at Node criteria.

Tunnels Ending at Node

Opens a new tab in the network information table to show only those tunnels that meet the Ending at Node criteria.

Auto Grouping

Allows you to specify criteria used to automatically group nodes.

Group selected nodes

Prompts you to give the group of nodes a name, after which the group can be expanded or collapsed on the topology map.

Ungroup selected nodes

Ungroups the nodes in the selected group.

Ungroup All

Ungroups the nodes in all groups.

Circle selected nodes

Arranges the selected nodes in a roughly circular pattern with the nodes and links separated as much as possible.

Distribute selected nodes

Forces the selected elements away from each other and minimizes overlap.

Straighten selected nodes

Aligns the selected nodes in a linear pattern.

Favorites

Opens a sub-menu for favorites. You can select elements on the topology map and designate them as favorites. You can then opt to show, hide, or highlight your favorites in the map.

To restore the topology map so it displays all nodes and links, right-click on blank space in the topology map and select Show All Nodes and Links.

Right-click a link on the topology map to execute link-specific filtering as described in Table 2.

Option

Function

Filter in Link Table

Filters the tunnels displayed in the network information table to display only the selected link.

Tunnels On or Thru Link

Opens a new tab in the network information table to show only those tunnels that meet the On or Thru Link criteria.

Demands On or Thru Link

Filter the demands displayed in the network information table (Demands tab) to include only those that meet the On or Thru Link criteria.

View Link Events

Opens a new window in which you select the time range for the events you wish to view. Click Submit to open the Events window.

View Interface Traffic

Opens a new tab in the network information table to display the interface traffic.

View SID Traffic

Opens a tab in the network information table to display the SR traffic for the link.

View Demand Traffic On Node A

If demand traffic exists, displays the traffic on node A of the link.

View Demand Traffic on Node Z

If demand traffic exists, displays the traffic on node Z of the link.

View Interface Delay

Opens a new tab in the network information table to display interface delay over time.

View Packet Loss

Opens a new tab in the network information table to display packet loss statistics.

Right-click blank space in the topology map pane to access the whole-map functions described in Table 3.

Figure 2: Right-Click Options for the Topology Map as a Whole
Right-Click Options for the
Topology Map as a Whole

Table 3: Right-Click Options for the Topology Map as a Whole

Option

Function

Auto Grouping

Allows you to specify criteria used to automatically group nodes.

Ungroup All

Ungroups the nodes in all groups.

Distribute All Nodes

Distributes all the nodes in the map, pushing elements away from each other and minimizing overlap.

Select All Nodes

Selects all nodes on the topology map. This is a shortcut to using shift-left-click to create a selection box around all nodes or individually shift-clicking on all nodes.

Save to Default Map Layout

Saves the current layout as your default. The default layout is displayed when you first log in to NorthStar Controller. If you already have a default layout, this function overrides the existing default.

Map Layouts

Opens a sub-menu where you can do the following:

  • Reset the map to display the nodes based on their configured coordinates.

  • Reconfigure the node coordinates based on their current locations on the map.

  • Import a layout from a CSV or GeoJSON file.

  • Export a layout to a CSV or GeoJSON file.

Favorites

Opens a sub-menu for favorites. You can select elements on the topology map and designate them as favorites. You can then opt to show, hide, or highlight your favorites in the map.

To restore the topology map so it displays all nodes and links, right-click on blank space in the topology map and select Show All Nodes and Links.

Show All Nodes and Links

Restores the topology map so it includes all nodes and links in the network, as opposed to a filtered subset.

Node Label

Shortcut to the options for labeling nodes, so you don’t have to go through the Topology Settings menu.

Link Label

Shortcut to the options for labeling links, so you don’t have to go through the Topology Settings menu.

Pause/Resume Network Event Processing

Toggles the processing of network events on or off. When paused, refreshing of the network information table and topology map in response to network events is suspended until you select Resume Network Event Processing. Network events continue to be processed in the background; they are just not refreshed to the UI.

This can be beneficial in large networks where the processing of network events results in too-frequent UI updates.

Reload Network

Reloads the network to update the display.

Populate Add/Modify Fields from the Topology Map

In some Add windows, a world icon is available beside certain fields. Clicking this icon allows you to select the field entry from the topology map instead of using the drop-down menu. This is a time-saving convenience. Figure 3 shows an example of this icon.

Figure 3: World Icon Beside Node A Field
World Icon Beside
Node A Field

For example, if you are adding an LSP and you click the icon beside the Node A field, the Provision LSP window moves itself to the lower left corner of your screen to give you access to the topology map. You click the node you want to use for Node A, then click the node you want to use for Node Z. The Node A and Node Z fields are populated for you.

Topology Menu Bar

On the right side of the topology window is a menu bar offering various topology settings, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Topology Settings Menu Bar
Topology Settings Menu Bar

From the menu bar, you can:

  • Center the topology in the window (target icon).

  • Enlarge the topology in the window (plus symbol).

  • Reduce the size of the topology in the window (minus symbol).

  • Manage layouts such as saving and sharing the current topology view or loading a different topology view (share icon).

  • Access the topology settings window (settings icon).

Topology Settings Window

Access the Topology Settings window by clicking on the settings icon (gear) in the upper right corner of the topology window.

The Topology Settings window contains many topology display settings, all in one place. Figure 5 shows the Topology Settings window with the six categories on the left side that group related settings.

Figure 5: Topology Settings Window
Topology Settings Window

Nodes and Links

The Nodes and Links settings each includes a check box to display labels and a drop-down menu for the type of label.

Note

NorthStar does not display node or link labels over a certain quantity, even if the Topology Settings call for labels to be displayed. This improves performance when redrawing a large number of graphic elements.

In the Links settings, selecting to draw Down links as a solid, rather than dashed, line can improve performance when redrawing the topology.

A few of the settings for links that might not be self-explanatory:

  • Hide Partially Visible Links

    Removes from the display any links for which both end nodes are not within the field of view. This is useful for focusing on a subset of a large network.

  • Wrap Links as Great Arcs

    Distinguishes links that would have to wrap around the world map. An example is shown in Figure 6.

    Figure 6: Wrap Links as Great Arcs Example
    Wrap Links as Great Arcs Example

Tunnels

In the Tunnels settings, you can opt to draw paths as curves, rather than as straight lines, which can improve visualization in some cases. Figure 7 shows both curved and straight lines for the same path, for comparison.

Figure 7: Curved and Straight Line Path Depiction
Curved and Straight Line
Path Depiction

You can also opt to draw paths through layers if the network includes transport layers. See Multilayer Feature Overview for information about transport layers.

Topology View

The two options available in the Topology View settings are mutually exclusive; select the radio button for Nodes and Links, or Clusters and Bundles. Clusters and Bundles is useful where the display of a large number of nodes and links obscures visualization of the network as a whole. Clusters (of nodes) and bundles (of links) simplify visualization by representing groups of nodes that are close together as single, color-coded circles (clusters). Bundles (of links) are derived from the links between nodes and clusters. Figure 8 shows an example of how a portion of a large network looks when represented as clusters and bundles.

Figure 8: Clusters and Bundles Example
Clusters and Bundles Example

The number in each circle indicates the number of nodes in the cluster. The color coding of the clusters corresponds to the number of nodes in the cluster. You can customize the ranges by clicking on the color legend in the lower left corner of the map window as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Customizing the Clusters Legend
Customizing the
Clusters Legend
Note

When you select Clusters and Bundles, node and link labels are not displayed.

Map Style

The Light and Dark options available in the Map Style settings are mutually exclusive; select one radio button or the other. Figure 10 shows an example of the light and dark map styles, side by side for comparison.

Figure 10: Light and Dark Map Styles
Light and Dark Map Styles

If you select to Show World Map, you can opt to display graticules (a grid of lines parallel to meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude) and labeling of major populated places (both shown in Figure 10).

Note

Even if you deselect Show World Map, the topology still behaves according to geographical coordinates in terms of displaying the topology within the field of view.

General

In General settings, select the check boxes for as many of the options in this group as you like. A few that might require explanation:

  • Show Tooltips: Displays additional information about a node or link in the bottom right corner of the map pane when you mouse over a network element.

  • Show Maintenance Marker: Displays a red M over any link part of an active maintenance event.

  • Zoom to Selected Node from Table: With this option enabled, when you click on a node entry in the network information table (Node tab), the topology automatically centers the view on that selected node.

  • Opacity Effects: Move this slide bar to select the percent opacity for unhighlighted topology map elements. Figure 11 shows 100% and 20% side by side for comparison.

    Figure 11: Opacity Effects Example
    Opacity Effects Example
  • Use the Label Size drop-down menu to select a font size for node and link labels.