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Understand Differences between Paragon Pathfinder and Planner

This topic explains key differences between Paragon Pathfinder and Paragon Planner, two applications that belong to the Paragon Automation suite of applications:

  • Paragon Pathfinder (formerly NorthStar Controller) is a traffic engineering solution that simplifies and automates provisioning, management, and monitoring of segment routing and IP/MPLS flows across large networks.

  • Paragon Planner (formerly NorthStar Planner) is a network modeling tool that can be used for offline visualization and detailed architectural planning of any production network.

Table 1 lists the key differences between the two applications.

Table 1: Differences between Paragon Pathfinder and Paragon Planner
Paragon Pathfinder Paragon Planner
Paragon Pathfinder enables you to monitor your live network and any changes that you make in Pathfinder are propagated to your live network. Paragon Planner is an offline modeling application, which means that changes that you make in Planner do not affect your live network.
Pathfinder can connect to the live network because of connectivity between Pathfinder and the live network. Planner has no capability to connect to the network because there's no connectivity between Planner and the network.
In Pathfinder, there's only one live network model. In Planner, you can have one or more offline network models, which means you can analyze and compare impact of different design changes or failure scenarios. However, the changes are not propagated into the live network.

In Pathfinder, the network model is based on the traffic-engineering database, which is based on the live (real time) status of the network.

For example, if you configure a link that later goes down, the down status of the link is reflected in the traffic-engineering database, but not in the router's configuration.

The network models that we use in Planner are from archives and collections in Pathfinder, which means that Planner relies on data from Pathfinder.

Planner builds the model of the network using router configuration files, which means that it uses a configuration-based model of the network. Therefore, Planner displays an intent-based model (configuration) with some supplemental live information from Pathfinder, such as initiated label-switched paths (LSPs),which are not available in the router's configuration.

In Pathfinder, any changes you make to the network model affects the live network. Planner allows you to run what-if scenarios, which allow you to make changes to the network model and see the effect of those changes, without affecting the live network.

In Pathfinder, you can perform a maintenance event simulation. You define a maintenance event by specifying what happens, for example, a router goes down or a link fails. Then, based on that event, you simulate what happens to the live LSPs and traffic demands.

In Planner, you can run failure simulations (for example, fail a link or a router) and analyze the impact on traffic demand or LSP tunnels.
The network topology map shows live node status, link utilization, and LSP paths. The network topology map shows simulated or imported data for nodes, links, and LSP paths.
Network information table shows live status of nodes, links, and LSPs. Network information table shows simulated or imported data for nodes, links, and LSPs.
Discover nodes, links, and LSPs from the live network by using Path Computation Element (PCE) protocol (PCEP), BGP-LS,or NETCONF. Import and parse router configuration, or add nodes, links, and LSPs for network modeling.
Provision LSPs directly to the network. Add and stage LSPs to the offline model for simulation. However, you cannot provision LSPs to the live network.
Create or schedule maintenance events to reroute LSPs around the impacted nodes and links. Create or schedule simulation events to analyze the network model from failure scenarios.
Dashboard reports show the current status of and key performance indicators (KPIs) for the live network. Report manager provides extensive reports for simulation and planning.
Collects real-time interface traffic or delay statistics, and stores the data for querying and for displaying in charts. Import interface data or aggregate archived data to generate historical statistics for querying and displaying in charts.