Understanding Network Orchestration: How It Works

03 Oct 2023

Modern network monitoring and management have been fundamentally changed by network orchestration. All across the world, businesses are looking for ways to guarantee the scalability, flexibility, and effectiveness of their network infrastructures. Network orchestration therefore appears to be an appropriate method to improve performance and network operations.

What is network orchestration?

Network orchestration is a methodical procedure that uses predetermined policies and software-defined controls to automate the configuration, management, and coordination of network resources such as devices, applications and services.

“Network orchestration enables and automates rule-based processes for setting up, configuring, as well as managing network resources to satisfy business needs.”

Network orchestration involves centralized control that simplifies resource management, speeds up service delivery, and enhances adaptability in a complex network environment.

How does network orchestration work?

In network orchestration, network controllers and programmable network elements work together to get things done. The network controller acts as the brain of the network, knowing everything about its setup, devices, and how users and traffic flow through it.

Organizations can use network orchestration to automate processes, set policies and assign and configure network resources all from a single management platform.

Case scenario examples

  • Software updates

When essential software updates or security patches are required throughout a network, network orchestration can automate the distribution of these updates to all relevant devices, guaranteeing software version compliance.

  • Utilities asset monitoring

In the utilities sector, it is essential to monitor assets like network devices that are a part of the energy operation network. Data collection from these assets is automated by network orchestration. The data is then examined in real-time to predict maintenance requirements and save expensive equipment malfunctions.

  • Secure VPN setup

Secure access to company resources is necessary for a remote staff. Network orchestration automates the configuration of user access, encryption, and authentication policies as well as the provisioning of VPN connections.

What is the role of network controller within network orchestration?

The network controller serves as a central brain for network activities, orchestrating and controlling them to ensure effective resource usage, service provisioning and network policies compliance.

Here are the key roles and functions of the network controller in network orchestration:

  • Resource management: the controller is in charge of allocating and managing network resources such switches, routers, firewalls, and virtualized network functions (VNFs). It guarantees that the resources needed to support network services are available and properly provisioned.
  • Configuration management: creating and enforcing configurations and regulations that apply to the entire network is the responsibility of the network controller. The configuration options, access control policies, routing protocols, and other characteristics for network devices are all centrally managed.
  • Service orchestration: the controller manages network service deployment and orchestration. It uses service definitions and models to automate the provisioning and interconnection of network components such virtual machines, containers, and network operations. It guarantees that the services are correctly deployed and work as expected.
  • Monitoring and analytics: collects performance data and monitors the health and status of network devices, connections, and services. It examines measurements such as bandwidth consumption, latency, and packet loss to discover anomalies, identify performance bottlenecks, and initiate necessary optimization or issue resolution activities.
  • Security and policy enforcement: the network controller is in charge of enforcing security rules and access restrictions throughout the network architecture. It guarantees that suitable security mechanisms, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption protocols, are regularly deployed throughout the network. It also makes policy-based access control and compliance enforcement possible.

The network controller is an important component of network orchestration since it acts as a centralized entity that governs and controls the network infrastructure. Administrators may use network controllers to set and enforce network policies, provide services, and automate common processes like network provisioning, configuration updates, and service deployments.

Network Automation vs. Network Orchestration: Understanding the Distinction

While both network automation and network orchestration involve automation, they differ in their scope and focus.

Network orchestration includes coordinating and monitoring the automation of all processes and activities throughout the network. Contrarily, network automation often refers to the unsupervised automation of certain operations or setups.

While network orchestration focuses on automating end-to-end network services and workflows, which frequently involve several devices and processes, network automation addresses individual device-level activities and configurations.

Complex, service-centric network infrastructures, such those present in cloud computing or modern data centers, are best managed via orchestration.

What is the difference between Network Management and Network Orchestration?

Network management is an umbrella term that refers to all of the operations involved in administering and running networks. Configuring network devices, monitoring network performance, diagnosing difficulties, and assuring the general health and operation of the network infrastructure are all part of the job.

Network Orchestration, on the other hand, is an area of network management. It focuses on the automation and coordination of network service or application deployment and management procedures. Orchestration seeks to streamline and improve the providing of these services by automating complicated operations, assuring proper deployment, and effectively managing their lifecycle.

In essence, network management covers a broad range of network-related tasks, including monitoring, configuration, and maintenance, while network orchestration focuses on the automation and coordination of specific tasks related to service provisioning and management.

Who should consider network orchestration for their enterprise?

This is frequent rule: network orchestration can benefit large organizations managing over 20 network devices and exceeding 250 users.

Indeed, network orchestration is recommended for all organizations that fall into the following categories:

  • Rapidly expanding businesses.
  • A large-scale organization that frequently restructures their network and performs massive configuration changes.
  • Huge networks with a wide variety of locations and data centers.
  • Businesses that employ complex cloud environments or a large number of IoT devices.
  • Sectors with a high priority on network security and regulatory compliance.

What are the benefits of network orchestration?

Flexibility: Organizations may use network orchestration to quickly respond to changing network needs, scaling resources up or down as needed. This adaptability is essential in changing environments.

Cost savings: Orchestration minimizes operating expenses by reducing manual work, limiting the possibility of mistakes and optimizing resource utilization.

Faster service delivery: Network orchestration speeds up service provisioning, allowing enterprises to more quickly roll out new services and applications to users and customers.

Improved security: Network orchestration improves the overall security state of the network by regularly implementing security policies and defending against attacks and vulnerabilities.

Scalability: It enables organizations to scale their network resources easily, whether for accommodating growth or handling temporary spikes in demand.

Resource Optimization: Network orchestration improves resource allocation, ensuring that resources are used efficiently, minimizing waste, and optimizing performance.

The primary benefit of network orchestration is increased efficiency. It simplifies and automates complex network activities, reducing manual labor and, as a result, mistakes. It also allows for faster service launch, resource optimization, and overall network performance enhancements.

How can SGRwin help you with network orchestration?

SGRwin provides a range of advanced network management and monitoring tools, including network orchestration. You will be able to coordinate network setup tasks, end-to-end provisioning, set up rules, and automate operational tasks using our system.

Get in touch with us today!

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