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Using NNMi's Pseudo Node for Unmonitorable Devices

by   in IT Operations Cloud

Enterprise network topologies often extend beyond just the monitored networks, encompassing elements like ISP connectivity and cloud tunnels. As network complexity grows, it becomes increasingly challenging to keep track of end-to-end network service availability. One solution to this challenge is the 'Pseudo Node' feature in NNMi. Here are some scenarios where the 'Pseudo Node' functionality can be invaluable for enterprise network users:

  1. Third-Party Network Peerings: Suppose an organization has network peerings with a third party. While the organization maintains this peering, the peer router is unmanageable. In the event of an outage, the organization needs to notify the third party about the impact on their router. To facilitate this, the router should be part of the topology. This router can be depicted as a pseudo node, with its status determined by the affected interface.
  2. External Network Connections: Some end customer networks connect through ISPs or third-party network providers, which aren't owned or managed by the customer. These customers often want to manually incorporate such networks/devices into their network topology diagrams. Since these devices fall outside the customer's management domain, they can't be discovered or monitored.

A topology representation for the above use cases with NNMi’s Pseudo Node, Pseudo Node interfaces and Pseudo L2 connections to a managed node can be seen below:

Additionally, for customers with air-gapped devices that can't be monitored, the Pseudo Node can represent these devices in the unmanaged space. This ensures that in the event of an outage, relevant incidents can be identified, aiding in understanding the NNMi inventory and topology.

NNMi's 'Pseudo Node' (available from NNMi 2022.11):

  • Enables manual addition of a node, its interfaces, and layer 2 connectivity elements into the NNMi topology, which can then be visualized in the NNMi UI.
  • Allows for the completion of the network topology diagram between a customer managed network and an external device
  • Offers status calculation and network root cause analysis capabilities.

How the Pseudo Node Feature Works

Using REST APIs: To facilitate automation and enhance the user experience, REST APIs are available for various Pseudo Node functionalities. These APIs mirror the UI functions for the Pseudo Node, Pseudo Interface, and L2 connection creation.

For a comprehensive list of input parameters for these REST APIs, refer to: NNMi API Documentation

Using the NNMi UI: A dedicated menu item group has been added to NNMi, providing a standalone UI for each of the Pseudo Node, Pseudo Interface, and Pseudo L2 connection. This menu is accessible from various parts of the NNMi UI. Users can manually link the Pseudo Node to their managed network, and NNMi will automatically display the Pseudo nodes and connectivity visualization, thus integrating non-managed devices into the topology. Pseudo Nodes and their elements can be removed from the UI as needed.

Root Cause Analysis and Incident Generation: Much like nodes discovered by NNMi, Pseudo Nodes have a status based on the NNMi causal engine analysis. Since Pseudo Nodes are manually added and aren't discovered or status-polled, their status is inferred from the state of the connected neighbor interface (managed by NNMi). Algorithms in the causal engine determine the 'derived state' of a Pseudo Node based on neighboring interfaces connected to NNMi-managed nodes.

For a detailed guide on the Pseudo Node feature, visit the NNMi Documentation

written by Madhusudhan Venkataramu

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Additional Resources

What's New in NOM, NA, and NNMi 2023.05 (blog post)
What's New in NOM 2023.05 (recorded webinar)


Network Operations Management