Neptune Network Emulation Platform

What is Neptune?

    Neptune is a Network Emulation Platform for virtual, containerized routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, traffic generators and applications.
  • Built on Kubernetes - no VM scaling limitations
  • Simple modeling, deployment, and management via UI and API
  • Substantial network lab cost savings compared to physical labs
  • Layer 1 management and orchestration can be extended to physical hardware

Route/Switch Operating Systems

Multiple versions of each OS and new images are added and maintained weekly

    • Cisco IOS, XR, NXOS
    • JunOS, Arista EOS, Cumulus
    • Open Source FRR

Software Defined Platforms

Software defined platform virtual networking sandbox

    • SDWAN - Viptela, IWAN
    • SD Security - Cisco FMC, Palo Alto,
    • Load Balancers - F5

Network Services and Applications

Network testing and management tools

    • Traffic generation applications
    • Automation platforms
    • Network monitoring tools
    • Telemetry collectors

Virtual Sandbox

    • On demand access to platforms
    • Training environments
    • Config verification and troubleshooting
    • New product introductions and proof of concepts

Testing Environment

    • Pretesting network changes
    • Route and traffic verification
    • Negative, failure and disaster recovery testing
    • Application integration and dependency testing

CICD Pipeline

    • Production scale network replication
    • Automation development environments
    • Integration with git, Ansible, Jenkins, Chef, etc
    • Fully automate and validate your network management workflow

Neptune Case Study 1: Enterprise SDWAN Migration

Problem Statement

An enterprise customer chose Cicso’s Viptela SDWAN solution to help leverage more DIA (Direct Internet Access) for their branch and data center locations. Due to their unfamiliarity with the product and the complexity of the migration, there were major concerns around downtime for extended change windows as well as the ramifications of migrating existing circuits into a more dynamic routing environment.

Approach

Leveraging Neptune’s native automated discovery tool we were able to quickly model the existing routing paths and then fully replicate the environment down to the specifics of the routing protocols and critical traffic patterns. In an iterative process we then began introducing the new WAN devices and uncovered several potential design issues in the virtual environment.

Results

Successful deployment and migration! The exact configuration and time of application were worked out and fully validated in advance on the Neptune virtual testbed. The migration was smoothly executed and the network operations team was off and running as they already had hands-on experience with management of the new Viptela environment.


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