NSI architecture

Non-Stop Internet was designed as a distributed and modular software from day one.

Distribution provides the ability to collect data locally in each network location and merge them into a single routing policy, making routing consistent across a large AS with many data centers.

Modularity also provides the ability to size each part of the system individually and cope with scalability targets.

Geographically Distributed System

A typical NSI setup is made of a NSI Server and NSI Devices.
The NSI server holds the global functions of the system:

  • Graphical User Interface
  • Data-bases
  • Statistical analysis and aggregation algorithms
  • Routing Decision Engine

The NSI Devices are distributed in data-centers. They are coordinated by the NSI Server through secure and resilient communication channels. They handle all local communication with the edge routers and remote networks:

  • Performance probing
  • SNMP collection
  • Flow collection
  • CLI automations
  • BGP sessions
    • Collecting topology information
    • Sending outbound routing orders
  • Route Preference Protocol inbound routing
  • Other side features, e.g. TFTP, syslog, configuration versioning…
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Having a distributed systems allows for:

  • DC local performance evaluation
  • DC local failures and packet loss detection
  • Global routing policy, e.g. managing global transit CDR
  • Sharing destination probes

Note: BORDER 6 also operates cloud servers for collecting, sharing and updating information on NSI servers. This allows for automation of tasks as well as providing our customers with global data analytics.

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Physical or Virtual

NSI elements are Linux kernel based and were designed to operate onto x86_64 platforms. They can run on virtual environments (KVM, VMware), commodity server hardware or the BORDER 6 appliance.

NSI appliance is a 1 rack-unit packaged PC server designed for 100% availability and high I/O performance. For environments with no easy access to virtualisation hosts & less than 5Gb/s IMIX total traffic, the BORDER 6 NSI appliance is recommended.

Virtualisation of the NSI modules and specific hardwares are preferred for environments with higher flow density than IMIX and high bandwidth, that require more I/O performance.