Cisco's NSO (Network Service Orchestrator) is a scalable, extensible orchestration system. It's used to manage network services which are:
- Easy, inexpensive and fast to create
- Highly repeatable
- Managed as a complete service lifecycle (CRUD)
- Spread across multiple vendors and technology domains
- Activated via an API (REST, JSON, etc.) and / or a user portal
- Very simple or very complex (with multiple moving parts, like NFV)
- Delivered as part of an integrated ordering process with your portals, catalogs and CRM systems
As an orchestration system, NSO is different from other IT tools like Ansible, Puppet and Chef. NSO was created to manage network services. This means that NSO retains a service instance record of every deployment and can provide detailed lifecycle management including re-deploy and rollback. NSO is a truly multi-vendor solution. NSO has an large library of Network Element Drivers (NEDs) which enable NSO to communicate to devices and manage device configuration.
Where other orchestration systems are typically used as engineering tools, NSO is typically deployed as part of a complete fulfillment solution, providing key device and configuration management as part of the fulfillment process.