This flow controller release provides new features and improvements to existing features. Complete release notes can be found in the product manual.
The new Learn & Lock functionality in SEL-5056 Version 2.2 helps simplify the network topology management and communications circuit provisioning. Learn & Lock can discover and adopt hosts and links; and can provision Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) communications—all with minimal user interaction. The primary functions automated in Learn & Lock include the following:
The Learn & Lock capabilities are available to users with Permission Level 3 privileges. Users can continue to use the SEL-5056 features during the Learn & Lock session.
Version 2.2 supports offline host configuration. This feature allows you to insert a host node on any unused SDN switch port and assign the IP and MAC address to this virtual host. The benefit to having offline host capabilities is that you won’t need the actual hosts connected to the network to perform network configuration. You can create logical connections between hosts regardless if they are online or offline and can complete the upfront traffic-engineering work. This shortens network downtime in the field because the switches can be preconfigured in the lab. Once plugged in when in the field, the switches will operate as engineered with no further configuration necessary.
Version 2.2 introduces many improvements to the topology management capabilities. The SEL-5056 now protects against Microsoft Windows-based hosts thinking there is an IP address conflict. The flow controller knows when Windows hosts are testing the network to check if any other hosts have the same IP as itself. This version also improves how links are displayed on the topology page so they are consistently represented and have faster rendering.
A new feature for topology management is the directed host discovery. This feature allows you to enter an IP address of a host you know is on the network but has not been discovered yet. This triggers the flow controller to find it immediately.
Version 2.2 improves the efficiency of switch adoption and initial settings synchronization. These improvements cut your adoption times in half.
The user interface is more responsive in this release. You can now navigate all tables in the user interface with the arrow keys, and you can quickly copy the flows using the clipboard feature. There is a new Logical Connection page showing all the communications circuits in table format to quickly display and sort all your circuits. Circuit actions are available on this page to select a single circuit, multiple circuits, and all circuits.
The circuit provisioning automation feature in logical connections is applicable to more use cases. It now supports hosts with multiple addresses, and you can select the priority of the attributes to use in circuit provisioning. When devices have multiple IP addresses, you can prioritize which one to use.
Logical connection automation now includes an option to not require source MAC addresses in multicast logical connections. With this improvement, you can replace hosts without having to update any network configurations. For example, if a relay fails and a new one is installed, the packets from the new relay will have a different source MAC address. If you choose to not use the source MAC address in the flow configuration, then no network changes need to be made when installing the new relay. When this option is selected, you must use the VLAN tag “VID” as the identifier of the packet for the flow, like found in IEC 61850 GOOSE and Sampled Values packets.