A circuit provider is any entity which provides some form of connectivity of among sites or organizations within a site. While this obviously includes carriers which offer Internet and private transit service, it might also include Internet exchange (IX) points and even organizations with whom you peer directly. Each circuit within NetBox must be assigned a provider and a circuit ID which is unique to that provider.
Each provider may be assigned an autonomous system number (ASN), an account number, and contact information.
This model can be used to represent the boundary of a provider network, the details of which are unknown or unimportant to the NetBox user. For example, it might represent a provider's regional MPLS network to which multiple circuits provide connectivity.
Each provider network must be assigned to a provider. A circuit may terminate to either a provider network or to a site.
A communications circuit represents a single physical link connecting exactly two endpoints, commonly referred to as its A and Z terminations. A circuit in NetBox may have zero, one, or two terminations defined. It is common to have only one termination defined when you don't necessarily care about the details of the provider side of the circuit, e.g. for Internet access circuits. Both terminations would likely be modeled for circuits which connect one customer site to another.
Each circuit is associated with a provider and a user-defined type. For example, you might have Internet access circuits delivered to each site by one provider, and private MPLS circuits delivered by another. Each circuit must be assigned a circuit ID, each of which must be unique per provider.
Each circuit is also assigned one of the following operational statuses:
Circuits also have optional fields for annotating their installation date and commit rate, and may be assigned to NetBox tenants.
NetBox currently models only physical circuits: those which have exactly two endpoints. It is common to layer virtualized constructs (virtual circuits) such as MPLS or EVPN tunnels on top of these, however NetBox does not yet support virtual circuit modeling.
Circuits are classified by functional type. These types are completely customizable, and are typically used to convey the type of service being delivered over a circuit. For example, you might define circuit types for:
The association of a circuit with a particular site and/or device is modeled separately as a circuit termination. A circuit may have up to two terminations, labeled A and Z. A single-termination circuit can be used when you don't know (or care) about the far end of a circuit (for example, an Internet access circuit which connects to a transit provider). A dual-termination circuit is useful for tracking circuits which connect two sites.
Each circuit termination is attached to either a site or to a provider network. Site terminations may optionally be connected via a cable to a specific device interface or port within that site. Each termination must be assigned a port speed, and can optionally be assigned an upstream speed if it differs from the downstream speed (a common scenario with e.g. DOCSIS cable modems). Fields are also available to track cross-connect and patch panel details.
In adherence with NetBox's philosophy of closely modeling the real world, a circuit may be connected only to a physical interface. For example, circuits may not terminate to LAG interfaces, which are virtual in nature. In such cases, a separate physical circuit is associated with each LAG member interface and each needs to be modeled discretely.
A circuit in NetBox represents a physical link, and cannot have more than two endpoints. When modeling a multi-point topology, each leg of the topology must be defined as a discrete circuit, with one end terminating within the provider's infrastructure. The provider network model is ideal for representing these networks.