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DNA Assurance and Analytics

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The following is co-authored from Cisco Product Managers, Pedro Leonardo and Amit Dutta.

Summary

Network complexity continues to increase, leading to higher OpEx cost. As much as 85% of companies report that their systems are reactive. There is a strong desire to transition to proactive/predictive solutions. Additionally, there is too much data and not enough insights which comes from today’s proliferation of tools. Because of that, network administrators do not get a holistic view of behavior of the network. What they are looking for is to quickly triangulate and isolate the source of contention.

Cisco’s Assurance and Analytics solution delivers a full technology stack from the ground up to address customer needs. It uses simplified integrated user experience across the entire enterprise portfolio of products. It proactively identifies issues and trends through correlation and machine learning algorithms.

DNA Assurance overview

DNA Assurance provides a comprehensive solution to assure higher and consistent service levels to meet growing business demands. The solution addresses not just the reactive monitoring and troubleshooting but also the proactive and predictive aspects of running the network, and ensuring clients and application experience are meeting optimal performance levels.

DNA Assurance gives network health visibility through proactive issues and trends. These issues consist of basic and advanced correlation of multiple sources of information, thus eliminating white noise and false positives.

When there is a network outage or performance glitch, IT teams need to identify the root cause before they can mitigate the problem. More analytics tools and more data doesn’t always help IT to troubleshoot problem faster. However, having greater insight into what is happening on the network and having recommend solution to problem will reduce IT time and increase network uptime.

The solution proactively monitors the network, gathering and processing information from devices, applications, and users and presenting it in Cisco DNA Center, an easy-to-use single dashboard for managing all analytics tasks.

DNA Assurance provides both system guided as well as self-guided troubleshooting. For a great number of issues and trends it provides a system guided approach where it does correlation of multiple Key Performance Indicators (KPI)s and results from automated sensor to determine the root cause of the problem, and then provide suggested actions.

DNA Assurance also provides in-depth health scores for the network and its devices, its clients, applications and services. Client experience is assessed both for access (onboarding) and connectivity by providing detailed application experience analysis from the global to the site and the client.

Network Data Correlation and Analysis

Cisco’s Assurance is built on top of the new Cisco Network Data Platform (NDP) designed to scale across the enterprise.

The key to Cisco DNA Assurance and Analytics is its ability to continually collect and put insights into action. Cisco NDP collects NetFlow records, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) events, wireless LAN controller activity, and syslog information in real time to continually monitor how devices, users, and applications are performing. The solution baselines the collected data to establish “norms” and then uses it for network analysis to find outliers.

The solution then performs advanced processing to evaluate and correlate events. The system is able to quickly identify the most likely root cause and offer proven best practices for resolving issues. For more detailed discovery, it drills down to the underlying data.

NDP also leverages streaming technologies to collect network telemetry data in real-time and augment the collected telemetry data with contextual information in order to continuously correlate and build the relationship of the network devices, applications, users, and endpoints. This comprehensive network relationship is leveraged by the DNA Assurance via APIs in order to provide an end-to-end visibility in the context of the applications and user experience.

assurance analytics architecture.jpgThere are three layers of analytics in NDP. The first layer helps to reduce the data noise so that the enterprise can enable minimal telemetry data but gain the maximum visibility in DNA assurance. The second layer builds context aware data graph and offers this insight via APIs. Based on historical data and machine learning algorithms, NDP allows DNA Assurance to quickly identify abnormal patterns and trending based on baseline data. The third layer offers model based meta-data and analytical pipelines management APIs to further extend the platform to integrate with business applications.

In addition, NDP has natural language search and time-based replay capabilities that will enable DNA Assurance to gain instant network insights so that enterprise IT will effectively reduce the mean time to discovery (MTTD) and mean time to resolution (MTTR) as well as improve operational efficiency.

Want to learn more?  Join us for an upcoming technical, deep-dive briefing on DNA Assurance and Analytics on July 25, 2017 from 8:00-9:30am PT.  The session is hosted by the Cisco Customer Connection program.  You'll need to register for the program first and then the briefing.  Do so now at www.cisco.com/go/ccp  We look forward to your attendance!

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