Programming is a trending topic in the world of networking. However, to a lot of us network engineers, it feels like writing such programs can be hard to do. Thinking that it would need a lot of time and skill, we consider programming suitable only for large and complex applications. We even believe that programming should be best left for professional developers. To learn how other engineers are approaching the network programmability trend , I headed over to a group of Cisco partners who brought their solutions to the recent Cisco Live.
Among the innovative use cases on demonstration there, Conscia’s reporting application struck me as a representative of a new class of applications that are purposeful, focused, and custom built to solve a specific problem.
Monitoring switch port status
In order to optimize usage, Conscia’s application focuses on monitoring the status of ports in various access switches in their customers’ networks.
The application automates what can be a tedious time consuming task. After all, a person would need to inventory all the access switches in the network, log into each switch, and run CLI commands to check on the ports. Moreover, they would need to do this repeatedly and plot the results to determine the usage variance over time.
Conscia’s application begins by using DNA Center’s open APIs to map out the location of all the switches. From a high-level visual summary of switches, an operator can drill down into switches at each location, and then to an individual switch. The script can automatically log on to each switch, collect port status, and save the status into a spreadsheet. A technician could use the data collected in this spreadsheet to perform maintenance on the switches such as removing cabling from unused ports and getting them ready for new connections. The script can even be set to run the audit every 30 minutes to get a true picture over time.
By having this insight into the availability of resources, Conscia’s customers can maximize their port usage and optimize their purchase of new switches.
“At Conscia, we use the newest technologies to provide the best solutions to our customers in data center, mobility, security, and cloud”, says Henrik Boye, Director of Sales at Conscia. Adds Thomas Christensen, System Engineer at Conscia, “We see a big value in DNA Center open platform as it gives us the APIs that we can use to develop custom functions or applications that increase the usefulness of DNA Center. For us, it means that we can easily do small custom applications or integrate with ITSM systems such as ServiceNow and others”.
Watch Henrik and Thomas demonstrate this solution.
With all its operational telemetry data, the network provides a rich information base ripe for analysis. By identifying patterns and correlating data from several sources, innovative applications can extract actionable business intelligence. To dive into this data pool, these applications do not have to be complex or difficult to create and maintain. Cisco DNA Center open platform provides easy-to-use APIs that even small custom built applications can use to generate big results.
Conscia’s port usage optimizing application demonstrates how access to network data can spur creation of innovation applications that use the data to solve business problems. This application is just one example of the low-overhead high-impact innovative applications that DNA Center open APIs make possible by opening up its powerful native capabilities for external use.
Read this white paper from IDC to see how you can leverage network as an open platform and create new revenue opportunities.
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