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Understanding Cisco DNA Center Assurance!

Cisco Employee

With technological advances, the networks are growing – more devices, more endpoints, more users! What if we were to ask some simple questions from the IT administrators of these new complex networks? How many connected devices exist in the network? What is the overall health of the network? If there’s a network outage, where the problem is and when the problem originated?  While the answers can be provided, traditionally, it would take anywhere from several minutes to hours.  So, what does this mean to an enterprise?  This means that organizations spend more money and time on network monitoring and troubleshooting, hence increasing IT operational expenses.


Cisco DNA Center Assurance – taking network visibility to the next level!

With Cisco DNA Center Assurance capabilities, the answers to the above-mentioned questions are obtained in seconds. The comprehensive wired and wireless visibility is provided by collecting streaming telemetry from endpoints, devices, users, and applications across every part of your network. An intelligent analytics engine is used to correlate this data with contextual information such as time, location, topology, and attributes, in order to derive deep insights, and is shown via intuitive dashboards.


Let’s take an example where a user is experiencing network delays. Troubleshooting such a network issue requires steps to be taken based on the layers of the OSI model where each layer has a certain functionality.  Here are the possible steps for issue analysis for this scenario:

  1. Check client connectivity (Physical Layer)
  2. Check physical connectivity and device configuration (Physical Layer)
  3. Check possible Layer2/Layer3 issues e.g. STP configuration, routing issues, etc.
  4. Application checks e.g. DNS verification

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These traditional troubleshooting steps are inefficient, and time-consuming as this often requires recreation of the original problem, hence reducing productivity.  Cisco DNA Center’s Assurance takes intent based networking further by bringing all these steps together.  The insights on client, device and application data brings efficiency in network monitoring and troubleshooting.

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I’d like to walk you through the Cisco DNA Center’s Assurance menu. 

The figure below shows a pictorial view of the Cisco DNA Center Assurance menu:

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There are four main menus namely:

  1. Health – This is the most exciting part of the DNA Center Assurance! The navigation panel consists of the following menus:
    1. Overall Health

      This page provides a summary of the overall health of the network and wired and wireless client health along with a list of top ten issues being detected. Guided remediation provides steps to facilitate issue resolution.

    2. Network Health

      This page provides detailed report on the health of the network which includes all the wired and wireless devices. The time travel allows the user to find the network health at any given time within the seven-day range.

    3. Client Health

      Similar to the network health, this page provides detailed report on the wired and wireless clients that are connected to the network.  Once the clients are connected, you can see how the clients are performing and use time travel to find the state of a particular client at a given time.

    4. Application Health

      This page provides the health of the applications that run within your   network. The details include the number of bytes, throughput, packet loss and network latency associated with all running applications.

  2. Dashboard – This page allows the user to customize the dashboard and also look at the sensors configured by the user via the “Manage” menu.  The active sensor tests let a user test real-world client experiences, and lets you proactively validate client performance.

  3. Issues – This page shows the high-impact global issues and overall issues in the customer environment. For each issue, an issue description and the root-cause are shown.

  4. Manage – This page is for configuring and managing the sensor driven tests, the results of which can be seen the assurance dashboard mentioned above.


Cisco DNA Center Assurance ensures that you’re able to handle network transformation without having to worry about increasing your IT budget.  Now you can spend less time on network monitoring and troubleshooting and more time innovating!

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