IM Don't Forget About Monitoring When Deploying Cisco SD-WAN
September 12, 2018

Jeremy Rossbach

For those of you who are doubting if software defined networking (SDN) was really a driving force yet in the industry — Cisco recently announced that they are ready to upgrade a million routers with their SD-WAN software .

SD-WAN introduces automated intelligence to regulate the enterprise WAN for optimal application experiences. Automation like this has to be monitored and validated along with traditional network performance for full assurance without adding any more complexity to day-to-day monitoring activities then there already is.

With the recent Cisco announcement, it is more imperative today then every before that network teams adopt a comprehensive and unified approach to monitoring traditional WAN and SD-WAN environments. CA's Network Operations and Analytics solution is a unified, full-stack monitoring and analytics platform for assuring traditional and software-defined networks and provides:

■ SDN relationship mapping that enables easy VNF management
■ Validation of traffic decisions made by SD-WAN intelligence
■ Easy troubleshooting workflows to assure SD-WAN health
■ Unified monitoring of SD-WAN and traditional WAN

So how do you start monitoring your Cisco SD-WAN environment with CA? We break it down for you here:

To discover your Cisco SD-WAN environment, configure the SDN monitoring plugin to monitor inventory and performance across your vEdge routers, interfaces, tunnels, application and SLA paths. Once configured and discovered, CA's network monitoring tools reveal performance metrics on a variety of instances including CPU, memory and disk utilization, NetFlow statistics, jitter, latency and packet loss and many others.

The following JSON example shows a Viptela plug-in configuration:

"PROTOCOL": "https",
"INVENTORY_POLL_RATE": "0 */10 *",

Cisco SD-WAN Tunnel and Application Paths Dashboards

You can utilize the SD-WAN Tunnel Statistics dashboard or the SD-WAN App Path Statistics dashboard to view the health of your SD-WAN tunnels or application/SLA paths. The SD-WAN App Path Statistics dashboard lets you easily identify issues impacting your delivering of services and applications according to service level agreements (SLAs).

The SD-WAN Tunnel Statistics dashboard reports the following metrics:
■ Jitter
■ Latency
■ Packet loss

The SD-WAN App Path Statistics dashboard reports the following metrics:
■ Percentage of Jitter SLA Threshold
■ Percentage of Packet Loss SLA Threshold
■ Percentage of Latency SLA Threshold

The following details appear in these dashboards:

Cisco SD-WAN Health Counts

With the CA NetOps solution, you can view the aggregated health counts of the following items:
■ Sites
■ Edge Routers
■ Application Paths
■ Applications
■ Tunnels

Counts appear in color-coded circles for each threshold range. To expand the view, click the arrow in the lower-right corner. Click a card title or a circle to view the corresponding details in the expanded view.

Figure 1: SD-WAN health counts

Cisco SD-WAN Geographic Maps

Enriched SD-WAN monitoring from CA allows very granular monitoring capabilities for both WAN and SD-WAN. When a site is selected, the connections to and from other sites appear. The connection lines are color-coded based on health metrics. Site router details appear when you hover over a site. Tunnel or application/SLA path details appear when you hover over a connection.

Figure 2: SD-WAN geographic map

Cisco SD-WAN Timelines

NetOps portal timelines enable time bar charts that aggregate packet loss, latency, and jitter metrics helping you to understand performance over a given time period. The selected site in the Map view filters this view.

Figure 3: SD-WAN time bar charts

Cisco SD-WAN Scorecards

Additionally, the CA NetOps portal allows users to view tunnel or application/SLA path metrics by subgroup and component for the selected group. Subgroups and the items in those groups appear in a hierarchical format. Colored icons indicate performance levels for metrics and an overall health indicator.

Figure 4: SD-WAN scorecards

With the ability to have deep visibility and context of network issues — across all application service chains, individual network nodes and endpoints — network operations teams now have the ability to significantly reduce time to resolution while enhancing user experience satisfaction across traditional and software defined network architectures.

For more ways to successfully monitor and manage your Cisco SD-WAN deployments with CA's network monitoring tools, visit the product documentation here.

Jeremy Rossbach is Product Marketing Manager at Broadcom
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