Last week Tom Nallen introduced the concept and benefits of the Cisco Validated Design – So I asked today Laszlo Bojtos, System Manager for the Cisco Cloud Service Assurance validation effort, to illustrate this concept with the recently published Cloud Service Assurance for Virtualized Multi-Services Data Center 2.2 Cisco Validated Design. This design guide is one of the recent CVD releases in the Cloud systems management and orchestration area. You can view the complete portfolio of Cisco Validated Designs for Data Center and Virtualization on Design Zone at www.cisco.com/go/designzone/datacenter . We will cover this topic in two chapters , with a second chapter more focused on the integration of Cisco Intelligence Automation for Cloud.
Q: Laszlo, last time we heard that Service Assurance is critical for companies, organizations and service providers looking to deliver cloud –based services. Why is it so important?
A: Enterprises and Service Providers need to ensure that DC/Cloud services can be trusted and service levels ensured, hence they need to use advanced service assurance tools to automate service monitoring and issue resolution. Cisco Systems Development Unit (SDU) identified key enterprise and service provider data center and cloud service assurance requirements and selected Zenoss Inc for Cisco Unified Data Center management implementation. Cisco’s Cloud Service Assurance provides both fault and performance management with service impact and root-cause analysis.
As a DC/Cloud domain manager, Zenoss Cloud Service Assurance (CSA) provides comprehensive monitoring coverage for data center infrastructure components and workloads, and tracks ever-changing relationships between infrastructure components and applications automatically. Zenoss CSA understands how business services make use of cloud resources and provides contextual root cause analysis to provide clarity during event storms, and ties cloud projects easily into existing management processes.
Q: And customers can purchase Zenoss CSA from Cisco, right?
A: Yes, Zenoss Cloud Service Assurance (CSA) became a Cisco SolutionsPlus product from Zenoss and was added to the Cisco price list in September, 2012.
Q: OK, I’ve done a little research on Zenoss CSA. What is the difference between the original Zenoss Service Dynamics product and Zenoss Cloud Service Assurance (CSA) from Cisco?
A: Zenoss CSA was built from the same proven code base that powers Zenoss Service Dynamics. We worked with Zenoss on additional ZenPacks (product adapters) and new functions for complete Cisco Unified DC (VMDC reference architecture) coverage. Then, we created a Cisco Validated Design through the verification of this Zenoss CSA package in Cisco Virtualized Multi-service Data Center (VMDC) lab facilities. It’s pre-built and pre-tested to deliver success rapidly. Additionally, Zenoss CSA is licensed and priced with the Cisco Data Center in mind.
Two key new Zenoss CSA functions are expanded monitoring coverage and auto-discovery of VMDC networking devices. The initial release covers Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and MDS 9000 series platforms, as well as the Nexus 1000v and Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), and the Nexus 2000, 5000, and 7000 series. It also covers the Catalyst 6500 series and Virtual Switching System (VSS) with the Firewall Services Module (FWSM) and the Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) modules. The Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) series is also included in the monitoring and auto-discovery scope of Zenoss CSA.
The diagram below illustrates how Zenoss Cloud Service Assurance simplifies data center & cloud infrastructure management and provides a single API to other management applications (orchestration, chargeback, service desk etc.).
Q: And best practices to set this up are described in the CVD, right? Briefly summarize the key technical benefits of Zenoss CSA one more time for us, Laszlo.