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Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud -Part 2 – Cloud Service Assurance

October 29, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

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.

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Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud : Lab-Validated for Free ! Part 1

October 23, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

This new Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud blog series will feature the latest CVDs released and published in this rapidly-evolving systems and technology area….  Before digging  into some of these new CVD’s, I had a short conversation with Tom Nallen who leads the Cisco Validated Design program and Design Zone, the main repository for these on Cisco.com.

” I’ve heard about CVDs, what exactly are they?

Simply put, Cisco Validated Designs are recommended, lab-validated, end-to-end designs for next-generation IT systems.  The foundation of this long-running systems validation program at Cisco is the Cisco Validated Design guide, or CVD, which provides lab-validated technical guidance to help achieve faster, more consistent and reliable technology deployments.  While the customer requirements-driven CVD development process requires a substantial investment of system capital and engineering expertise by Cisco,  CVDs are published on Cisco.com and available to all free of charge.

CVD’s are developed by many different business units across Cisco, focused on the five Cisco Priorities including: the Network Foundation (routing, switching, services plus security and mobility), Collaboration, Data Center/Virtualization and Cloud, and Video – all within a Technology Architecture linked to Business Architecture.   Cisco Validated Designs play a key role here by incorporating a wide range of technologies, products and applications into a portfolio of proven solutions that have been developed to address the business needs of our customers.  The complete portfolio of Cisco Validated Designs can be found on Design Zone on Cisco.com at www.cisco.com/go/designzone.

OK, so how are CVDs relevant to Data Centers and Cloud?

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