Is there a way to know what endpoints are alive within your data center at this moment? Is it possible to continuously monitor the life of every endpoint – be it a Virtual Machine (VM), a physical host or even a container ? Enter Endpoint Locator or EPL!
With DCNM available as a manager for data center fabrics, we decided to incorporate EPL directly into DCNM. EPL has been shipping as a preview feature in DCNM since November 2016. General availability of this feature is now available with the DCNM 10.2(1) May 2017 release.
For a VXLAN BGP EVPN based data center fabric, Endpoint Locator provides near real-time tracking of every endpoint. Events such as endpoint coming up, endpoint going down, or endpoint move are now visible with a few simple clicks. EPL supports all kinds of endpoints, be it IPv4, IPv6 or Dual-Stack. In fact, EPL can literally locate anything with a MAC or IP address.
To provide context to the detected endpoint itself, additional information is gathered and correlated, resulting in a multitude of data points at your fingertips. Find your endpoints physical location with the reference to the associated switch and connected physical interface. Add in logical information such as VLAN, VRF or VNIs. The ease of access and visibility of such information within the data center is unprecedented for data center fabrics.
Once EPL is enabled via a simple wizard, it starts gathering information about existing endpoints and from then onward, all network events associated with the endpoint will be tracked.
Apart from a live endpoint dashboard, EPL also displays endpoint historical information for a time period specified in absolute or relative data ranges. The endpoints can be filtered by a variety of parameters including the VRF, network identifier, switch name, etc. Any search results are available for instant download.
In addition to the dashboard, EPL offers a set of Operational and Exploratory analytics views that are based on the collected endpoint data.
- Network Historical View – Displays daily historical information about endpoints, networks, and VRFs in terms of currently active endpoints, endpoint additions & deletions.
- Operational Heatmap – Displays holistic information on all the operations that have been occurring in the fabric on an hourly basis.
- Endpoint Life – Displays a timeline of a particular endpoint throughout its entire existence within the fabric showing where the endpoint was located and where it has moved.
Stay tuned for more innovations like these which drive operational simplicity and visibility into data center fabrics using DCNM.
A Special acknowledgement to Shyam Kapadia for being the primary development lead for EPL; our journey started with an innocent break room conversation about a customer problem with respect to workload visibility.