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Cisco DNA Center’s Network Assurance and Analytics Leaves the Competition Behind


July 3, 2019 - 0 Comments

Do you have what you really need for Network Assurance? Today’s businesses require fast-paced, dynamic networks that can assure the user and application quality of experience, securely.

Today’s networks need Network Assurance

Network health is an important aspect of any network operation, and historically, network admins use network monitoring to keep a check on the overall health of the network. However, monitoring every part of the network often requires multiple tools which only provides a fragmented view into the network.

As the network scales and expands, the complexity in monitoring the events and data associated with a growing pool of users, things, applications and network devices rises exponentially. And replicating an issue as it occurs poses a considerable challenge. As a result, typically network admins spend more time collecting the data from different sources and tools than they do analyzing and troubleshooting the issues. Which impacts both IT and business productivity.

Network assurance and analytics solutions are designed to address these challenges by taking raw data from various sources and presenting it as actionable insights on a dashboard. So now, instead of scrambling through the data or trying to replicate the issue, a network admin knows the type of the problem, the severity of it, number of clients affected, and the location where the issue exists.

How does Cisco DNA Assurance Stack Up?

The Assurance and Analytics market is crowded with both established and emerging vendors that claim to offer full-service assurance solutions. Most vendors offer assurance capabilities in a silo: there is no holistic view of the network. Cisco DNA Assurance provides end-to-end, contextual network analytics and insights through real-time data and telemetry it collects network-wide. It also offers distinct capabilities under a single-pane-of-glass dashboard, such as Intelligent Capture, Sensor-driven Tests and Apple Wi-Fi Analytics.

And now we’ve recently added Cisco AI Network Analytics to the Cisco DNA Center arsenal, which brings the power of machine learning to better pinpoint problems and provide more accurate remediation guidance.

 

 

How do the others stack up to Cisco DNA Assurance?

Aruba Assurance has three separate wireless assurance solutions:

  • Aruba NetInsight, a cloud-based assurance platform
  • Aruba User Experience Insight (previously known as Cape Networks), a sensor-based assurance platform
  • Connectivity Health, a part of Aruba Airwave platform.

Huawei has two solutions:

  • CampusInsight, their network assurance platform
  • eSight, their network management system which offers monitoring and basic diagnostics

 

Miercom Puts Cisco DNA Assurance to the Test

Miercom, a 3rd party vendor, produced an independent report that compares the publicly available versions of Cisco DNA Center, Huawei eSight and Aruba Connectivity Health. Miercom tested four issues that are common in any network and gauged how each platform helps a network admin to troubleshoot and resolve them.

What was tested?

  • DHCP Problem: DHCP pool exhaustion, which can leave clients stranded without an IP address after they connect to an access point.
  • RF Issues: How the systems dealt with a wireless client that was forced to join a crowded 2.4GHz band as the client couldn’t properly connect to the weak signal of the 5GHz radio of the access point
  • Proactive Testing: The ability to proactively monitor the network via sensors and sensor-driven tests so that a potential issue or an anomaly can be detected and resolved before it turns into a major alert.
  • Troubleshooting: The diagnostic efficiency of the Assurance platform to isolate a device or interface where a problem exists by examining the network topology through tools such as path trace

 

What were the results of the tests?

Cisco DNA Assurance:

Miercom concluded that Cisco DNA Center performed the best of all the tested platforms. It excelled in each test case by offering a detailed root cause analysis and step by step remediations for each issue.

Source: Miercom

The Cisco active sensor supports more than twice the test cases than Aruba Connectivity Health Sensors. Only Cisco offers a view of the physical connection of the devices with health as well as a logical connection through path trace tool that gives a full view of the end-to-end connection of a client.

The Competition:

Aruba Connectivity Health partially satisfies some of the use cases, but it doesn’t go beyond basic pre-connection statistics and lacks in providing detailed analysis of a network problem. Huawei eSight attempts to display some RF related issues but, like any network monitoring tool, it forces a network admin to search for an issue rather than displaying it on the dashboard for faster analysis and resolution.

To learn more about how Cisco DNA Assurance is ahead of the field , download the full Miercom report.
And learn more about how you can base your complete intent-based network on the Cisco DNA architecture here.

This post is a part of a series on Cisco DNA Center.



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