Under the vAnalytics Hood: Enabling Total Network Visibility, Total Network Control
As WAN network administrators, we have all run into that situation where a business group wants to roll out a new service, and we realize there is not enough bandwidth available in many of our locations. It then typically will take 90 – 120 days to add new bandwidth and then hours of dealing with the service provider to ensure that appropriate bandwidth gets provisioned. Now imagine having a crystal ball that could notify you of all your circuits that are going to run out of BW in the next 90 days.
WAN – No longer a blind spot in your network
Built on disparate networks that are outside the control of IT, it is often difficult to pinpoint problems, get real-time information on application performance, and monitor utilization of the WAN. Cisco recently announced the launch of vAnalytics, which is really about providing total network visibility and control to the network administrator at the level of every individual branch. With vAnalytics, the WAN is no longer a blind spot in your network. Here’s how vAnalytics can radically redefine how WAN networks can be managed:
- Provides real-time information for failure correlation, cross customer benchmarking, and app performance scores
- Enables future planning based on intelligent data (App / bandwidth forecasting, branch expansion analysis, policy changes what-if)
- Provides a quality of experience score for applications running on your network. This helps identify how your application is doing based on recent changes made on your network.
vAnalytics – How the engine is put together
The vAnalytics engine collects anonymized data across multiple customers. As an added precaution, the engine does not collect any PII. Each customer’s data sets are stored in isolation. Currently, the engine ingests in excess of 1 million unique records per hour across 100 customers on 200+ service provider infrastructure. The platform employs machine learning and deep learning techniques to create meaningful representations of the data for simplistic user consumption on a per customer basis. Some of the data consumed consists of inventory data (device and interface related), flow information (DPI and cflowd), events and connectivity-related statistics (app-route statistics, interface statistics, etc.).
Threshing all this information provides an enterprise with application-related and network-led insights. For instance, using vAnalytics, an enterprise can easily identify bandwidth usage, application performance and detect anomalies based on baseline application usage. Likewise, on the network-side, vAnalytics provides detailed yet easily readable reports on site availability, network availability, site usage and carrier performance. The engine also allows peer benchmarking – essentially provides a platform that correlates data and provides a holistic view into your network with regard to your current topology, carrier choice and bandwidth requirements.
With Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics, IT can now identify network or application problems, make informed decisions, and optimize user experience. Using vAnalytics, Cisco is reinventing the WAN by introducing analytics and assurance capabilities that extend intent-based networking to the branch.