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Under the vAnalytics Hood: Enabling Total Network Visibility, Total Network Control


March 8, 2018 - 8 Comments

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.

#NetworkIntuitive



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8 Comments

  1. Nice article and interesting from general\marketing point of view. But where is possible to get some more detailed technical information how it works? Usually Cisco has good and deep documentation, but in vAnalytics case can't find anything, unfortunately...

    • Hi Igor, Please take a look at - https://docs.viptela.com/Product_Documentation/vManage_Help/Release_18.1/vAnalytics Description of all current use cases is available and will be updated for new use cases. Regards, Linus

  2. In technical perspective, is this an appliance or VM software that we need to install in an existing infra? Will this be inline or just use SPAN? It would be a great help also to other if discussing this in a technical or in a network design so that Administrators will know where they will put this solution in their infra.

    • vAnalytics is a SaaS offering hosted in the SD WAN Cloud and is enabled on the customer vManage. No need to install anything. The vAnalytics agent on the vManage will send relevant data to the cloud where it would be processed to show interesting use cases (as mentioned in the blog) via the vManage - vAnalytics portal.

  3. Really useful!

  4. Nice Article .. Network Redefined by Cisco...

  5. This is real useful when ML meets SD-WAN. Million records per hour must be providing real insight on how WAN networks are behaving across the world.

  6. ML meets SD-WAN. Real useful for customers to get insight!