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Co-Author: Pratik Patel, Engineering Product Manager, Cisco DNA Center, Enterprise Networks
Co-Author: Pratik Patel, Product Manager, Cisco DNA Center, Enterprise Networks

Overview

Recently, Cisco published a three-part technical blog series on ThousandEyes, Cisco’s digital experience monitoring platform that provides IT with visibility into the end-to-end path of an application. In this blog, we show the benefits of combining Cisco DNA Center with Cisco ThousandEyes and how together, they can help an organization easily address the complexities of troubleshooting application issues and improve the user experience across multiple domains.

 

Integration of Cisco DNA Center and ThousandEyes

Path visualization between the network topology and the application
Figure 1. Path visualization between the network topology and the application

ThousandEyes enables IT organizations to troubleshoot application and user experience issues by providing hop-by-hop visibility across your enterprise, ISP, and SaaS provider network. When combined with Cisco DNA Center’s insights into the health of networks and users, the ThousandEyes integration provides IT access to more powerful diagnostics than ever before (See Figure 1.)

For example, when IT receives a ticket from a user about an application performance issue, the IT administrator may want to know:

– Is this a systemic issue impacting all users?
– Is this an isolated issue impacting only a single user?
– Is this issue specific to the user’s location, like a certain building or floor?

Traditionally, getting answers to these questions is time-consuming or impossible. By combining Cisco DNA Center with ThousandEyes, IT administrators can quickly understand the impact and the root cause.

Let’s look at how the solutions work together

By enabling the embedded ThousandEyes Enterprise Agent capability, customers with Cisco Catalyst 9000 Series switches can quickly gain visibility from anywhere on their network.
Customers can use Cisco DNA Center’s guided workflow to deploy ThousandEyes agents quickly and at scale. The guided workflow saves hours when compared to deploying ThousandEyes agents individually on each Catalyst 9300 and 9400 switch through the CLI. (See Figure 2.)

Select the switches to enable the ThousandEyes Agent
Figure 2. Select the switches to enable the ThousandEyes Agent

Once the ThousandEyes tests are set up to monitor the target applications, customers can import the Catalyst 9300 and 9400 ThousandEyes test results directly into the Cisco DNA Center’s Application Assurance dashboard. (See Figure 3.) Here, the network administrator can get a quick snapshot of how business-critical applications are performing. The dashboard provides a breakdown of:

– Number of enterprise agents running.
– Number of tests configured.
– Number of active alerts.
– Average throughput, packet loss, jitter, latency, and response time of monitored applications.

DNA Center Application Assurance dashboard
Figure 3. DNA Center Application Assurance dashboard

To further investigate application-specific issues, IT administrators can cross-launch to the ThousandEyes dashboard from Cisco DNA Center’s Application Assurance view. (See Figure 4.) IT administrators can drill into the specific test results to see more granular information on the probable root cause and where in the path the issue occurs. This end-to-end visibility allows IT administrators to pinpoint the issue with just a few clicks, identifying whether the issue is in the local network, the ISP, or the SaaS provider’s network.

ThousandEyes Dashboard
Figure 4. ThousandEyes Dashboard

Key Benefits of Cisco DNA Center/ThousandEyes Integration

  • Faster time to value: Easily deploy the ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents on Catalyst 9000 Series switches with Cisco DNA Center.
  • Single-pane-of-glass visibility: Run ThousandEyes tests on Catalyst 9000 Series switches and view results contextually within Cisco DNA Center.
  • Rapid remediation: Quickly locate issues across LAN, service provider, and cloud/SaaS networks.
  • License entitlement: Use existing Cisco DNA Advantage licenses for Catalyst 9000 Series switches to run ThousandEyes tests.

By combining passive (NetFlow) and active (Synthetic Probes) application monitoring results, ThousandEyes and Cisco DNA Center help customers measure application performance in their network. The Cisco DNA Center and ThousandEyes integration drastically reduces the mean time to resolution and provides end-to-end IT visibility.

Bring More Value to Your Cisco DNA Software Advantage License

If you have a current Cisco DNA Advantage software or Expansion Pack subscription for Catalyst 9300 or 9400 switches, you can take advantage of Cisco DNA Center and ThousandEyes capabilities. For more information, visit Cisco DNA Software for Switching.

Summary

With users accessing applications from anywhere, it is important to provide IT with the right tools that make their job more efficient and reduce time to repair. Cisco innovations empower IT to seamlessly support hybrid work and enable a more productive, sustainable, and inclusive future for all. The integration of ThousandEyes and Cisco DNA Center improves the digital experiences of all users, no matter where they are located.

 

Learn how Cisco DNA Center simplifies the running of your network

Additional Resources:

Visit the Cisco ThousandEyes Solution Page to learn more
Check out our three-part technical blog series on ThousandEyes.