In this episode of our ongoing Catalyst Center Automation Series, our focus is on enabling telemetry to make full use of the Assurance capabilities within Catalyst Center. During this lab, we will discuss how to enable various feeds to Catalyst Center so as to ensure all aspects are enabled within the Assurance application. This enables you, the network administrator, the ability to use the Assurance application within Catalyst Center to fault find the network remediating client and application connectivity and experience issues. Additionally with Northbound integration to Service Now the ability to open incidents on that platform ensuring the service desk can help users in a timely manner. Please be aware that for full 365 views of devices, clients, and applications within Catalyst Center Advantage Licensing is a requirement.

Within this series, we cover the following;

  1. PnP Preparation – explains the overall Plug and Play set up steps
  2. Onboarding Templates – explains in-depth how to deploy Day 0 templates
  3. Day N Templates – dives into Day N template constructs with both regular and composite templates and use cases
  4. Application Policys – explores Application Policys and SD-AVC in Catalyst Center and their use
  5. Telemetry – explains how to deploy Telemetry for assurance
  6. Advanced Automation – explores Advanced Automation techniques
  7. Dynamic Automation – a deployment lab for dynamic automation


There are several considerations when consuming telemetry from the network. Some of those considerations are the following;

  1. Total number of endpoints
  2. Total number of network access devices
  3. Size of Catalyst Center appliance in use

We will cover these aspects within this blog, leaving the lab solely for the enablement of telemetry.

What will I learn in the Telemetry Lab?

Catalyst Centers telemetry settings allow you to configure global network settings on devices for monitoring and assessing their health and the user and application experience across the network. During the lab, we will enable all the various remaining telemetry settings which are required for Assurance. During the previous Onboarding Templates lab, we had enabled some of the required telemetry settings.

Within Cisco Catalyst Center, you can configure global network settings when devices are assigned to a specific site. Telemetry polls network devices and collects telemetry data according to these settings:

  1. SNMP server
  2. Syslog server
  3. NetFlow Collector
  4. Monitoring wired client
  5. Enable Wireless Telemetry


The first two of these settings were configured during the Rest-API call in the Onboarding Templates lab.

Netflow Primer

It is important to understand that some networking devices have minimal allowed Netflow Collectors which can be configured. Should it be the case that you need additional flows to other servers or management devices, then you should incorporate a UDP Director in your design. The UDP Director will replicate a single incoming flow from any device to multiple management systems which require the feed.

UDP Director for Telemetry

Catalyst Center Sizing

In the recent release of Catalyst Center we have increased the endpoint counts on the XL appliance and further to that have increased some of the device counts. To that end here is an updated graphic explaining the new sizing for Catalyst Center. The increases in the numbers of Endpoints, Network Devices, Flows, and Sites enables Catalyst Center to scale for large networks. That taken into consideration disparate locations based on round trip time allows us to comfortably size clusters to get the most out of Assurance.

DNA Center Sizing for Telemetry

With that, the lab covers these topics in-depth;

We will gain a practical understanding of the steps associated with setting up Catalyst Center and an environment to support telemetry to enable Assurance during these labs. The labs aim to aid engineers in rapidly beginning using Catalyst Center automation and help them work towards an automation strategy. Additionally, these labs will give customers a permanent place to try out pushing changes to telemetry settings so that they can get an understanding of what changes are made prior to deploying Catalyst Center on their networks. Finally, this environment will enable engineers to reduce the time and effort needed to instantiate the network.

In this small lab, it is quite crucial to delve into exactly which settings telemetry uses and how to enable devices for telemetry through Catalyst Center.

How can I get started?

Within DCLOUD, several sandbox-type labs are available. These self-contained environments are there to allow you to use them as you please within the time scheduled. In addition, this allows us a place to start practicing various concepts without fear of impacting production environments.

As a result, we hope to demystify some of the complexities of setting up automation and help guide customers through the caveats. Therefore, to aid customers in the transition toward automation, we have put together a set of small helpful labs within a GitHub repository. In this way, these self-guided labs provide a glimpse into the fundamentals of building velocity templates and offer examples that you can download and expand from. In addition, the sample templates and JSON files supplied are for easy import into Catalyst Centers’ template editor for quicker adoption. Lastly, some scripts are ready-made excerpts of code that allow you to build the environment to test.

In this practical lab, Telemetry, we step by step delve into enabling telemetry to make full use of assurance in Catalyst Center. Second, we provide answers and explanations to many of the questions that come up during automation workshops. We hope that you find the information both helpful and informative.

Where can I test and try these labs?

DCLOUD Lab Environment

To help customers succeed with Cisco Catalyst Center automation, you may utilize the above labs as they have been designed to work within DCLOUD’s Cisco Enterprise Networks Hardware Sandbox Labs in either:

  1. Cisco Enterprise Networks Hardware Sandbox West DC
  2. Cisco Enterprise Networks Hardware Sandbox East DC

The DCLOUD labs allow you to run these labs and gives an environment to try the various code samples. You may choose to develop and export your code for use in production environments. Also, this gives you an environment where you can safely POC/POV methods and steps without harming your production environments. The DCLOUD environment also negates the need for shipping equipment, lead times, and licensing issues needed to get moving rapidly. Please do adhere to the best practices for the DCLOUD environment when using it.

Lab Connectivity

The environment allows for use with a web-based browser client for VPN-less connectivity, access as well as AnyConnect VPN client connectivity for those who prefer it. You may choose from labs hosted out of our San Jose Facilities by selecting US West. Choose the Cisco Enterprise Network Sandbox. To access this or any other content, including demonstrations, labs, and training in DCLOUD please work with your Cisco Account team or Cisco Partner Account Team directly. Your Account teams will schedule the session and share it for you to use. Once booked follow the guide within GitHub to complete the tasks adhering to the best practices of the DCLOUD environment.


The Telemetry lab content is located within the existing DNAC-TEMPLATES repository to give a one-stop-shop for all the necessary tools, scripts, templates, and code samples. Within it are seven labs, which build upon the tutorials to test the methods in a lab environment. The repository was featured in a previous post on Cisco Blogs about Catalyst Center Templates earlier in May 2021.

Additional Information

Catalyst Center Template Labs

The previously named DNAC Template LABS within the DNAC-TEMPLATES GitHub repository aim to guide you through the typical steps required to enable the various automation tasks delivered by Catalyst Center. This lab will give examples of templates used in Catalyst Center that we can modify for our use and test on equipment within the LAB environment. Additional information within the lab provides a well-rounded explanation of Automation methods with Templates. Lastly, the lab allows for customers to use Catalyst Center workflows to practice deploying Onboarding, DayN Templates, and Application Policy automation on both Wired and Wireless Platforms.

The goal of this lab is for it to be a practical guide to aid engineers to rapidly begin using Catalyst Center automation and help them work towards a deployment strategy. Additionally, this lab will give customers a permanent place to try out the configurations for various use cases. Finally, this environment will enable engineers to reduce the time and effort needed to instantiate the network.

As a result, you will gain experience in setting up Plug and Play onboarding and templates and utilizing all features. Additionally, you will use advanced templating methods and troubleshooting tools. These may help during faultfinding to determine what is failing in a deployment.

Catalyst Center Labs

Please use this menu to navigate the various sections of this GitHub repository. Within the multiple folders are examples and explanation readme files for reference. There are now two sets of labs, and these are being continually expanded upon.

New Catalyst Center Lab Content

This newer and more modular lab approach is designed to deal with and includes concepts from the legacy labs in a newer more modular format.

  1. Lab 1 Wired Automation – Covers green and brownfield use cases (allow 4.0 hrs)
  2. Lab 2 Wireless Automation – Covers traditional wireless automation (allow 4.0 hrs)

Legacy Lab Content

In this section you will continue to find all the existing labs which deal with specifics in separate easy to do labs.

We will share additional labs and content in an ongoing effort to fulfill all your automation needs with Catalyst Center.

In conclusion, if you found this set of labs and repository helpful,

please fill in comments and feedback on how it could be improved.

We’d love to hear what you think. Ask a question or leave a comment below.
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Keith Baldwin

Solutions Engineer

Campus Automation CoE for Enterprise Networking