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Overview

In this episode of our ongoing DNA Center Automation Series, our focus is on enabling telemetry to make full use of the Assurance capabilities within DNA Center. During this lab, we will discuss how to enable various feeds to DNA 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 DNA 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 DNA Center Advantage Licensing is a requirement.

Challenges

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 DNA 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?

DNA 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 DNA Assurance. During the previous Onboarding Templates lab, we had enabled some of the required telemetry settings.

Within Cisco DNA 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

DNAC-Telemetry-Settings-NetFlow

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

DNA Center Sizing

In the recent release of DNA 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 DNA Center. The increases in the numbers of Endpoints, Network Devices, Flows, and Sites enables DNA 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 DNA Center and an environment to support telemetry to enable Assurance during these labs. The labs aim to aid engineers in rapidly beginning using DNA 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 DNA 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 DNA 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 DNA 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 DNA 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 DNA Center automation, you may utilize the above labs as they have been designed to work within dCLOUD’s Cisco Enterprise Networks Hardware Sandbox v2.1 Lab. 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 a web-based browser client for VPN-less connectivity. Additionally, there is AnyConnect VPN client connectivity for those who prefer it. Choose the Cisco Enterprise Network Sandbox v2.1 or 3.1. Additionally, you may choose from our San Jose and RTP Facilities labs by either selecting US East or US West. To access this or other content, demonstrations, and labs in dCLOUD, please directly work with your Cisco or Partner Account Team. 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.

Content

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 DNA Center Templates earlier in May 2021.

Additional Information

DNAC Template LABS

Additional labs aim to guide you through the typical steps required to enable the various automation tasks. This lab delves into the concepts of building and deploying advanced automation templates to deal with specific use cases. As a result, it also gives us access to suitable testing equipment within the LAB environment. Additionally, information within the lab provides a well-rounded explanation of Automation methods within Templates. Lastly, the lab enables customers ability to use DNA Center workflows. This lab gives an environment for customers to practice deploying advanced automation on both Wired and Wireless Platforms.

This lab’s goal is to be a practical aid for engineers developing a QoS automation strategy. Additionally, customers will gain a permanent place to try out the policies for various use cases. Finally, this environment will enable engineers to reduce the time and effort needed to instantiate the network.

Additional Labs

Please use this menu to navigate the various sections of this Github repository. Within the multiple folders are examples, explanation readme files for reference.

  • PnP Preparation – This lab explains the overall Plug and Play set up steps
  • Onboarding Templates – This lab demonstrates in-depth and how to deploy Day 0 templates
  • Day N Templates – This lab will dive into Day N template constructs and use cases
  • Composite Templates – This lab will explore how to build a composite template on DNA Center
  • Application Policys – This lab will explain Application Policys in DNAC and their use
  • Telemetry – This lab will explain how to deploy Telemetry for assurance
  • Advanced Automation – This lab will explain how to deploy Telemetry for assurance

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


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