The Assurance Engine is One Powerful Feature of DNA Center
January 28, 2019 •Network Solutions
Cisco Assurance is a part of Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA). This aspect of DNA changes the way that IT professionals look at their network. This tool is a part of Cisco’s software-defined vision which brings together various, disparate systems so that your network can become a real-time sensor. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of your telemetry and analytics in one dashboard that you can easily navigate? Well that has arrived!
Assurance follows 3 main principles in its approach to network management. These principles are learning, adapting, and detecting.
Learning is where Assurance will collect telemetry and data from endpoints, devices, users, and applications on the network and bring them into a single dashboard. A key part of this process is Assurance’s ability to take in contextual information as well. It learns what time an activity hits the network, where the activity is, and what attributes it has. When the lights turn on at 8am, is there a surge of traffic or is it typically a slow trickle as people log on? What time are the printers active? Getting this kind of information used to require disparate 3rd party software tools...but no longer. Because Assurance is tied into your network and talks with all of the features of Cisco DNA, it learns faster and with better accuracy than a 3rd part software ever could.
With its ability to collect a vast array of telemetry at once, your visibility into what’s happening in real-time is unparalleled by any other solution. A few clicks and you are able to see trouble devices and proactively fix them, making you look like a hero.
Another pillar of the Assurance Engine is its ability to adapt to changing network traffic. The Assurance engine is able to adapt using what it has learned and setting a baseline of what normal traffic should look like. If abnormal traffic is hitting the server at 2am because your IoT thermostat is trying to talk to China, you are alerted immediately so that you can get ahead of the attackers to prevent any more damage from being done. Adaptive learning, and knowing what normal traffic looks like gives you superior visibility! Knowing your traffic baseline and having visibility of activity on your network highlights incidences that you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
Machine learning is used to take in telemetry from various parts of your network. AI and Machine Learning algorithms are used in Cisco’s Assurance engine which has the ability to take those telemetry data points and accurately predict traffic spikes, manage resources, and take a live snapshot of your network in real-time. This ability to adapt to changing threats and resource demand gives administrators the ability to make the most of available resources.
Assurance has a powerful tool that give you the power to have your network proactively detect issues and prioritize them as "critical" or "non-critical". DNA Center’s Assurance is able to detect and prioritize issues from "least important" to "most important". This speeds up critical fixes while minor ones can be pushed down the line. This reduces the need for unnecessary troubleshooting and time waste.
Assurance reduces manual troubleshooting by proactively identifying issues, attempting basic troubleshooting, and providing multiple solutions to the problem. It offers solutions by leaning on the millions of TAC (Technical Assistance Center) cases that are opened every year through Cisco. The best solutions for common problems are utilized by Assurance to provide quick, accurate solutions to critical problems without having to call support.
Another interesting tool is called Intelligent Capture which uses packet capture and radio scanning to find wireless issues before they affect the end-user. It helps troubleshoot by resolving issues like on-boarding, interference, and poor performance. There are a multitude of tools included with Assurance that we just haven’t seen in other solutions.
We have used DNA Center and even deployed it at the Hoosier Education Computer Coordinators (HECC) conference in 2018. The analytics and dashboard capabilities are phenomenal, even when we were handling well over 1,000 clients that all on-boarded within a 5 hour period. During the three day event there's not much time for in-depth troubleshooting. Having a tool like DNA Center's Assurance helped nail down issues quickly and easily.
Demo Video: Watch the DNA Center Demo video from the HECC wireless network here!
Assurance is only one aspect of DNA Center that can bring you some serious headache-minimizing technology. If you would like to chat about DNA Center in your environment, we would love to help.
Schedule a conversation with one of our engineers by clicking “Schedule a Conversation” below!
Stay tuned for more deep-dives into DNA Center features coming soon!