January 31st, 2018 by

Turbonomic & Cisco Deliver Automated Self-Healing for Continuous Network Intent Assurance

Today Cisco announced the launch of Network Assurance Engine as part of its continuing mission to empower customers with intent-based data centers. Cisco has built a strong partner ecosystem around Network Assurance Engine’s open platform, which they discuss in their blog. In partnership with Turbonomic, network intent is continuously assured by software.

What is intent? Cisco intent refers to the ability to seamlessly translate business goals into the data center and network by automating routine tasks. In doing so, IT can focus on more strategic initiatives. With Turbonomic, the mission of elevating IT can be fully realized with automating not just routine tasks, but routine decision-making, specifically the decision-making capabilities of the workload. Together, Cisco and Turbonomic are enabling self-managing workloads that assure business intent and elevate IT.

Why does this matter? Today’s data center transformations are increasing complexity in the network. Organizations across the globe are transforming themselves with digital customer experiences. By 2021, at least 50 percent of global gross domestic product will be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships (IDC 2017). These trends are rapidly transforming the data center, increasing the scale, complexity, and rate of change. Today, organizations must support tens of thousands of virtual machines and hundreds of thousands of globally distributed applications. With that scale come millions of policies that must be managed in multitenant, hybrid, and heterogeneous environments. This is beyond human scale.

 

Cisco Network Assurance Engine and Turbonomic Solution

Cisco and Turbonomic together deliver continuous intent assurance and self-healing from the logical layer through the hardware. This solution gives operators the confidence that as the network dynamically changes it is always operating consistently with their intent throughout the workload lifecycle. And when things go wrong that are outside of their control, their systems will self-heal before applications’ quality of service degrades.

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This integration accomplishes two simple, but important things:

What How
Intelligent initial placement of workloads ensures availability of network services defined in the intent. Turbonomic understands from Cisco Network Assurance Engine where policies can be assured by the network and will only place new workloads there.
Intelligent continuous placement enables existing workloads to self-heal.

 

Turbonomic understands from Network Assurance Engine where network intent can be assured and migrates workloads to the appropriate leaf, switch, or host.

 

Let’s see what this looks like in action…

Cisco Network Assurance Engine is continuously analyzing the network at every layer and provides Smart Events. Below, these Smart Events identify a misconfiguration in the leaf, in this case the interface allocated by the Fabric Access Policy is administratively up with the link down.

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The Smart Events are fed to Turbonomic, which provides specific actions. In this case, moving virtual machine, ‘mysql12-ubuntu’ from host ‘192.168.136.22’ to host ‘192.168.136.21’ to assure policy intent. The Smart Events have indicated that in order for intent to be assured, the VM must be moved to a different leaf/host (above)—Turbonomic determines where exactly it should be moved. With Turbonomic all decisions account for the multiple resource needs of the VM, as well as compliance with the Smart Events from Network Assurance Engine.

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To set up this integration, operators select to limit placement with placement policies as dictated by Network Assurance Engine, here named Candid_Turbonomic. By doing so, Turbonomic can consider this additional dimension—policy intent—alongside performance, cost and compliance in its analysis and provide the right real-time actions.

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Bottom-line, no matter what’s happening in your highly dynamic and complex network you have two software engines working together to ensure your intent and the continuous optimization of the workloads.

This is Just Beginning

Our partnership with Cisco is about making automation smarter across every facet of the data center and network. In doing so we aim to elevate people from routine task execution into strategic decision-makers that driving innovation. That’s what today’s organizations need and where people have their strengths.

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