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Accumulating Telemetry for Customized Dashboarding

Matt SchmitzThis text is authored by Matt Schmitz,
Technical Options Specialist,
Cisco’s International Digital Engineering (GVE) DevNet staff.
Go to the GVE DevNet GitHub web page 


Networks proceed to get extra complicated with so many new gadgets and providers to help – however there’s one fixed that by no means adjustments: the necessity for good monitoring instruments! It’s all about having the appropriate information factors on the proper time and offered in the appropriate approach.
With IoT sensors turning into extra frequent & many gadgets coming with embedded sensors, we’ve extra data obtainable than ever earlier than. Now the query turns into: “How will we use all of this data?” Whereas some sensors might provide their very own customized instruments or reporting software program, others would possibly solely expose an API. In both case, the metrics received’t be useful if we will’t discover or use the info in a approach that works for us.

So how will we deliver all of our sensor telemetry right into a single place and show it in a helpful approach? One technique is to put in writing scripts to question all our sensors & gadgets, then push these information factors right into a time-series database, like InfluxDB. As soon as we’ve all that information collected in a single place, we will use Grafana to create customized dashboards to maintain monitor of what we care about. This fashion we will pull all of our telemetry into one single reporting software, then construct customized graphs & dashboards to show the info precisely how we’d like it.

What might this appear to be in apply? Properly, let’s check out a number of examples of the place our staff helped Cisco clients construct customized reporting instruments.
Whereas every instance beneath had distinctive gadgets and challenges, the overall purpose was the identical: Gather telemetry to make use of for customized dashboarding, reporting, and/or alerting. In every case we utilized somewhat little bit of customized code to gather metrics from gadgets & import them into an Inflow database. Then, we constructed dashboards in Grafana to show historic & real-time information in a approach that helped deal with the shopper’s distinctive challenges.

DOM Telemetry Monitoring


On this instance, we labored with a buyer who was in search of a greater strategy to proactively monitor their giant fiber-based community. Utilizing the Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) telemetry supplied by the fiber transceivers, they might look ahead to efficiency tendencies & get alerted shortly when points occurred. Our staff used a mixture of Python & Ansible to periodically question community gadgets for the optical telemetry. The collected telemetry was used to construct a dashboard that confirmed real-time & trending well being statistics. Optionally, the shopper might allow Webex push notifications when transceivers exceeded predefined thresholds. This enabled the shopper to shortly reply to degrading connection well being & deal with points earlier than service-impacting outages occurred. Try pattern code & directions within the DOM Telemetry repo.

Meraki MT Dashboard


On this instance, we had a buyer who wished to maintain monitor of temperature deviations between sizzling & chilly aisles of their information heart. The shopper had already bought Meraki MT temperature sensors and deployed them to every rack. Nevertheless, they wished a greater technique of aggregating & visualizing the temperature and humidity information. To satisfy the shopper’s wants, we constructed a customized flask dashboard that displayed every row of racks & the present temperatures on every sensor. This helped create a straightforward visualization for buyer engineers to find temperature deviations in every row. This dashboard included combination graphs to show historic & trending information for every sizzling or chilly aisle. Try pattern code & directions within the Meraki MT repo.

PoE Measurement


For our ultimate instance, we would have liked to supply a customized system to observe power utilization inside a brand new business constructing. The constructing was geared up with sensible lighting powered by Cisco’s Catalyst Digital Constructing (CDB) Switches. Since the entire lights within the constructing could be powered by Energy over Ethernet (PoE), we have been capable of question the CDB switches to gather energy consumption on a per-port foundation. Offering this telemetry in a dashboard format allowed the shopper to maintain monitor of power utilization inside the constructing, which enabled them to satisfy their price & sustainability objectives. Try pattern code & directions within the PoE Measurement repo.

Get pattern code & directions

As of late there’s greater than sufficient information obtainable to handle our monitoring & reporting wants, however we simply want to determine one of the best ways to make the most of that data. With somewhat little bit of customized code & a number of nice open-source instruments, it’s simpler than ever to construct easy monitoring and reporting dashboards.

For those who’re fascinated about studying extra in regards to the examples, try the hyperlinks beneath. Every repository comprises the pattern code & directions for how one can use it in your personal community:

About our GVE staff

The International Digital Engineering (GVE) DevNet staff works with Cisco clients to assist deliver their automation concepts to life. Along with Cisco Account Groups, we discover alternatives the place clients want somewhat assist getting began with automation or integration initiatives. We develop easy examples to showcase what is feasible with somewhat little bit of customized code. Many of those instance initiatives are revealed on the GVE DevNet GitHub web page and shared with the group.


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