Cloud Computing

Amassing Telemetry for Customized Dashboarding

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


Networks proceed to get extra complicated with so many new units and companies to assist – however there’s one fixed that by no means adjustments: the necessity for good monitoring instruments! It’s all about having the fitting knowledge factors on the proper time and introduced in the fitting manner.
With IoT sensors changing into extra widespread & many units coming with embedded sensors, we’ve extra info accessible than ever earlier than. Now the query turns into: “How will we use all of this info?” 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 information in a manner that works for us.

So how will we convey all of our sensor telemetry right into a single place and show it in a helpful manner? One technique is to jot down scripts to question all our sensors & units, then push these knowledge factors right into a time-series database, like InfluxDB. As soon as we’ve all that knowledge collected in a single place, we will use Grafana to create customized dashboards to maintain monitor of what we care about. This manner we will pull all of our telemetry into one single reporting device, then construct customized graphs & dashboards to show the information precisely how we want it.

What might this seem like in observe? Properly, let’s check out just a few examples of the place our staff helped Cisco clients construct customized reporting instruments.
Whereas every instance under had distinctive units and challenges, the final 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 units & import them into an Inflow database. Then, we constructed dashboards in Grafana to show historic & real-time knowledge in a manner that helped handle the shopper’s distinctive challenges.

DOM Telemetry Monitoring


On this instance, we labored with a buyer who was on the lookout for a greater method to proactively monitor their giant fiber-based community. Utilizing the Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) telemetry provided by the fiber transceivers, they may look ahead to efficiency traits & get alerted rapidly when points occurred. Our staff used a mix of Python & Ansible to periodically question community units 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 rapidly reply to degrading connection well being & handle 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 needed to maintain monitor of temperature deviations between sizzling & chilly aisles of their knowledge middle. The shopper had already bought Meraki MT temperature sensors and deployed them to every rack. Nonetheless, they needed a greater technique of aggregating & visualizing the temperature and humidity knowledge. To fulfill 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 knowledge for every sizzling or chilly aisle. Try pattern code & directions within the Meraki MT repo.

PoE Measurement


For our closing instance, we would have liked to supply a customized system to observe vitality utilization inside a brand new business constructing. The constructing was outfitted with good lighting powered by Cisco’s Catalyst Digital Constructing (CDB) Switches. Since all the lights within the constructing can be powered by Energy over Ethernet (PoE), we had 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 vitality utilization inside the constructing, which enabled them to fulfill their value & sustainability objectives. Try pattern code & directions within the PoE Measurement repo.

Get pattern code & directions

Today there’s greater than sufficient knowledge accessible to deal with our monitoring & reporting wants, however we simply want to determine one of the best ways to make the most of that info. With somewhat little bit of customized code & just a few nice open-source instruments, it’s simpler than ever to construct easy monitoring and reporting dashboards.

If you happen to’re fascinated with studying extra in regards to the examples, try the hyperlinks under. Every repository incorporates the pattern code & directions for use it in your individual community:

About our GVE staff

The World Digital Engineering (GVE) DevNet staff works with Cisco clients to assist convey 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 tasks. We develop easy examples to showcase what is feasible with somewhat little bit of customized code. Many of those instance tasks are revealed on the GVE DevNet GitHub web page and shared with the neighborhood.


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