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Amassing Telemetry for Customized Dashboarding

Matt SchmitzThis text is authored by Matt Schmitz,
Technical Options Specialist,
Cisco’s World Digital Engineering (GVE) DevNet workforce.
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 best information factors on the proper time and introduced in the best manner.
With IoT sensors changing into extra widespread & many gadgets coming with embedded sensors, now we have extra data out there than ever earlier than. Now the query turns into: “How will we use all of this data?” Whereas some sensors could supply their very own customized instruments or reporting software program, others may solely expose an API. In both case, the metrics received’t be useful if we are able to’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 write down scripts to question all our sensors & gadgets, then push these information factors right into a time-series database, like InfluxDB. As soon as now we have all that information collected in a single place, we are able to use Grafana to create customized dashboards to maintain monitor of what we care about. This manner we are able to pull all of our telemetry into one single reporting device, then construct customized graphs & dashboards to show the information precisely how we’d like it.

What might this appear like in apply? Nicely, let’s check out just a few examples of the place our workforce helped Cisco clients construct customized reporting instruments.
Whereas every instance beneath had distinctive gadgets and challenges, the final purpose was the identical: Acquire 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 manner that helped handle the client’s distinctive challenges.

DOM Telemetry Monitoring


On this instance, we labored with a buyer who was searching for a greater approach to proactively monitor their massive fiber-based community. Utilizing the Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) telemetry provided by the fiber transceivers, they may look ahead to efficiency developments & get alerted rapidly when points occurred. Our workforce used a mix 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 client might allow Webex push notifications when transceivers exceeded predefined thresholds. This enabled the client to rapidly reply to degrading connection well being & handle points earlier than service-impacting outages occurred. Take a look at 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 scorching & chilly aisles of their information heart. The client 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 information. To satisfy the client’s wants, we constructed a customized flask dashboard that displayed every row of racks & the present temperatures on every sensor. This helped create a simple visualization for buyer engineers to find temperature deviations in every row. This dashboard included mixture graphs to show historic & trending information for every scorching or chilly aisle. Take a look at pattern code & directions within the Meraki MT repo.

PoE Measurement


For our last instance, we would have liked to supply a customized system to watch vitality utilization inside a brand new industrial constructing. The constructing was geared up with good 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 in a position to question the CDB switches to gather energy consumption on a per-port foundation. Offering this telemetry in a dashboard format allowed the client to maintain monitor of vitality utilization inside the constructing, which enabled them to satisfy their price & sustainability targets. Take a look at pattern code & directions within the PoE Measurement repo.

Get pattern code & directions

Lately there’s greater than sufficient information out there to handle our monitoring & reporting wants, however we simply want to determine one of the simplest ways to make the most of that data. 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.

In case you’re focused on studying extra concerning the examples, take a look at the hyperlinks beneath. Every repository incorporates the pattern code & directions for methods to use it in your individual community:

About our GVE workforce

The World Digital Engineering (GVE) DevNet workforce 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 initiatives. We develop easy examples to showcase what is feasible with somewhat little bit of customized code. Many of those instance initiatives are printed on the GVE DevNet GitHub web page and shared with the neighborhood.


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