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Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights for the Data Center Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:April 12, 2022

Bias-Free Language

The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.

Available Languages

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  • PDF
    (412.2 KB)
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Updated:April 12, 2022
 

 

Product overview

With the unprecedented increases in scale and complexity of networks, it is challenging to keep up with the demands of operating a large network without the aid of intelligent and adaptive tools. The Cisco Nexus® Dashboard Insights for the data center stands out as the first comprehensive technology solution in the industry developed by Cisco for network operators to manage operations in their networks.

Cisco Nexus Dashboard functions as a central management console for all the onboarded data center sites as well as a central hosting platform for data center operation services such as Nexus Dashboard Insights. It simplifies the operation and life-cycle management of various applications, and reduces the infrastructure overhead to run those applications by providing a common platform and application infrastructure. Additionally, it provides a central integration point for API-driven third-party applications with the applications that are hosted on Nexus Dashboard. For operators to manage, maintain and troubleshoot their networks effectively, it is important to have a deep understanding of a network’s constituents and their properties, what the network is doing, how it is being used, how it is responding to the demands on it, and, most importantly, how it will respond to new loads arising due to new business processes. When changes occur in the control plane, data plane, and forwarding plane of a network, it is important to detect, locate, and root cause anomalies as close to real time as possible. Proactive notification of known vulnerabilities that may cause suboptimal network behavior is very critical. Timely detection and reduction of human errors can help minimize the operational and financial impact associated with network downtime.

The Operational Intelligence Engine of Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights incorporates a set of advanced alerting, baselining, correlation, and forecasting algorithms to provide deep insights into the behavior of the network by utilizing telemetry data obtained from networking and compute components. Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights automates troubleshooting and helps rapid root-causing and early remediation. Unified network repository and compliance rules keep the network state aligned with operator intent. It simplifies audits and ensures compliance while also helping infrastructure owners comply with SLA requirements for their users.

The Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights for the data center is supported for deployments based on Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI®) and Cisco NX-OS with Cisco Nexus Dashboard Fabric Controller (NDFC). It is a microservices-based service natively hosted on Cisco Nexus Dashboard. Nexus Dashboard provides a cluster of compute nodes that are horizontally scalable. The sizing and number of compute nodes required for Nexus Dashboard Insights depends on the number of sites, the number of switches in each site, and the flows per second that the users want the application to support.

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights features and benefits

Table 1.           Features and benefits

Feature

Benefit

Multisite support

Use a single instance of Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights application to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot multiple data-center sites

Unified application

Deploy a single tool with assurance, advisory, and troubleshooting capabilities to address your operational needs for prevention, diagnosis, and remediation

Hybrid sites support

Use a single instance of the application to onboard and operate Cisco ACI and DCNM multi-site deployments

One view

With Single Sign-On (SSO) and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), operate your multisite environment distributed across multiple Cisco Nexus Dashboard clusters from a single focal point of control

NetFlow collector

Maintain business continuity by having backward compatibility with legacy protocols

One-click remediation

Reduce MTTR with one-click automated fixes of known behaviors

Upgrade assist

Detect changes in configuration or operational state before and after switch-upgrades and validate across 40+ checks

Change management

One-stop shop for information about assurance on policy and configuration analysis changes

Explorer

Explore associations and connectivity across multiple sites and understand the state of network deployment using powerful natural-language querying

Compliance

Configuration Compliance ensures that naming and golden template configurations meet IT requirements for enhanced productivity while Communication Compliance ensures that regulatory and business communication always meets compliance

 

Pre-change analysis

Predict the impact of the intended configuration changes to drive insight-driven change management

TCAM utilization

Manage TCAM capacity resources and security policy with advanced utilization analysis

Delta analysis

Comprehensive view of health drift between any two points in time, minimizing the change window

Comprehensive view of policy/config drift between two points in time, minimizing troubleshooting time

Time-series database

Gather evidence from past data. Peek back in time to look at a specific sequence of events and gather intelligent insights.

Flow analytics

Use FT/FTE to minimize troubleshooting time through automated root-cause analysis of data plane anomalies, such as packet drops, latency, workload movements, routing issues, ACL drops, and more. Monitor flow rate usage to optimize FT performance.

Microburst detection

Expose and locate invisible microbursts. Find out congestion hot spots and protect application performance.

AppDynamics®

Break operational silos between network and server teams. Gain cross domain visibility and perform rapid troubleshooting with qualitative and quantifiable data. Know the application geography and layout with the mapping of application topology to physical topology information.

Multicast control plane

Use detailed statistics and state information of PIM, IGMP, and IGMP-snooping protocols to monitor multicast control plane health

Anomaly analysis

Compare and contrast time-synced data of multiple parameters to derive deeper understanding of issues and behaviors. Know the impacted endpoints, applications, and flows due to network anomalies.

Anomaly assignment

Tag anomaly events to the right team member for faster resolution

Resource utilization

Provide efficient capacity planning to maintain top network performance. Get fabric-wide visibility of resource utilization and historical trends. Detect components exceeding capacity thresholds ahead of time. Examples: TCAM, routes, ACL entries, ports, tenants, VRFs, EPGs, and many more.

Environmental

Proactively monitor and report environmental anomalies by leveraging telemetry data from hardware sensors such as CPU, memory, disk, power supply, fan speed, and temperature.

Statistics

Use detailed data-plane statistics to diagnose, locate, and remediate issues. Monitor and use protocol anomalies and state information to remediate BGP, vPC, LACP, CDP, and LLDP problems.

Customizable dashboards

Create custom dashboard views for your own preferred way of monitoring. Keep a close eye on parameters of your choice.

Endpoint analytics

Locate virtual machines, bare-metal hosts, and other endpoints in the data center fabric. Use historical data to track their movements.

Topology view

Use your natural visuo-spatial ability to explore, navigate, discover, and zoom into issues. Never get lost! Visualize logical constructs such as tenant, VRF, EPG, and more on top of the physical topology. Perform rapid troubleshooting using filters to focus on problematic nodes.

Advisories

Stay up to date on new software and hardware availability. Be up to date on hardware and software end-of-sale announcements, and get lead time to plan for upgrades.

PSIRTs/bugs

Get notified and take necessary action to stay secure and in compliance. Get instant visibility into any applicable bugs. Prevent unscheduled outages.

Risk and conformance

Minimize risk of running End-of-Sale (EoS) or End-of-Life (EoL) devices. View current and project the future status of network software and hardware inventory against known EoS/EoL notices to ensure conformance.

Cisco TAC assist

Automate the mundane, repetitive tasks of log collection, and attach them to TAC Service Requests (SRs). Delegate additional log collection to the TAC team, and free yourself from dull work.

Flow state validator

Verify software and hardware programming consistency across all available traffic paths between endpoints. Track per hop information and behavior.

Kafka-messaging support

Share Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights’ enriched, value-added output with the application ecosystem. Build synergetic workflows with third-party IT applications.

Email-notification support

Get offline alerts about network health using the email-notification facility. Pick and choose which issues you need to be alerted about.

Cisco ACI multi-tier support

Monitor Cisco ACI multi-tier topology with all Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights features and functions.

Product-usage telemetry

Enabled by Cisco to significantly improve product lifecycle management for IT teams that have deployed Cisco data-center fabrics. These data and related insights proactively identify product issues, improve services and support, and activate discussions to glean additional value from new and existing features.

Assurance analysis (online, offline)

Validate Low-Level Design configurations across your environment for both online and offline sites.

Orchestrator assurance

Ensure that intended Orchestrator configuration policies are deployed across multiple sites.

L4-L7 traffic visibility

Track the end-to-end flow across an externally connected device such as a firewall, to help locate data-plane issues across device silos and deduce the locations of packet drops.

Air-gap support

Offline customers can utilize Insights’ Advisory features to better identify risks to their infrastructure (PSIRTS, defects, EoX notices, and field notices).

Reporting

Export Anomaly and Advisory summaries through email and PDFs.

Syslog messaging support

Share Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights’ enriched, value-added output with the application ecosystem. Build synergetic workflows with third-party IT applications.

vCenter

Break operational silos between network and server teams. Gain cross-domain visibility into virtualized workload data, and perform rapid troubleshooting with qualitative and quantifiable data. Know the application geography and layout through the mapping of application topology to physical topology information.

Hardware platform support

Table 2.           Hardware platform support

Feature

Cisco Nexus 9300/9500/9700 EX/FX/FX2/FX3/GX series switches

Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches

Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Switches

Multisite

Yes

Yes

Yes

Unified application

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hybrid site support

Yes

Yes

Yes

One view

Yes

Yes

Yes

NetFlow collector

Yes

Yes

Yes

One-click remediation

Yes (Cisco ACI only)

No

No

Upgrade assist

Yes

No

No

Explorer

Yes

No

No

Compliance

Yes (Cisco ACI only)

No

No

Pre-change analysis

Yes (Cisco ACI only)

No

No

TCAM utilization

Yes (Cisco ACI only)

No

No

Delta analysis

Yes

No

No

Time-series database

Yes

Yes

Yes

Flow analytics (FT/FTE*)

Yes*

No

No

Microburst detection

Yes**

No

No

AppDynamics

Yes

No

No

Multicast control plane

Yes

No

No

Anomaly analysis

Yes

Yes

Yes

Anomaly assignment

Yes

Yes

Yes

Resource utilization

Yes

Yes

Yes

Environmental

Yes

Yes

Yes

Statistics

Yes

Yes

Yes

Customizable dashboards

Yes

Yes

Yes

Endpoint analytics

Yes

No

No

Topology view

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advisories

Yes

Yes

Yes

PSIRTs/bugs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Risk and conformance

Yes

No

No

Cisco TAC assistance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Flow state validator

Yes (Cisco Nexus Dashboard Fabric Controller [NDFC] only)

No

No

Kafka-messaging support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email-notification support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cisco ACI Multi-tier support

Yes (Cisco ACI only)

No

No

Assurance analysis (online, offline)

Yes

No

No

Orchestrator assurance

Yes (Cisco ACI only)

No

No

L4-L7 traffic visibility

Yes

No

No

Air-gap support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Reporting

Yes

Yes

Yes

Syslog messaging support

Yes

Yes

Yes

vCenter

Yes

Yes

Yes

**Not supported on Nexus 9300/9500/9700 EX platform for Cisco ACI

Cisco Intersight Nexus Dashboard Base

Cisco Intersight Nexus Dashboard Base to view all your data center networking inventory directly from Intersight. For more information, see Cisco Intersight Nexus Dashboard (ND) Base.

Cisco Intersight Nexus Dashboard (ND) Base offers customers basic data center network asset, inventory, and status information in the Intersight portal. It provides customers with a single, high-level view of your Cisco Nexus infrastructure health. The consolidated view supports consistency and compliance checks and makes it easier to prevent administrative lapses in expiry of support contracts.

These benefits and business outcomes are made possible through a pre-packaged Cisco Nexus Insights cloud connector that comes with the Cisco data center network controllers such as Cisco APIC and Cisco DCNM/NDFC.

Cisco Nexus Insights Cloud Connector

Cisco Nexus Insights also provides a license-free version of the application, called Cisco Nexus Insights Cloud Connector, which will benefit operators by collecting valuable information about the status and capabilities of Cisco data-center platforms.

The Cisco Nexus Insights Cloud Connector (Cisco NI Cloud Connector) application provides customers with the benefit of faster time to remediation with Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC assist) functionalities along with automatic, secure collection of tech-support logs. Cisco Nexus Insights Cloud Connector will empower IT teams to provide inventory reports of license entitlement, upcoming renewals, and proactive defect notifications, along with lifecycle management support from integrated Cisco Customer Experience (CX) programs.

Cisco Nexus Insights Cloud Connector is pre-packaged with Cisco data-center platforms to automatically connect and transmit product usage data to Cisco. All product-usage telemetry data is transmitted to Cisco through an encrypted channel. The categories of data collected are limited to product usage. For details about the product usage telemetry information that is collected, please see the table below.

Table 3.           Product usage telemetry

Category

Data elements

Purpose of collection

Cisco.com

  Cisco.com user ID

Identify customer account

System

  Controller and device information (Cisco APIC/DCNM/NDFC switch/appliance serial number, type, software versions, platform ID)
  Operational metrics – (including CPU, memory, file system, and uptime) for deployed fabric components

Identify potential device issues in customers’ environments to prevent problems and improve the product

Feature usage

  Number of fabrics created, number of leaf nodes, spine nodes, border nodes, number of IP subnets, routing protocols in use, and the fabric and switch-level capacity
  Number of tenants/contracts/endpoints/ endpoint groups /etc. (Cisco ACI), access lists/hosts/VLANs/etc. (Cisco NX-OS/DCNM/NDFC), virtual networks, features enabled, and feature scale

Facilitate customer adoption and customer value

License entitlement

  License-entitlement information (network device type, IP address of network device, Cisco Smart Software Manager registration status, Cisco ACI and NX-OS license information, number of days until license expires)
  Signed EULA flag

Assist customers in tracking and maintaining license entitlement and renewals

For information on Cisco Data Protection and Privacy, please refer to the following: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/trust-center/data-protection-and-privacy.html.

Users can also choose to opt out of the data collection of product-usage telemetry by switching off the device connector in their specific data-center platforms. For further information, please refer to the Cisco Nexus Insight Cloud Connector configuration guides.

Software release support

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights

     Minimum supported release for Cisco ACI APIC controller is 4.2(5) and for Cisco ACI switch software is 14.2(5).

     Minimum supported release for Cisco NX-OS DCNM controller is 11.4 and for Cisco NX-OS switch software is 7.0(3) I7(6) in the 7 train and 9.3(2) in the 9 train.

     Please refer to the support matrix by clicking here for detailed information.

Cisco Intersight Nexus Dashboard Base

     Supported with Cisco ACI APIC controller releases 3.2(9), 4.2(4) and beyond. Minimum supported release for Cisco NX-OS DCNM controller is 11.3.1.

Cisco Nexus Insights Cloud Connector

     Supported with Cisco ACI APIC controller releases 3.2(9), 4.2(4) and beyond. Minimum supported release for Cisco NX-OS DCNM controller is 11.3.1.

     Please refer to the latest configuration guides and release notes by clicking here for detailed information.

Installation dependencies

The Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights applications run on both Cisco ACI and NX-OS/NDFC–based deployments, and have the following installation requirements:

1.     Starting with Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights Release 5.1, the Cisco Nexus Dashboard platform is required to host the Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights application. This is applicable for Cisco ACI and Cisco NDFC–based fabrics.

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights licensing

     Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights application licenses are included as part of the Cisco Data Center Networking (DCN) Premier license.

     For customers who have a Cisco DCN Essentials or Advantage license, customers can acquire Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights licenses through a Day2Ops bundle.

     Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights licenses are available in subscription mode only.

     For Cisco ACI environments, the number of device licenses required is equal to the total number of leafs. The spines do not require a device license.

     For a Cisco NX-OS/NDFC environment, device licenses are required for all nodes. The number of device licenses required is equal to the total number of leafs, fixed spines, and/or modular spines.

     Cisco Intersight Nexus Dashboard Base application does not require additional licensing. The user is required to create an account in Cisco Intersight to use the functionality.

     Cisco Nexus Insights Cloud Connector application is included in the Cisco APIC and Cisco NDFC software OS as a license-free offering.

     For a more detailed overview on Cisco Licensing, go to cisco.com/go/licensingguide.

     Download the Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights applications in the Cisco DC App Center.

     Try for free Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights TAC assist feature here.

     Contact your Cisco account team to learn pricing and additional details.

Ordering information

See the How to Buy Ordering Guide for Nexus Dashboard Insights license details.

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