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Designing your Hybrid Cloud Command Centre

A guide to network automation, visibility, and operations in a hybrid world.

The applications and data that run today’s businesses aren’t just on-premises anymore. They’re spread across the entire multicloud domain, in private and public clouds and in SaaS environments.

Your organisation may have embraced this distributed model on purpose or arrived there by default. Either way, the hybrid cloud has a clear advantage: flexibility. You can move data and applications where they need to be, quickly and effortlessly.

Because of that flexibility, a hybrid cloud network can also be complicated to maintain. But by following the principles of simple, seamless hybrid network management, your business can harness the benefits of hybrid and run more efficiently.

Where’s mission control?

Data spread across the globe in different environments becomes challenging to manage. Your enterprise might have an on-premises site in Singapore, a public cloud in Hong Kong, a private cloud in Amsterdam, and a hybrid implementation in San Jose.

Anywhere and everywhere.

Traditionally, all this data and technology is overseen by many teams. A policy expert in NetOps looks for configuration changes. SecOps sets up firewalls and access control lists (ACLs). DevOps handles issues with application performance.

Each of these teams has different tools in different toolchains. They could be using spreadsheets, custom Python code and visualisation tools, or expensive northbound integrations. They could be monitoring many telemetric collectors. The result? An isolated operator experience and limited visibility beyond each tool or team.

So, when there’s a problem with the network…

It’s hard to put together a hypothesis for what might be causing the issues.

The observations coming from each team aren’t correlated, so there’s no easy way to tell whether a problem has occurred before or what it’s connected to.

Insights are fragmented, mean time to resolution (MTTR) is higher, and SLAs aren’t met.

With this dispersed model, not only is data more varied, but the tools and technologies used to engineer, govern, protect, and consume it are rapidly evolving too.

The secret to mission success?

To streamline network operations, you want to be able to do everything through one interface, from provisioning new servers to fixing malfunctions. Setting up a cloud-neutral command centre, with all telemetry devices and software components under a single pane of glass, eliminates the need for custom solutions that are overseen and maintained separately.

Consistent, efficient network operations with automation.

Analyse telemetry data and centralise monitoring and intelligence to get 360-degree visibility across all the different layers of the stack. Application anomalies are pinpointed, and any data can be communicated to visualisation tools to generate real-time insights.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable automated provisioning and remediation, replacing scattered manual processes. Automation can handle application changes, capacity planning, and responses to root cause analysis, delivering continuous assurance and configuration consistency.

A checklist for your command centre

How do you translate mission success into action? At Cisco, we’ve worked with many network teams and systems. We’ve seen what’s essential and developed solutions to meet those needs.

To design a command centre for your hybrid data center network that works well for everyone on your team, make sure you can check all these boxes.

For simple and efficient operations

  • A centralised interface for everyone from NetOps to SecOps to DevOps to CloudOps, which replaces multiple tools, logins, and user experiences and eliminates friction and hassle.
  • Real-time monitoring and visual reporting so operators can see the health of the entire global infrastructure in one view.
  • Tools to perform all network orchestration, policy management, and provisioning consistently across the network.
  • Integrations to third-party applications, which accelerate the development and deployment of multicloud applications.

For agile management

  • Services that identify and remediate network issues quickly, with no need for troubleshooting.
  • Critical anomalies highlighted and their root causes identified to reduce the mean time to resolution.

For security and recovery

  • The ability to apply and enforce consistent security policies throughout the network.
  • Multiple sites that are connected and scaled for disaster avoidance and application recovery.

Solutions for hybrid network management

To achieve the best performance from your network command centre, you need both software and hardware. Cisco Data Center and Cloud Networking solutions help customers manage the full operations lifecycle of their networks.

Get to know Cisco Nexus solutions

Cisco Nexus Dashboard and its operational services deliver all the benefits of a centralised network management, whether on-prem, hybrid, or cloud. Together with Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switches, operators can build a highly secure, scalable, flexible next-generation automated data center.

Cisco Nexus Dashboard

A simple, intuitive interface that streamlines both operation and administration.

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Data Broker

A packet-brokering solution that provides visibility into the network and enables programmatic management of copy or mirrored traffic.

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights

Enabled through Nexus Dashboard, monitor and analyse your data center fabric in real time, deriving correlated insights from telemetry data across the whole network operation and administration.

Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switches

Contribute to agility with deep visibility thanks to streaming telemetry and advanced analytics. They also deliver speeds up to 400G and 50% faster application completion time.

Cisco Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator

A Nexus Dashboard operational service that helps connect and scale multiple sites for easier management.

Get started with Cisco Nexus Dashboard

Today, data needs to be normalised and flow seamlessly, no matter where it is in the world and no matter the environment. A command centre championed through Cisco Nexus Dashboard, and underpinned by Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switches, becomes a powerful hub for all network operations and management.