Quick look: Cisco Tetration Analytics

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Deeper understanding

Tetration Analytics gathers information from hardware and software sensors and analyzes the information using big data analytics. The system promises to give IT managers a deeper understanding of their data center resources as well as simplify operational reliability, application migrations to SDN and the cloud as well as security montoring. (Read the full story to Cisco's new platform.)

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Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco

“Cisco Tetration Analytics, an open platform that provides data center visibility at a level that’s never been achieved before, and at a scale never possible before. Tetration Analytics collects data in real time using software and hardware sensors — gathering 1M events per second — stores up to a year’s worth of data, analyzes the data with advanced analytics in real time, and delivers information critical for data center operations by providing actionable insights in real time, through easy to understand visuals. “We’ve built in what amounts to a 'time machine for the data center' that gathers and stores historical data and simulates what might happen. With this “rewind” capability, our customers can review the past and replay events in real time, plan for the future, and even freeze time and examine exactly what happened at a specific second.”

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Cisco Tetration Analytics

Cisco Tetration Analytics gathers telemetry from hardware and software sensors, then analyzes the information using big data analytics. With Tetration cutomers can watch over data center operations such as policy compliance, application forensics, and security.

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Long term memory

The Cisco Tetration Analytics platform is powered by big data
technologies and can process this comprehensive telemetry information
received from sensors near real time (up to 1 million unique telemetry
events per second). This platform is designed for long term data
retention, and it can search tens of billions of telemetry records from
its data lake and return actionable insights in less than a second. Cisco says.

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Cisco Tetration Analytics platform

Cisco says Tetration is like a time machine for the data center, letting organizations rewind what has happened in the past, view what is happening in the present in real time, and model what could happen:

  • Model a change before it’s executed to understand the impact on applications to enable informed operational decisions;
  • Validate that policy changes have actually been applied and taken full effect;
  • Do real-time and historical policy simulation - replay what happened in the network at any time, with long term data storage capabilities.
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According to Cisco software sensors are installed on end hosts: either virtual machine or bare metal servers. In the first Tetration release, software sensors support Linux and Windows server hosts, while hardware sensors are embedded in Cisco network switch ASICS: Nexus 9200, Nexus 9300-EX and Nexus 9500-EX, to collect flow data at line rate from all the ports. A single Tetration appliance will monitor up to 1 million unique flows per second, Cisco says.

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Tetration deployment

Available in July 2016, the first Tetration platform will be a 39-rack-unit cluster that consists of 36 UCS-C220 servers and three Cisco Nexus 9300 switches combined with the Tetration analytics software, which is deployed on-premise at the customer’s data center.

The Tetration video

The Tetration video

By capturing every packet and every flow, Cisco Tetration Analytics delivers pervasive real-time and historical visibility across your data center, providing a deep understanding of application dependencies and interactions, Cisco says.

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