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Gathering 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 units 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 offered in the best manner.
With IoT sensors changing into extra widespread & many units coming with embedded sensors, we’ve extra data accessible than ever earlier than. Now the query turns into: “How will we use all of this data?” Whereas some sensors might 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 carry 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 & units, then push these information factors right into a time-series database, like InfluxDB. As soon as we’ve 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 fashion we are able to pull all of our telemetry into one single reporting instrument, then construct customized graphs & dashboards to show the information precisely how we’d like it.

What might this appear to be in observe? Properly, let’s check out a couple of examples of the place our workforce helped Cisco prospects construct customized reporting instruments.
Whereas every instance under had distinctive units and challenges, the overall purpose was the identical: Gather telemetry to make use of for customized dashboarding, reporting, and/or alerting. In every case we utilized just a little 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 information in a manner that helped deal with the client’s distinctive challenges.

DOM Telemetry Monitoring


On this instance, we labored with a buyer who was searching for a greater technique to proactively monitor their giant fiber-based community. Utilizing the Digital Optical Monitoring (DOM) telemetry supplied by the fiber transceivers, they may look ahead to efficiency traits & get alerted shortly when points occurred. Our workforce 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 client might allow Webex push notifications when transceivers exceeded predefined thresholds. This enabled the client to shortly reply to degrading connection well being & deal with 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 wished 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. Nevertheless, they wished a greater technique of aggregating & visualizing the temperature and humidity information. To fulfill 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 straightforward visualization for buyer engineers to find temperature deviations in every row. This dashboard included combination 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 ultimate instance, we wanted to supply a customized system to observe power utilization inside a brand new industrial constructing. The constructing was outfitted with good lighting powered by Cisco’s Catalyst Digital Constructing (CDB) Switches. Since the entire lights within the constructing can 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 power utilization inside the constructing, which enabled them to satisfy their value & 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 accessible to handle our monitoring & reporting wants, however we simply want to determine the easiest way to make the most of that data. With just a little little bit of customized code & a couple of nice open-source instruments, it’s simpler than ever to construct easy monitoring and reporting dashboards.

In the event you’re fascinated by studying extra in regards to the examples, take a look at the hyperlinks under. Every repository comprises the pattern code & directions for find out how to use it in your individual community:

About our GVE workforce

The World Digital Engineering (GVE) DevNet workforce works with Cisco prospects to assist carry their automation concepts to life. Along with Cisco Account Groups, we discover alternatives the place prospects want just a little assist getting began with automation or integration tasks. We develop easy examples to showcase what is feasible with just a little little bit of customized code. Many of those instance tasks are printed on the GVE DevNet GitHub web page and shared with the group.


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