Observability benefits of Cisco Catalyst Center integration

Observability benefits of Cisco Catalyst Center integration

LogicMonitor’s agentless collection has long provided customers with many benefits for collecting telemetry data directly from network devices. Recently, LogicMonitor added another feature, enabling the discovery of devices/sites and the collection of telemetry data from the Cisco Catalyst Center. Retaining options is essential due to the pros and cons associated with each approach. 

This new option is critical for customers who view Cisco Catalyst Center as their single “source of truth.” For those customers, integrating with Cisco Catalyst Center eliminates the need for redundant SNMP polling of devices that can strain some device types. 

This blog discusses the LogicMonitor Cisco Catalyst Center integration and the growing use of streaming telemetry for cloud-managed networks.

Streaming telemetry: A powerful new approach to Network Monitoring

Historically, most telemetry has been pulled from devices by SNMP polling. LogicMonitor supports this widely adopted and proven approach. 

Network operations teams face a trade-off between the speed of device changes being visible and the duration of the polling interval. A short polling interval leads to rapid visibility of changes yet increases data collection and puts a heavier processing load on networking devices. Conversely, a longer polling interval prolongs the time required to detect changes.

In response to these tradeoffs, the network industry has developed streaming telemetry.  This enables the immediate transmission of telemetry data without any polling from a network manager. As streaming telemetry is not yet uniform across all devices, it can be beneficial for a network equipment vendor to provide a manager that collects streaming telemetry from its own devices. 

An example of this is Cisco Catalyst Center.

Streaming telemetry has found compelling applicability within cloud-managed networking (CMN)—devices managed from a cloud-based solution—as polling often has cost implications for the SaaS provider.

Cisco Catalyst Center integration

Cisco Catalyst devices, including access points and wireless LAN controllers, establish sessions with Cisco Catalyst Center. LM Envision receives metrics and events through Cisco’s intent-based API. 

After adding credentials, LM Envision automatically discovers equipment from Cisco Catalyst Center. Through LM Netscan, the discovery process continues regularly to identify new devices.

Note: LM Envision expands coverage of different Cisco device types continuously.

Cisco Catalyst Center integration benefits

Cisco Catalyst’s pre-completed discovery process and elimination of the need for additional on-site collectors can dramatically reduce the discovery time to less than an hour.

A company that has already streamed telemetry from its Cisco equipment and uses Cisco Catalyst Center as its source of truth does not need additional integrations to poll devices using protocols like SNMP. This reduces the load on devices for every previous integration using SNMP.  

Cisco designed Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers to publish model-driven telemetry as the preferred monitoring option, diverging from the SNMP metrics in older Cisco AireOS devices.  With LogicMonitor collecting telemetry data from Catalyst Center, this SNMP coverage gap is manageable for customers.

The Cisco Catalyst Center Integration eliminates the complexity of monitoring highly available Wireless Controllers via SNMP. Observability solutions monitor the primary and secondary controllers with SNMP approaches, making rationalizing metric associations as difficult as primary and secondary change. However, collecting telemetry data from Catalyst Center eliminates this complexity and ensures accurate reporting.

Cisco Catalyst Center integration differences

The information available via Cisco Catalyst Center is not as granular as that used by SNMP. For example, the Cisco Catalyst Center intent API may not deliver detailed information about each fan or interface, but it reports on health and generates alerts when issues arise.

The integration’s overall high availability characteristics depend on the setup of Cisco Catalyst Center. Without a high-availability configuration, LogicMonitor could lose temporary visibility. However, with high availability configured, Cisco Catalyst Center is no longer a single point of telemetry failure.

LM Envision customers can use the Cisco Catalyst Center integration and SNMP polling simultaneously. The former might be leveraged to rapidly discover infrastructure and gain insights into health, performance, and issues, whereas the latter can be layered on, as needed, for additional granularity.

LM Envision for all Network Monitoring needs

LogicMonitor is pleased to add another monitoring option for Cisco customers. In addition, LM Envision enables monitoring of a wide range of switches, routers, SD-WAN devices, firewalls, and more from multiple vendors,  including Cisco Catalyst Center as another option.

LogicMonitor continues to support a wide range of network equipment and vendors through multiple approaches. Now, with the addition of Cisco Catalyst Center, LM Envision is a leading solution for all hybrid network monitoring needs and hybrid observability.
Learn more about the Network Monitoring solution here.