DCNM SAN Insights: Strong Fabric Presence with Scalable Self-Learning Technology

As custom, I had my paid period off during Xmas holidays. When back again, I realized Cisco item development team hadn’t slowed down their initiatives to ameliorate and upgrade existing products. One stage in the event is Cisco Datacenter System Supervisor for SAN, DCNM-SAN for close friends. The posted DCNM 11 newly.5 release includes an improvement concerning the validated scalability of 1 specific attribute which will create many users happier. SINCE I HAVE have not seen this type of improvement extolled and explained somewhere else, I’ll make an effort to offer my take on this.

Cisco SAN Analytics function

All 32G Fibre Channel material directors and switches in the Cisco MDS 9000 family provide SAN Analytics feature. This industry unique technologies just inspects the Fibre SCSI/NVMe and Channel headers, not the payload, therefore it is in contract with GDPR requirements. The switch will process this information and push the resulting metrics information out the administration port then. The relevant function is called SAN Telemetry Streaming (STS) also it utilizes the gRPC opensource API, predicated on HTTP/2 gPB plus transport encoding format.

For some additional information on SAN Analytics, you might dwell with this blog here:


Cisco DCNM SAN Insights

Cisco DCNM for SAN carries a function called SAN Insights. Basically it allows DCNM to check and improve the SAN Analytics capacity on network devices. Basically, DCNM SAN Insights allows DCNM to perform the next four tasks:

  • a scalable receiver for information pushed out of MDS 9000 switches via STS
  • a lengthy term repository for the received information
  • a post-processing engine for the received information
  • an intuitive visualization tool for the processed information

Let’s discuss self-learned We/O flows

But what sort of data is streamed out of MDS 9000 switches and received, stored, shown and processed simply by DCNM SAN Insights? Well, essentially this is a massive assortment of all of the I/O flows traversing the Fibre Channel SAN and their related 70+ metrics like latency, I/O size, excellent I/Operating system, IOPS, throughput, CRC mistakes and many more. All that information is continually collected in almost real-time and can become accessed in its entirty via the NX Operating system CLI or some script (on-switch approach). This is a great deal of data, by means of database tables and information, possibly an excessive amount of for a individual to take and digest within an easy way.

An alternative solution method wants MDS 9000 switches to stream the collected information out the administration ports every 30 mere seconds (off-switch method) and toward an exterior receiver. That’s where DCNM SAN Insights can make the miracle: it turns an elephant of information into great charts that administrators can simply interpret. Needless to say, some routine knowledge of the Fibre Channel process and block storage dealings generally are welcome.

There is absolutely no unique definition of an I/O flow over a Fibre Channel network however the easiest way to obtain it really is by describing an I/O flow as a variety of Initiator-Target-LUN (ITL) identifiers. With all the emerging NVMe/FC protocol, that could become Initiator-Target-Namespace (ITN). An individual MDS 9000 switch interface can so provide presence for most I/O flows, even a large number of flows when it’s an E_slot (ISL).

Let’s make a good example and fix the idea in storage. Imagine a bunch (Initiator) zoned 1:1 with an individual all flash array interface (Focus on) where 30 LUNs are usually configured and subjected to that web host. On the switch slot linked to the host, we’d notice 30 ITL flows (1x1x30). Today imagine you have several hosts and several targets and much more LUNs so that you can workout your math. Based on amount of ports along with other configuration parameters, a genuine world SAN can transportation from the few hundreds to numerous a large number of I/O flows. With DCNM SAN Insights adoption becoming so solid within datacenters of any dimension now, I would not really be surprised if we’d find situations where a lot more than 200,000 I/O flows can be found and have to be monitored. In my own personal (and limited) encounter with this particular unique capability, today appear to have between 2 most customers,000 and 40,000 I/O flows working simultaneously.

These numbers are a lot more impressive considering that all those I/O flows are automatically uncovered by the switches, self-learned. It will be impossible to configure all of them manually clearly. Simultaneously, it would end up being a bit useless to teach the switches to keep track of only a small subset of these, because we’d miss data that may be crucial for a highly effective troubleshooting activity. The actual fact I/O flows are immediately discovered is essential because it can make SAN Analytics a proactive troubleshooting device and not simply a reactive one. DCNM SAN Insights builds upon the energy of SAN Analytics, incorporating the simplicity that system administrators love.

Scale matters

All of this explained and said, I’m now prepared to share more concerning the recent DCNM improvement that was the reason behind myself to write this website. All information about I/O flows and their metrics are usually streamed out of MDS 9000 switches toward the exterior receiver. As a total result, the receiver will be able to survive this information deluge. With DCNM 11.5, the tested and backed scale restrict has been raised around 60 officially,000 simultaneous self-discovered flows with 70+ metrics each, three times greater than previous release, and best for nearly all deployments enough.

Cisco is constantly dealing with customers to assemble their insight and analyze their real-world storage systems to understand the requirements of the answer, while at the same time functioning to ensure the merchandise can support those specifications. Cisco SAN Analytics is really a comprehensive product solution which has the opportunity to generate up to 2.8 million data points every 30 secs from the single director. At that price, having the ability to consume and procedure that information in a meaningful way is fairly a tough work. It isn’t a sprint to probably the most metrics but instead a marathon to create sense from the data which you have accessible over an acceptable amount of period. It really is out of this marathon with the elephant of information that we can get actionable insights into real-world storage functionality. This forms the foundation for the worthiness that DCNM SAN Insights offers. In the end, most of us agree elephants are in marathons best, not sprints, right?

It is now crystal clear that scale issues hopefully. Coping with one I/O flow at the same time isn’t super-complex but coping with a large number of I/O flows simultaneously is really a totally different sort of animal. DCNM 11.5 release has produced an important action in that path just.

Cisco DCNM is really a powerful and in depth management tool covering time0, day2 and day1 operations. It has constantly scored a high achievement in supporting the administration and monitoring requirements of Cisco clients for datacenter networking items. Using its SAN Insights function, it provides augmented its value by giving long-term trending also, end-to-end correlation, sophisticated analytics (like automated learning of the overall performance), automatic baseline calculations, automated categorization of flows in shaded buckets according to their wellness, dashboards for top level talkers or slowest nodes and so forth.

A nice summary of the very best 10 use situations for DCNM SAN Insights are available in this video:

Cisco DCNM 11.5 release notes here are posted, in case you desire to read them all on your own:


You can find out about DCNM SAN Insights feature directly from official documentation that may be found here:


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