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Managing a Modern Data Center – Solving Day 2 Operational Challenge with Cisco ACI
A software-defined data center may be the future, but is your Ops team there yet?
From what you read in today’s trade publications, you’d think that the modern data center is completely software defined–very agile, automated, and flexible. In fact, a recent study by Gartner states that by 2024, 50% of the global storage capacity will be deployed in a software-defined data center–either on-premises or on the public cloud. While that may be the case in 2024, the reality for most IT organizations today is a mix of traditional infrastructure and modern, software-defined components. And this can be a huge challenge.
Why? Because a complex mix of software-defined and traditional components is very hard to manage. And there are very few tools that offer a single, unified view of both. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is Cisco’s SDN offering that enables agility and flexibility in the data center, and we have been working with Cisco to address this challenge of Day 2 operational support.
What do we mean by Day 2 operational support? And why is it important?
- On Day 0, we are installing and connecting the components.
- On Day 1, we are configuring those components in the data center to meet business needs.
- On Day 2, the data center gets turned over to production.
Day 2 is when operations owns it and has to support it. This entails monitoring, managing, troubleshooting, and optimizing it all. And this is where Ops teams can encounter a few challenges.
What challenges occur at Day 2?
Your Ops team needs rapid trouble isolation to help reduce mean time to repair (MTTR). Yet they rarely know what infrastructure resides in the data center and how it all connects together. Therefore, they need clear visibility into the relationships between ACI components (leafs, spines, APICs) and the compute, storage, and application infrastructure that they support. By monitoring these events and alerts and by collecting the right data, your Ops team can reduce the time to isolate problems and can begin to tackle remediation.
How ScienceLogic Can Help
ScienceLogic’s SL1 platform offers deep monitoring visibility for Cisco ACI and the rest of the data center–whether software-defined, hyper-converged, or traditional. SL1 includes support for the latest ACI features including multi-site and multi-pod variants, helping organizations scale across multiple, large data centers. The SL1 platform provides you with a single, unified view of ACI and other data center components so that you can see everything you have and understand how it works together. This contextualized view is maintained in real-time, which forms a basis for actionable, context-driven decision-making and accurate troubleshooting.
Find out more about Software-Defined Networking >
Once your data center fabric is under control, your Ops team can turn their attention to managing at the business service level–enabling a more business-centric approach to operations and ensuring services to customers are tracked and delivered according to internal or external SLAs. By grouping IT elements into the IT Services and Business Services they deliver, the SL1 platform can enable your Ops team to demonstrate their value at the business level by tracking the health, availability, and risk of those business services to business owners–instead of inundating them with excessive technical detail on individual infrastructure components.