Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cisco Tetration Targets Pervasive Visibility with Forensics

Cisco unveiled its new Tetration Analytics solution for deep, real-time visibility into packet flows across a data center -- every packet, every flow, every speed.

Cisco Tetration Analytics gathers telemetry data from the ASICs on-board Cisco Nexus 9000 switches and/or from low-overhead software sensors in servers. It then applies machine learning techniques using analytics software running on Cisco UCS C220 servers to addresses critical data center operations such as policy compliance, application forensics, and whitelist security. REST APIs are used to drive a WebGUI.

Cisco Tetration Analytics can continuously monitor application flows in real-time, sending out instant alerts when flows deviate from established behavior. The solution also tracks and analyses historical flows, providing forensic analysis of what happened on the network at certain points in time. Cisco claims 10s of billions of events are searchable in seconds. The big picture is to deliver a "single pane of glass" for all data center activity.

Cisco said continuous monitoring and analysis are key to simplifying operational reliability, ensuring zero-trust operations in automated data centers. The Tetration Analytics could be used in conjunction with Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture to automate policy enforcement through a Cisco APIC. It could also be used in brownfield data centers with the software sensors in the servers.

“Gaining much deeper visibility into the data center and automating actionable analysis across a company’s infrastructure marks a critical technology advancement in building secure digital business models like cloud, mobile and IoT,” said David Goeckeler, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Networking and Security Business Group. “We believe the insights we gain from  applications and the data center overall will enhance existing software solutions and drive the future development of new advanced software that will improve business operations, efficiency and customer experiences.”

Cisco has implemented Tetration in its own network, collecting billions of data points over a short period of time. The company said it has been able to reduce operational expenses by 70% while also gaining the ability to untangle application dependencies on hardware infrastructure.

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