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Tap the Wire Data Inside Your Cisco UCS Environment for IT Operational Intelligence

Justin Baker

June 25, 2013

If you are one of the more than 23,000 organizations that use Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) or are considering it for your environment, this blog's for you.

According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Cisco UCS' share of the worldwide blade server market skyrocketed from 1.2 percent in 2009 to nearly 20 percent in 2013. In the Americas, UCS market share has grown more than tenfold over the same period to account for nearly one out of every four x86 blade server deployments.

These numbers are just part of the reason we are thrilled to be the only application and infrastructure performance monitoring product in the Cisco marketplace certified for the Cisco UCS Manager. And it's not just UCS, but also UCS-E, meaning we provide IT organizations with visibility from the data center to branch offices in a single, passive appliance.

Cisco UCS deployment diagram

ExtraHop is compatible with both the Cisco UCS and UCS-E for complete correlated, real-time visibility across data center and branch office deployments.

A Better Approach to Cisco UCS Monitoring

What makes ExtraHop different from legacy approaches? Traditional tools only report commodity resource utilization metrics—CPU, memory, and disk I/O. Unfortunately, these measurements do not equate to application performance. By using only resource-utilization data like this, IT teams have to piece together a picture of what is actually happening with their applications. This is especially true in tightly integrated and highly virtualized environments such as Cisco UCS, where having real-time visibility across all tiers is even more essential.

ExtraHop takes a different approach to monitoring performance in UCS environments, reconstructing full sessions, flows, and transactions and then extracting valuable L2–L7 metrics from the network, web, VDI, middleware, database, and storage tiers. This approach equips organizations to mine the wealth of wire data stored in transaction payloads with zero overhead. Unifying the wire data analysis for both UCS and UCS-E environments provides valuable IT operational intelligence and helps teams quickly answer important business questions, such as ...

  • Which types of transactions occur most often?
  • How are users interacting with online applications?
  • Which users have violated policy by accessing sensitive files and folders?
  • How does this new application perform compared to the previous version?
  • Which API web services calls are failing and why?
  • Which memcache keys are not being stored because they exceed the default 1MB limit?
  • Which types of client devices are adversely affected by the latest software update?
  • Is the application duplicating transactions, and if so, who is affected?

Simpler, More Confident UCS Migrations

the first agentless platform to be certified on both Cisco solutions

Cisco UCS deployments have complex monitoring requirements—they can involve tens of thousands of VMs running on thousands of blade servers in hundreds of chasses, each with an 80Gbps backplane. Businesses need to be able to see how applications and infrastructure components are operating within these environments and ensure that application migrations to these environments are providing the expected benefits. ExtraHop is the only solution that can adapt to these dynamic environments and scale to monitor all application communications.

Visit us at Cisco Live! on June 23–27 at booth #1521 and see how the ExtraHop platform meets the operational intelligence needs of dynamic and distributed UCS environments by providing

  • Deployment in 15 minutes off the UCS Fabric Interconnect
  • Immediate visibility with no configuration required
  • Branch-office monitoring across UCS-E blade servers
  • Easily customizable monitoring without modifying application code
  • Peace of mind from an agentless, network-based approach with zero systems overhead

wire data

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