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For Sale: Zenoss Cloud Service Assurance. Contact your Cisco Sales Rep!

You may remember that at Cisco Live in June, Cisco announced "Service Assurance for Virtualized Multi-Service Data Centers” with Zenoss as the delivery partner. We’re announcing an expanded partnership with Cisco, with Zenoss Cloud Service Assurance now available directly from your Cisco sales team or partner.

Zenoss CSA is the perfect tool when you’re adding Cisco Data Center infrastructure to your environment. It comes with out-of-the-box support for the components of Flexpod, Vblock, and VMDC-architected designs. The joint goals of our partnership were to help Cisco customers:

  • Improve customer service while reducing the risk of moving critical business services into shared infrastructure by identifying the service impact of infrastructure-related issues
  • Speed time-to-value of Cisco DC infrastructure through integrated support for VMDC components
  • Increase reliability of mission-critical applications in Cisco DC infrastructure with faster mean-time-to-repair, and
  • Simplify interoperability of Cisco DC infrastructure with legacy IT management processes and tools with open, documented APIs.

What is Zenoss CSA?

Zenoss Cloud Service Assurance (CSA) is built from the same proven code base that powers Zenoss Service Dynamics. Working with Cisco, we selected specific ZenPacks from our existing libraries and built new function for the design of the VMDC reference architecture. This package was successfully verified for proper operation in Cisco lab facilities and documented in a Cisco Design Guide. It’s ready to install and run.

Two key goals were to provide comprehensive monitoring coverage and auto-discovery of VMDC networking devices. The initial release covers Nexus 1000v and VSG, 2000, 5000, 7000, Catalyst 6500 and VSS with FWSM, ASA and ACE modules, ASR routers, and MDS 9000. It’s as easy to add these devices to Zenoss CSA as it is to run an address range discovery, because we automatically assign each discovered VMDC network device to its proper device class, model it, and begin monitoring.

We’re especially proud of our abilities in the network services layer. The Catalyst 6500 Firewall Service Module (FWSM) has featured the ability to run 250 virtual firewalls (aka security contexts) in one blade, and the ASA can likewise run 100 virtual load balancers (contexts). These virtual network devices are a critical design element in Cisco datacenter network design, providing business controls, improved security, and reduced costs. But up until now, no vendor offered the ability to work with individual contexts. In Zenoss CSA, each context is modeled and monitored as an individual device. You can add a context directly into a Zenoss CSA service and answer the cloud tenant question “Is it the network, or the server?” confidently and accurately.

We also used the Zenoss JSON APIs to drive automatic tenant impact service creation. Our first implementation works with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud. With CIAC, cloud tenants pick from a service catalog and request a new service. It’s fully automated IaaS in operation because after the tenant makes the request new VMs are provisioned, customized, and started, VLANs are established and linked, and the tenant can start using the new resources immediately. The CIAC-to-Zenoss CSA integration extends the service creation automation into service impact monitoring. A new Zenoss CSA Impact Service is created as part of the provisioning workflow and tenant customers get immediate service impact monitoring.

We’re not stopping here, by the way. Work on the next release is already underway. The focus is on areas like expanded device and storage support, more impact service support for networking, and rich access to tenant-specific performance data in cloud portals. Stay tuned!

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