Cisco improves application visibility and business outcomes with
Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in designing, manufacturing, and selling Internet Protocol-based networking and associated services. It provides a broad line of products for transporting data, voice, and video within buildings and across campuses.
Cisco’s Security Cloud Operations spans multiple product offerings and sits within its Security Business Group. Cisco Cloud Web Security (CWS) provides industry-leading security and control for the distributed enterprise. Users are protected everywhere,
all the time, when using CWS through Cisco worldwide threat intelligence, advanced threat defence capabilities, and roaming user protection.
The team is responsible for managing the site’s performance and capacity, quickly finding the root cause of issues and fixing problems fast to ensure seamless service.
The organization first engaged in May 2013, deciding to run a proof-of-concept across its main security scanners, using in a performance environment to spot issues.
Nitin Thakur, technical operations manager, Cisco Security Technology Group, said, “From our initial evaluation, it was clear was able to provide the functionality we required to cope with the sheer volume of transactions we handle on a daily basis. We evaluated other products on the market, but for us, provided true end-to-end visibility, and we were impressed with the ease of deployment. Crucially, its future roadmap meant the company was best placed to help us scale for future growth.”
After a successful proof-of-concept, was rolled out globally across the organization’s 23 data centers — deploying a total of 15,000 agents — in just one week, and all reporting into a single -hosted SaaS controller.
Previously, Cisco received 88,000 alerts a year from standard monitoring tools, of which only 3,000 were genuine alerts requiring remedial action. Through implementing , Cisco has been able to dramatically reduce false positives over the past twelve months.
“Prior to , our network operations center team was working overtime looking in the wrong places, at the wrong problems. Even if the NOC team only spent an average of five minutes looking at each erroneous alert, that amounts to over 7,000 man hours per year of effort that could be better spent either working on critical issues, or helping to drive innovation forward. Since introducing the platform, we have been able to identify problems we weren’t even looking for. has enabled us to move towards data-driven troubleshooting rather than ‘gut-feels.’ The solution gives us visibility when we need it and the application intelligence to know when things aren’t functioning optimally,” said Thakur.
Since introducing , Cisco has identified unique slow business transactions affecting services, as well as addressing multiple configuration errors. For example, Thakur explained, “We spotted a configuration issue which meant 17 million requests were being sent back to our central hub unnecessarily. With , it took just five minutes to find and fix this issue. We were not even looking for this problem and only identified it when it was presented to us.” Among other benefits, this has resulted in a four-to-five percent increase in memory utilization across the entire platform.
“ provides a common language between operations, development, and test. Introducing the platform has helped enable us to move towards a DevOps model, which in turn had a positive impact on employee collaboration,” said Thakur. “The visibility gleaned from has made employees feel more empowered to reach problem resolution and able to influence business outcomes.
“Because we make application releases so frequently, for us, it was critical to have APM in production. gives us great visibility into what is happening on the estate, helping us to dramatically reduce the number of escalations and continue delivering a seamless service to our customers.”
Cisco sees Application Runbook Automation (RBA) as a critical part of the monitoring solution, and intends to roll this out extensively in the near future. “The goal is have no alerts that humans interact with directly, ensuring issues are automatically remediated and routed to development teams where necessary,” said Thakur.
“My goal is to be able to let Chaos Monkey loose and sit back to watch monitor and automate the required remediation,” added Thakur.