Entuity Cisco IP SLAs Module

Entuity allows you to leverage your investment in Cisco IOS®, using Cisco IOS IP SLAs to collect real-time network performance information, for example response time,one-way latency, jitter, packet loss and web site download time. Cisco IOS IPSLAs also provides the mechanism to monitor per class traffic over the same link.
Highlights

  • Support for various Cisco IOS IP SLAs operation types
  • Discovery of supported operations on IOS enabled devices
  • VoIP support through added predictions of ICPIF and MOS for Jitter operations (for IOS 12.0(5)T or later). Added emulation modes for three common voice codecs
  • MPLS support for those IP SLA operation types that support MPLS
  • Control of operation specification and their automatic creation
  • IP SLA operations configured at the IOS CLI can be discovered and monitored
  • New IPA SLA operations can be dynamically configured into IOS devices using SNMP Set operations
  • Extensive support for Cisco IOS IP SLA events
web grapher
The Entuity Web Grapher shows real-time RTT of an IP SLA test and its operations

 

What are Cisco IOS IP SLA Performance Metrics?

Cisco IOS IP SLA is an intelligent active software agent available on Cisco routers and the later generation of Cisco switches. Cisco IOS IP SLA takes advantage of facilities already deployed (the Cisco IOS) and does not require any further hardware deployment. With Entuity Cisco IOS IP SLAs you are leveraging your current investment in Cisco devices and IOS.

Cisco IOS IP SLAs provides layer three and above monitoring. Its applications include web site monitoring and infrastructure troubleshooting. Metrics include response time, availability, jitter, connect time, packet loss and application performance.

Cisco IOS IP SLAs per-class traffic monitoring, enabled through TOS/DSCP, allows easy application of metrics to key Service Level Agreements (SLA). For example the UDP jitter operation measures one-way latency, round trip latency, jitter and packet loss all useful when monitoring infrastructure circuit quality and behavior.

Entuity analyzes and present data as meaningful information, for example:

  • Measurement of jitter, for streaming audio/ video/VoIP
  • Measurement of end-to-end metrics, for example client-server latency and availability
  • Indentification of slow/unreliable ‘hops’ along a path

Cisco IOS IP SLA measurements take into account operation processing time, returning values that accurately reflect network performance.

Creating Cisco IOS IP SLAs Operations

Entuity supports creation via SNMP set of these Cisco IOS IP SLAs operations:

DHCP                     HTTP Raw          TCP Connect

DNS                        ICMP Echo         UDP Echo

HTTP Get Path    UDP Jitter           UDP Jitter VoIP

Entuity Cisco IOS IP SLAs Implementation

Events are generated on operation creation failures, operation end-point availability problems, excessive Round Trip Time (RTT) and poor VoIP ICPIF and MOS measurements using configurable performance thresholds.

For example, the HTTP High RTT event is triggered by a high round trip time to a HTTP server. It indicates an overworked server or network. Further investigation could be through an interactive chart on the RTT attribute, or through other attributes e.g. DNS look-up, TCP connect, HTTP service time. Performance Reporting is available using Entuity’s Reports, which can be rapidly built through a series of guided forms. Reports can be generated in a variety of formats including PDF, HTML, DOC, RTF, DOCX XLS, XLSX, CSV, TXT, XML, ODF, ODS.

Infrastructure Availability and Behavior

Multi-hop route monitoring is achieved through creating and discovering IP SLA operations on each hop in the route.

Consider how Entuity Cisco IOS IP SLAs can be implemented to monitor the availability of the infrastructure outlined in the below diagram.

Entuity is installed in Seattle, but the performance of the links from Seattle to London and Paris does not impact the measurements taken between London and Paris.

ip sla
IP SLA tests created within Entuity simplify monitoring and maintenance of Cisco IOS IP SLA enabled routers and switches
To implement the London to Paris example, each IP Pair link can define operations.Entuity identifies the Cisco IOS IP SLAs capability of each device, e.g. HTTP. You can then define as many legitimate operations as you require and the device can handle.

Once polling starts, Cisco IOS IP SLAs:

  • Data is viewable through the web UI, where time-series data can be graphed using the Interactive Charting Tool
  • Events and Incidents are displayed in the web UI
  • Performance and availability data is stored in Entuity’s management database and can be reported on using a variety of pre-templated reports and also using the Report Builder

 

Entuity and Cisco IOS IP SLAs Security

Network security is a priority. The Entuity Cisco IOS IP SLAs module works with firewalls, where consideration should be given to port and SNMP command permissions.

Where IP SLA operations are being created using SNMP it requires SNMP write access to each Cisco IOS IP SLAs instrumented device. The write community string is only applicable to the RTR MIB, it is hidden in the Entuity UI and is not available via Reports.

Summary

The Entuity Cisco IOS IP SLA Module is an additionally licensed module for Entuity. Entuity is available on Windows Server 2008 (R2 and SP2) and Windows Server 2012, 64-bit; Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle Linux, 64-bit; Microsoft Hyper-V Server, and VMware ESX/ESXi Server.

out of the box
Out of the box report detailing web site performance
Entuity Cisco IOS IP SLA Module:

  • Simplifies and centralizes the setup and configuration of Cisco® IOS IP SLA
  • Allows existing IP SLA operations to be monitored
  • Delivers full and automatic support for an extensive set of IP SLA operations
  • Allows monitoring of, and reporting on, realtime network performance information including latency, jitter, packet loss, and web site download time.
ABOUT ENTUITY

Entuity takes the work out of network management. Our highly automated, unified enterprise-class solution puts deep network insight at your fingertips, frees IT staff to focus on strategic projects and easily integrates with major frameworks and networking environments. Entuity’s support and services teams are frequently praised for their rapid response, networking expertise and involvement in special engagements. Founded in 1997 by two senior-level IT executives from the financial industry, Entuity is headquartered in London with US operations in Boston.