New Alliance Combines NetBrain Automation with Cisco TAC Expertise

Jason Baudreau
By Jason Baudreau June 14, 2018 3 minute read
Jason Baudreau has a passion for enterprise networking, writing and geeking out with Smart Home technology. With 8 years' experience in Systems and Network engineering, Jason now specializes in network automation technologies at NetBrain.

NetBrain and Cisco’s Connected Technical Assistance Center (TAC) program have teamed up in an exciting and innovative technology partnership that allows you to combine the power of NetBrain automation with the expertise of Cisco TAC.

The Cisco TAC has digitized its network engineers’ real-life troubleshooting experience into thousands of scripts which can be run anytime an issue comes up. Thousands of Cisco engineers have been troubleshooting customer cases for over 20 years, and all those learnings are translated into automated scripts. In essence, TAC has codified its tribal knowledge into diagnostic scripts and recommended remediation methods to fix issues.

Combine the power of NetBrain automation with the expertise of Cisco TAC.

 

This digitized intellectual capital and expertise from Cisco proactively identify device issues before they become problems that could significantly impact network performance, availability and security. You benefit from faster, automated, proactive problem identification and Cisco-recommended remediation, resulting in improved business continuity and risk management.

NetBrain provides the automation and mapping user interface. Cisco TAC provides the troubleshooting know-how.

Now NetBrain users can access these scripts via API integration and leverage NetBrain automation to collect device data and create a Dynamic Network Map to visualize the diagnostic results. With a simple mouse click, you can trigger a comprehensive diagnostic scan on selected devices from any Dynamic Map and instantly see the results of that scan in the same map context.

The NetBrain-TAC partnerships allows you to run your data through thousands of Cisco diagnostic scripts and return an intuitive map-based visualization of the results.

 

How NetBrain and Cisco TAC Work Together

NetBrain automatically collects the necessary data from the specified network devices using the Cisco’s show tech command. That data is then sent via API to Cisco’s Diagnostic Bridge across a secure gateway. The data is crunched through thousands of Cisco scripts to identify known issues. The result of that diagnosis, along with recommended remediation methods, is then shared with NetBrain and presented visually on the Dynamic Map.

Let’s say we’re troubleshooting a slow app. We build a Dynamic Map of the application path (by just entering source and destination IP addresses) and then click on the Cisco Diagnostics Qapp step in our General Device Troubleshooting Runbook. This automatically collects all the data from the devices along the path and sends it along to Cisco TAC, which analyzes the output — again, automatically — and sends back a list of recommendations for each device. If the TAC diagnostic scripts find any devices with an alert issue (things Cisco TAC recommends fixing right now), those devices are highlighted on the Dynamic Map, with a Diagnostics List annotated right on the map below each device. Clicking on the Diagnostics List shows you point by point which problems Cisco TAC identified and what the recommended remediation solution is.

Armed with this knowledge, you can proactively scan similar devices for potential problems to increase the overall reliability and security posture of your network.

This process is just as simple as we’ve outlined here: Take it from our technical training engineer, Matt Speidel. View the video below (excerpted from our 5 Ways to Enhance Your Workflows with Automation webinar recording) to see a real-time example of how you can leverage the powerful Cisco TAC service via NetBrain’s network automation.

 

NetBrain can do more than leverage Cisco TAC to enhance network teams IT workflows: Learn more in our recent webinar on how automation can make your network more efficient