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Easy solution to measure person expertise? ThousandEyes on Raspberry Pis

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In Cisco IT we’ve got loads of follow bringing acquired corporations into the fold. We’ve added fourteen from January 2020 by means of August 2021 alone. We’re chargeable for connecting the brand new places of work to our community and delivering shared providers like Cisco Webex, Workplace 365, and Salesforce.

When Cisco acquired Acacia Communications in March 2021, we would have liked to deliver their world places of work and contract producers onto our community. Earlier than changing Acacia’s SD-WAN with our personal enterprise spine we had to ensure the change wouldn’t have an effect on the person expertise in Acacia’s places of work.

For earlier acquisitions, we used Cisco ThousandEyes to measure the person expertise from every location to Cisco providers like Webex. ThousandEyes is a part of our Full-Stack Observability (FSO) suite—together with Cisco AppDynamics to watch the appliance expertise and Cisco Intersight to troubleshoot Cisco UCS rack servers. Our plan: Use ThousandEyes to measure latency, packet loss, and out there bandwidth between Acacia areas and cloud providers to ascertain a benchmark. Then evaluate these outcomes towards the identical outcomes for close by Cisco areas.

The twist—we didn’t have entry to Acacia’s routers

Ordinarily we measure person expertise at Cisco and newly acquired corporations by putting in ThousandEyes on routers and endpoints. However on this case, we couldn’t get community entry to put in ThousandEyes as a result of Acacia was in the midst of a brand new product launch. We would have liked one other solution to set up the agent.

Our resolution? Set up ThousandEyes Enterprise Brokers on low-cost, credit-card sized computer systems referred to as Raspberry Pis and ship one to every Acacia location. Raspberry Pis value lower than $100 apiece, and we’d have the ability to reuse them for future acquisitions.

As simple as pi

Putting in and configuring ThousandEyes on every Raspberry Pi took lower than half-hour. Then we simply shipped one preconfigured machine to every Acacia web site. We included easy directions—basically, “Please plug this in close to an worker’s desk and join it to the community.” As soon as linked, the Raspberry Pi routinely phoned residence to our ThousandEyes server to verify for software program updates. Completed!

Transport {hardware} to India takes a very long time due to import restrictions, so in Acacia’s Bangalore workplace, we deployed ThousandEyes on a digital machine as an alternative.

Testing the end-to-end person expertise

I spent about an hour on the ThousandEyes internet interface establishing artificial checks to measure latency, packet loss, and bandwidth between every set of two Acacia areas. I additionally wrote a take a look at to simulate the person expertise when loading the house web page for cloud providers like Cisco Webex, Workplace 365, and Salesforce.

Checks run each half-hour. ThousandEyes makes it simple to identify excessive latency. In Determine 1, the spike reveals excessive latency for site visitors flowing from Acacia’s Ottawa, Canada workplace to Holmdel, New Jersey.

Determine 1. Latency Site visitors

Determine 2 reveals latency alongside the community path from 10 of Acacia’s websites to their Massachusetts knowledge heart. It isolates a connectivity subject with the Acacia Shenzhen web site to a single hop alongside the trail—priceless data that helped our acquisition and operations groups perceive the impression of the problem and resolve it.

Determine 2. Path Validation

I additionally added a view that plots the values on a map of the world.

Determine 3. Latency values on a world map

Backside line: we perceive the person expertise on a community we are able to’t entry

Summing up, ThousandEyes on Raspberry Pis offers us a easy solution to verify that new staff from an acquisition will proceed to have the identical nice expertise after they transfer onto our community. If not, we’ll make modifications. Configuring the Raspberry Pis and establishing the ThousandEyes checks took simply half a day. And all Acacia needed to do was plug in a tiny laptop to face in for a person laptop computer. Such a chic resolution requires a poem:

ThousandEyes on Raspberry Pis


Arrange is a breeze


Raspberry Pis for Thousand Eyes


Check latency with ease

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Workers do their very own efficiency troubleshooting with ThousandEyes

Zeroing in on community efficiency points with ThousandEyes


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