The Challenge Operating a network can be a daunting task. Especially when you find yourself manually repeating ordinary work on a regular basis. As a network engineer you are likely to enjoy challenges with protocols and designs rather than unboxing, mounting, and installing hardware. The time spent on this everyday work should be kept at a minimum. In a streamlined network design, the configuration of new equipment should be based on a template with few variables, such as hostname and IP addressing.
Unfortunately not all Cisco platforms support SDA. Cisco has chosen these platforms to be extended by SDA to be able to offer both a desktop platform and IoT platforms: 3560CX IE 3300 IE 3400 IE 3400H IE 4000 series IE 5000 series Catalyst Digital Building NOTE! If you plan on using policy, meaning micro segmentation using SGTs, only IE 3400 and IE 3400H are supported as policy extended nodes!
Some companies are established with multiple sites in a small geographic area inter-connected with DWDM, dark fiber, or maybe MPLS. SDA transit could make sense to configure if the MTU (>= 1550 bytes) and latency (~10 ms) allows for it. One advantage of using SDA transit is the end-to-end VXLAN encapsulation which menas we have end-to-end policy for both macro (VN) and micro (SGT) segmentation when using SDA transit.
In this post I’m using DNAC version 220.127.116.11 for demonstrate what happens when you discover a switch using DNAC. Previously I’ve written similar posts: DNA Center - PnP - What It Does To Your Devices DNA Center - Provision - What It Does To Your Devices Test Case One simple test case is all we need to see what DNAC does: Manually configure a Cat9300 switch Add the switch to DNAC using a discovery job Topology The below topology is used for this post:
In this post I’m using DNAC version 18.104.22.168 to demonstrate what DNAC does to your device when configuring the network settings in DNAC. Previously I’ve written similar posts: DNA Center - PnP - What It Does To Your Devices DNA Center - Discovery - What It Does To Your Devices Test Case One simple test case is all we need to see what DNAC does: Manually configure a Catalyst 9300 switch Add the switch to DNAC manually via inventory Topology The below topology is used for this post:
DNA Center is a management platform that enables users to bring automation to their network. It also offers an assurance feature that aids in troubleshooting and ensuring the network runs as it should using 360 views with health status of network, client, and apps. The latter will not be in focus for this post. Rather a closer look at what DNAC actually does to your devices in regards to configuration will be revealed.
DNAC is very cumbersome and time consuming to install. It can easily take an entire day to do the initial installation and deployment of packages. At the time of writing, Cisco has not published their documentation of how to perform password recovery of DNAC. If you forget or lose your maglev or admin password, your only option is to call your Cisco partner and hope they have a how-to, or create a TAC case.
I’ve gone over the Cisco PnP feature before. This time I will revisit the feature with focus on other areas. Specifically these cases will be discussed: PnP with Non-Vlan1 (conditionally) Re-use DHCP-assigned IP address on another interface PnP with an EtherChannel PnP With Non-Vlan1 (Conditionally) I briefly discussed this in my original post, but I ran in to a case where I actually wanted both a startup-vlan and the default of Vlan1.
One of the main reasons to buy a DNA Center is to be able to harvest the benefits of automation. Many people associate DNAC with deploying an SD-Access network. SDA has a lot of focus these days and Cisco pushes hard to get it out there, but DNAC has many other uses cases besides SDA. SDA is actually just an application that you can install on a DNAC. It isn’t even installed by default when deploying a DNAC.
The DNAC is currently sold as an appliance (part number� DN1-HW-APL). It costs a whopping $80k list per box! So why do you need three of them when doing a HA setup? It is because of Quorum. The definition of quorum is: "The number of members of a group or organization required to be present to transact business legally, usually a majority." - source: dictionary.com Say you only have two hosts in a cluster.