Easy solution to measure person expertise? ThousandEyes on Raspberry Pis


In Cisco IT we now have loads of follow bringing acquired corporations into the fold. We’ve added fourteen from January 2020 by August 2021 alone. We’re liable 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 wanted to carry 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 applying 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 determine a benchmark. Then examine these outcomes in opposition to 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 course of a brand new product launch. We would have liked one other solution to set up the agent.

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


As straightforward 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 robotically phoned dwelling to our ThousandEyes server to examine for software program updates. Performed!

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 a substitute.


Testing the end-to-end person expertise

I spent about an hour on the ThousandEyes net interface organising artificial exams 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 straightforward to identify excessive latency. In Determine 1, the spike exhibits excessive latency for site visitors flowing from Acacia’s Ottawa, Canada workplace to Holmdel, New Jersey.

Determine 1. Latency Visitors

Determine 2 exhibits latency alongside the community path from 10 of Acacia’s websites to their Massachusetts information heart. It isolates a connectivity difficulty with the Acacia Shenzhen web site to a single hop alongside the trail—invaluable data that helped our acquisition and operations groups perceive the affect of the difficulty 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 worldwide map


Backside line: we perceive the person expertise on a community we will’t entry

Summing up, ThousandEyes on Raspberry Pis offers us a easy solution to examine 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 organising the ThousandEyes exams took simply half a day. And all Acacia needed to do was plug in a tiny pc to face in for a person laptop computer. Such a chic answer requires a poem:

ThousandEyes on Raspberry Pis
Arrange is a breeze
Raspberry Pis for Thousand Eyes
Check latency with ease


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ThousandEyes net web page

Staff do their very own efficiency troubleshooting with ThousandEyes

Zeroing in on community efficiency points with ThousandEyes