Integrating Cisco Network Assurance Engine and ServiceNow ITSM to Automate Event Analysis and Response

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Updated:January 26, 2021

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Updated:January 26, 2021

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Cisco IT delivers applications and services that support 75,000 employees as well as partners and customers around the world. Its data center environment includes 10 production fabrics of Cisco ACI, 10 instances of Cisco NAE, and more than 70 network appliances, 35,000 endpoints, and 900 applications.

Executive Summary

Customer Name: Cisco IT

Industry: Technology

Location: San Jose, California


  Analyze and prioritize thousands of events across 10 network fabrics
  Align network events with incident management workflows
  Improve the efficiency and responsiveness of IT operations


  Cisco Network Assurance Engine (NAE)
  Cisco NAE App for ServiceNow
  ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM)
  Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™)


  Automated event analyses to identify and prioritize the most critical issues                                                               
  Established closed-loop incident management solution
  Laid the foundation for a self-healing network


A person walking through a server roomDescription automatically generated with medium confidence


Automating the analysis and prioritization of network events

Monitoring Cisco IT’s expansive data center environment and making sure it continues to operate as intended is a significant challenge. To do so, the company is using 10 instances of Cisco NAE, which provide continuous verification and analysis of the network fabrics, generate “smart events” that pinpoint deviations from intent, and offer remediation recommendations.

“Cisco NAE captures all of the anomalies and errors across all of our Cisco ACI fabrics, but that can result in thousands of smart events that must be manually reviewed, prioritized, and disseminated to the proper individuals or teams,” says Vishal Soni, network systems engineer for Cisco IT.


“By integrating Cisco NAE with ServiceNow ITSM, we’ve been able to automate [the event analysis] process and create a closed-loop incident management solution.”

-Vishal Soni, Network Systems Engineer, Cisco IT


Using the Cisco NAE App for ServiceNow—which is free to download from the ServiceNow Store—the integrated solution automates the analysis, prioritization, and ticket assignment of smart events across multiple fabrics and scores of potential network issues. It deduplicates and scours all of the events captured by Cisco NAE, identifying the most critical issues based on predetermined mnemonics or signatures. ServiceNow ITSM then creates a ticket for each critical issue, categorizes the tickets based on urgency and priority, and assigns the tickets to the users or groups responsible for remediation.

“The solution finds and puts a spotlight on the events that can have an impact on performance and availability,” Soni says. “Instead of trying to manually sift through thousands of potential events to determine which ones require attention, we’re now able to focus on dozens of events that we know are the most critical.”

As a result, Cisco IT operations are faster, more efficient, and increasingly proactive.


“We’ve been able to identify and resolve problems before they turn into outages. The solution has also accelerated our response times and freed up network engineering resources.”

-Vishal Soni, Network Systems Engineer, Cisco IT


Laying the foundation for a self-healing network

In addition to network monitoring and intent assurance, Cisco IT is using the integrated solution to improve the health and hygiene of its network fabrics.

“We’re identifying and fixing latent configurations and other things that have been left behind,” says Soni. “We’ll see fewer events over time as a result.”

Cisco IT is also developing additional scripts for the closed-loop resolution framework, laying the foundation for a true self-healing network.

“We’ve automated the ticketing process, and the next step is automating incident resolution,” Soni says. “The integrated solution has been great. It’s easy to deploy, all of the data is aligned, and we can see everything from a single pane of glass, whether it’s the Cisco NAE dashboard or the ServiceNow dashboard.”


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Inside Cisco IT

Cisco NAE

Cisco NAE App for ServiceNow

ServiceNow ITSM

Cisco ACI




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