Release 14: Introducing 6SigmaDataNetwork

The Data Network Module shows current data network connectivity on both a physical and logical level. This module delivers insight into your existing and available capacity, helping you plan server and switch port allocations easily and efficiently.

What is the 6SigmaDataNetwork Module?

This new module enables you to design and manage the logical network(s), physical cabling and ports infrastructure in your data center through a visual representation of the connection chain. You can now build connections with our easy-to-use interface and analyze your port capacity with a range of new visualizations. 

How to use the 6SigmaDataNetwork Module

This blog will examine a small facility that has two networks set up: a Production Network and a Testing Network. We will place a device which requires a connection to each into a rack that has available switch connectivity and patching availability to demonstrate the functionality of the new Data Network. Below is a row with a network switch on each side. One switch is on the Production Network, while the other is on the Testing Network.

Figure 1. This model shows one network switch on the Production Network and the Testing Network respectively

Structured cabling has been set up to run between Patch Panels at the top of most of the racks. Structured cabling is shown in the logical data view (see below).

Figure 2. The logical data view of Patch Panels

Patch ports that are in use are green.

We can look at visualization plots to identify cabinets with available capacity on the two networks as well as view patching panel availability. Here we are plotting the available copper connections in the patch panels (see below). 

Figure 3. Data network>Patching>Patching Available Copper Ports 

The available copper connections can also be shown at the device level to identify devices and panels with spare capacity. In the following figure, we are looking at spare ports on the Production Switches.

Figure 4. Available ports on the Production Switches

From the object panel, we can see that a device is seeking one connection on the Production network and one connection on the Testing network. As we move to drop it into a cabinet, the traffic light system will show cabinets with availability on both networks.

Figure 5. See cabinets with availability on both the Production and Testing Networks 

We can see there is only availability in two racks. Once we drop the device into a suitable rack, we can assess the Data Connections in the Connections View. From here, we only need to choose an available switch and the software will work out the necessary patching connections. 

Figure 6. Choose switch and port connections in the Connections View

Finally, we can view the chosen connectivity pathway for the device (see below). This view can be shown from any device in the chain to inspect the connections up and down the network.

Figure 7. View connectivity pathways for any device up and down the network

Easily Manage Device Connections and Create Connectivity for New Devices

The new 6SigmaDataNetwork Module offers clear visibility into your data network connectivity, port availability and capacity bottlenecks to help streamline your capacity planning process. This module is one example of how we are developing our software to help our users manage all parts of data center operations under one platform. Find out what other improvements we’ve made in Release 14 here.

This blog was originally published on November 18, 2019 and updated on March 18, 2020. *

Blog written by: Mark Fenton, Product Manager

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