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PROBLEM TICKET CORRELATION WITH RECENT NETWORK CHANGE AND AUTOMATIC ROLL-BACK TO RESTORE SERVICE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248843D
Publication Date: 2017-Jan-17
Document File: 6 page(s) / 451K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

David White: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A software-defined network (SDN) controller is subscribed via an application program interface (API) to a network problem ticketing system such that the SDN controller receives details about user-reported network problems. The controller monitors for new reported network problems and analyzes those problems in light of one or more recent network changes. If the controller determines that a recent network change is the cause of the newly reported outage, it may institute an automated roll-back of the change, automatically update the trouble tickets, and/or notify users.

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Copyright 2017 Cisco Systems, Inc. 1

PROBLEM TICKET CORRELATION WITH RECENT NETWORK CHANGE AND AUTOMATIC ROLL-BACK TO RESTORE SERVICE

AUTHORS: David White

Magnus Mortensen Jay Johnston

CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.

ABSTRACT

A software-defined network (SDN) controller is subscribed via an application

program interface (API) to a network problem ticketing system such that the SDN

controller receives details about user-reported network problems. The controller monitors

for new reported network problems and analyzes those problems in light of one or more

recent network changes. If the controller determines that a recent network change is the

cause of the newly reported outage, it may institute an automated roll-back of the change,

automatically update the trouble tickets, and/or notify users.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Network operations teams spend time and energy attempting to narrow down the

scope and root cause of user-submitted network problem tickets. This task is labor

intensive and difficult, and as a result, an excess of resources (e.g., time, money, etc.) is

often wasted on this effort.

Software defined networking (SDN) allows for network changes to be

orchestrated and automatically triggered. However, these network changes might have

unintended side effects that affect the network users. Also, it can take a network team a

long time to correlate a user-submitted problem report with the specific associated

network change.

It is desirable to automatically detect when a network change has caused problems

for users, and to roll-back the specific change that caused the problem until the issue can

be further investigated before it causes more problems.

Copyright 2017 Cisco Systems, Inc. 2

Techniques described herein demonstrate leveraging of analytics to correlate user-

reported network problems in a trouble ticketing system with changes deployed by a

network controller. This may involve triggering automated testing and roll-back of the

changes to dramatically reduce downtime associated with incorrect network changes.

These techniques are enabled by a utilizing:

• A subscription between an SDN controller and a customer network problem

ticketing system via one or more application program interfaces (APIs).

• A basic correlation engine on the SDN controller.

• Automated troubleshooting capabilities of the SDN controller.

• Specific step-by-step logic integrated with the SDN controller to enable these

techniques.

A significant percentage of user-reported network problems is caused by changes

to the network. The techniques described herein dramatically reduce the downtime of

these issues from hours to minutes.

An example method is described below.

Step 1. Monitor the ticketing system for user-reported network problems

The SDN controller is subscribed to the ticketing system and is alerted when new

network problem tickets are submitted. The SDN controller reads the information from a

newly entered ticket (IP address / hosts affected, services inaccessible, type o...