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Suite revs analysis, planning

Posted: 01 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:loring wirbel? cisco systems? network application performance analysis? napa? network management?

lank">Cisco Systems Inc. is melding existing network-management tools with an expanded repertoire of performance analysis and network-planning tools. While the Network Application Performance Analysis (NAPA) tool set includes embedded hardware monitors that might be considered the equivalent of distributed probes, "the intent is to provide as much of the real-time performance analysis in software as possible," said Clive Foreman, Cisco's VP of network management technology.

Four tools have been added to Cisco's existing network-management suite: a performance visibility manager, a bandwidth-quality appliance, and software modules for network planning and application analysis. Cisco is also offering analytical services as either one-time project consultancies or subscription-based services. The baseline service helps customers deploy application analysis tools effectively, while add-on services are available for benchmarking, troubleshooting and performance optimization.

All customer-owned tools follow the same modelinformation is collected via such common agents and traps as Simple Network Management Protocol management information base, Remote Monitoring MIB and NetFlow. Tools like NetFlow Collector and the network analysis module then integrate the statistics and feed them to higher-layer performance analysis and planning tools.

The performance visibility manager takes information from the analysis module and shows historical and real-time traffic analysis. Users can invoke policy-driven engines to proactively initiate monitoring in certain parts of the network.

The bandwidth quality-analysis tool provides 5ms snapshots of QoS parameters, a statistic granular enough to enable service-level agreements. Foreman said the tool is accurate enough to support algorithmic training in financial services working with detailed futures models. It also provides periodic historical reporting, delivering alerts when quality degradation is spotted.

The application analysis software package provides regular traces from Cisco's NAM collection hardware to the software analyzer. Complex visualization support is provided for multitiered problems and outages.

Finally, the tool allows network designers to change graphical topologies and play "what if" analyses to identify future trouble spots.

Senior product manager David Wetzel said the NAPA suite will be offered first to enterprise customers familiar with agent-based management that moves from LAN to WAN.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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