Cisco bolsters management

Cisco systems inc. has enhanced its network monitoring and reporting capabilities with several new management systems that more accurately report on how network performance affects users.

Cisco systems inc. has enhanced its network monitoring and reporting capabilities with several new management systems that more accurately report on how network performance affects users.

- By John Rendleman, PC Week

22 May 2000 - The newest Cisco monitoring tool, the CiscoWorks2000 SMS (Service Management Solution), collects and correlates network performance data on routes between edge routers, said Cisco officials in San Jose, Calif.

The tool, jointly developed with Visual Networks Inc., of Rockville, Md., works in tandem with the company's routers running Cisco Service Agent software and Visual Networks' new Visual IP InSight Cisco SMS module.

The Cisco and Visual Networks products extract data from the routers and match it with information gathered using the Visual IP InSight monitoring software. InSight runs on desktops or at selected locations within the network to detect and isolate potential network problems, said officials at both companies.

Together, the products provide improved network management to help increase network service quality and contain networking costs. The Cisco Works2000 SMS product ships next month with a list price of US$14,995, followed by the scheduled July release of the Visual IP InSight Cisco SMS module, listing for as much as US$20,000.

Todd Hillegass, network engineer with Keystone Financial Inc., in Harrisburg, Pa., said the trend reports produced by the new Cisco products are some of the most helpful features of the technology. The bank is installing Cisco Works2000 and will use the new Cisco/Visual platforms to make Keystone's network more efficient and predict which portions of the network need to be upgraded first.

"The less time I spend chasing down network problems, especially problems with overutilized links, the more time I have to do other, more productive things with the network," Hillegass said.

Cisco also unveiled earlier this month its Integrated Communications System 7750, a multipurpose IP office system with browser-based management capabilities.

The ICS incorporates Cisco's Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data, or AVVID, approach to IP telephony and is designed for small and midsize enterprises. In that sector, it has particular cost advantages for configurations with up to about 150 users, Cisco officials said.

New with the ICS 7750 is Cisco's ICS System Manager, a browser-based management system for local or remote system management. Management tasks handled by the ICS System Manager include configuration, monitoring, event managers, software upgrades and security.

The ICS 7750 will start shipping next quarter, with third-party applications becoming available in the fourth quarter. Prices for a fully configured system will start at $765 per user, including voice and data capabilities and the required number of IP phone sets.

The ICS 7750 accepts connections from voice trunks; PCs; file servers; IP telephones; and conventional analog phone devices, including fax machines. It also can be installed in conjunction with any quality-of-service-enabled Cisco Catalyst switch, officials said.


Management Duo

Jointly developed Cisco/ Visual Networks system

The CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution

Available in June

Lists for $14,995

The Visual IP InSight Cisco SMS module

Available in July

Lists for up to $20,000

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