In the final section of this chapter, we are going to be discussing some additional maintenance and monitoring tools that you should be familiar with as a network engineer. The additional tools that will be described in this final section include the following:
- Cisco Router and Security Device Manager
- Cisco Configuration Professional
- Cisco Configuration Assistant
- Cisco Network Assistant
- CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS)
Cisco Router and Security Device Manager
Cisco Router and Security Device Manager (SDM) is a Web-based (GUI) device-management tool for Cisco routers that can be used for monitoring and troubleshooting tasks. SDM is supported on a plethora of Cisco IOS routers ranging from the 800 series routers to the 7300 series routers. SDM can be installed on either the local computer, the router, or on both the computer and the router. Because SDM is a core CCNA topic, we will not be going into any additional detail on this tool in this guide. For additional information on SDM, please refer to the CCNA certification guide that is available online.
Once you access the router via SDM, you can then use the Monitor tab to view device statistics, which include, but are not limited to, interface status, logging information as well as traffic statistics. Figure 1-6 shows the Monitor tab that is used for monitoring and troubleshooting:
Fig. 1-6. Cisco Router and Security Device Manager Monitor Tab
Cisco Configuration Professional
Cisco Configuration Professional (CCP), like Cisco Router and Security Device Manager (SDM) is also a GUI based device management tool for Cisco access routers. In fact, CCP is the successor of Cisco SDM and is intended to replace the SDM tool. CCP includes the same features available in SDM, and will also include additional capabilities such as Voice over IP (VoIP) support in later versions.
CCP, like SDM, can be used for network monitoring and maintenance tasks. While delving into the details pertaining to CCP is beyond the scope of the TSHOOT certification exam, Figure 1-7 shows the CCP Monitoring tab which can be used for device monitoring and troubleshooting. As can be seen in Figure 1-7, this tab very closely resembles the Monitoring tab shown for SDM:
Fig. 1-7. Cisco Configuration Professional Monitor Tab
Cisco Configuration Assistant
The Cisco Configuration Assistant (CCA) tool is yet another maintenance, monitoring and also troubleshooting tool that is available from Cisco. CCA is used for the Cisco Smart Business Communications System. CCA is a GUI-based tool that includes multiple wizards, similar to SDM and CCP, which can be used for IP Telephony configuration, router and switch configuration, as well as for security configuration.
CCA allows network administrators to view the status of devices and monitor the network from three perspectives: the System Dashboard, Topology View, or Front Panel View. From a troubleshooting perspective, CCA can be used to consolidate system logs into a single archive, which can then be sent to the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) for troubleshooting support. Additionally, CCA also provides tools to perform basic network connectivity troubleshooting functions, such as the Ping and Traceroute utilities.
In addition to data network configuration and troubleshooting utilities, CCA also provides tools that can be used for IP Telephony (voice) service diagnostics and troubleshooting. In summation, the capabilities and advantages provided by Cisco Configuration Assistant include:
- Configuration and deployment support
- Network management support
- Setup wizards
- Multiple network views
- Simplified network reporting
- Drag and drop software updates
NOTE: The configuration of CCA is beyond the scope of the current TSHOOT certification exam and will not be illustrated in this guide.
Cisco Network Assistant
Cisco Network Assistant (CNA) is a network management and automation tool. Like the other tools described in this section, CNA is a GUI-based tool that can be used to apply common services across Cisco switches, routers, and access points. CNA is available as a free download from the Cisco website. At a high level, this tool provides the following capabilities:
- Configuration management
- Inventory reports
- Event notification
- Task-based menu
- File management
- Drag-and-drop Cisco IOS Software upgrades
In addition to this, CNA can also be used for troubleshooting support, as well as for security Catalyst Express 500 series switches.
CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution
The CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) is comprised of several individual software applications that can be used for the configuration and administration of campus networks. LMS also provides monitoring, and troubleshooting capabilities. The following applications are included in the CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution suite:
- Resource Manager Essentials (RME)
- CiscoWorks Health and Utilization Monitor
- Device Fault Manager (DFM)
- Internetwork Performance Monitor (IPM)
In addition to other capabilities, Resource Manager can also be used for network monitoring and fault information for tracking devices that are critical to network uptime. The CiscoWorks Health and Utilization Monitor provides the ability to monitor the device for performance parameters, and report violations based on the threshold values configured. This application also has extensive reporting capabilities.
The Device Fault Manager can be used to monitor device faults in real-time, and determine the root cause by correlating device-level fault conditions, monitor fault history, and to configure e-mail, SNMP trap, and syslog notifications. And finally, the Internetwork Performance Monitor has the ability to pro-actively troubleshoot network response time, jitter, and availability. As is the case with NAM, LMS is configured using a GUI. Unlike the other tools that have been described in this section, CiscoWorks is the only package that is not freely available for download as it is used to manage large enterprise networks.