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CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution 3.2 and earlier

CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) 2.6

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Introduction

This paper discusses the new features and functionality in CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) 2.6. The enhancements in CiscoWorks LMS 2.6 focus on the usability and look and feel aspects that will certainly add to your experience with the product.
This paper highlights the prominent features of CiscoWorks LMS 2.6. For a comprehensive list of additional functionality, please refer to the user guide of each application, such as CiscoWorks Resource Manager Essentials (REM) and CiscoWorks Campus Manager.
In addition to an explanation of CiscoWorks LMS 2.6 features, some sections contain exercises that allow you to explore these features. Doing these exercises on a new or evaluation copy of CiscoWorks LMS 2.6 will help you understand the features in further detail. However, this paper provides a good exposure to new features even without your doing the exercises.

Features

Some of the new features in CiscoWorks LMS 2.6 are:

• New dashboards that provide a host of useful information

• A new Setup Center, which provides a launch point to common tasks

• Advanced features in Device Selector

• Performance tuning tool to customize CiscoWorks LMS software to match your needs to the hardware available

Application Dashboards

A novel feature of CiscoWorks LMS 2.6 is the introduction of dashboards to monitor current network status for applications such as CiscoWorks Resource Manager Essentials, CiscoWorks Campus Manager, CiscoWorks Device Fault Manager, and CiscoWorks Common Services Software.
In each application, the dashboard provides a summary of useful information that serves well as a monitoring page and can be a good option to use on a network operations center (NOC) screen.

Note: Dashboards across the various applications have the same look and feel-status information on the top part of the page and launch points at the bottom of the page.

The CiscoWorks Resource Manager Essentials Dashboard

To access the dashboard for each application, click the application name (for example, CiscoWorks RME) or click the Home link within each application's panel.

Figure 1. Viewing the CiscoWorks Resource Manager Essentials Dashboard

As shown in Figure 1, the screen has network status information like changes in the last 24 hours, syslog warnings received, and so on.

Launch Points

The bottom of the page has several launch points, bunched into categories. Click one of these links to go to the familiar CiscoWorks RME pages that you have worked with in the past.
For example, go to Reports -- Hardware Report. This page provides the standard hardware report found within the CiscoWorks RME report generator. Launch points save you a couple of clicks for common tasks and present a number of useful options in one easy to access page.

CiscoWorks Campus Manager Dashboard

Click the CiscoWorks Campus Manager link or the Home link to launch the CiscoWorks Campus Manager dashboard (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Viewing the CiscoWorks Campus Manager Dashboard

As in the CiscoWorks RME dashboard, launch points within the CiscoWorks Campus Manager, CiscoWorks Device Fault Manager, and CiscoWorks Common Services Software dashboards take you to the respective menus in these applications.
For example, the Device Discovery panel on the top left provides information and allows you to start tasks such as device discovery or data collection.
Exercise: Explore the CiscoWorks Common Services Software and CiscoWorks Device Fault Manager dashboards and identify any features that might be useful in your daily tasks.

Setup Center

Let us examine the CiscoWorks LMS Setup Center by clicking the link on the CiscoWorks homepage.
Several common changes can be made using the Setup Center-a novel feature that allows you to change settings in one location, instead of having to navigate through individual application menus. For new users, Setup Center enables quicker deployment and maintenance. For experienced users, it saves time and improves usability.
For example, let's say you would like to change the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server setting on your CiscoWorks LMS server. To complete this task successfully, you would go to CiscoWorks Common Services and click Server. Within the Admin tab, you would go to the System Preferences page, in which you can change the SMTP server setting.
So, even if you do not know which application to navigate to, using Setup Center, you can make global changes in the application with only a few mouse clicks.

Figure 3. Viewing System Settings for the LMS Setup Center - 1

Setup Center opens with the System Settings page (Figure 3). In addition, there are several other categories of settings to which you can easily navigate.
The default settings appear on the page. If you need to change a setting, use the Edit option; the change is applied immediately.
Another category within the LMS Setup Center is the Security Settings page, which allows you to manage various security settings easily (Figure 4). Again, this provides a common launch point for security and increases ease of use.

Figure 4. Viewing System Settings for the LMS Setup Center - 2

Exercise: Identify the editable fields within the Data Collection Settings tab. Identify how you would change the seed device for network discovery.

Device Selector

The Device Selector menu has been improved to allow further flexibility and customization. It is now possible to change the order in which groups are displayed, as well as to customize other aspects within the Device Selector.

Group Ordering

Groups no longer appear in one static sequence; you can modify the sequence according to your requirement. This feature is especially useful if you use a certain group more often and require it to be at the top of the list.
To perform group ordering, do the following: Common Services -- Devices and Credentials -- Device Selector Settings -- Group Ordering.

Figure 5. Performing Group Ordering

You can quickly shuffle the groups up or down as shown in Figure 5.

Customizing Groups

To suit your work-related needs, you could even customize the groups. For example, you created a group called CA-voice that indicates all voice devices in the California region, and you find that most of your operations are within this group. So, you can choose to display only this group on your Device Selector and remove all other user-defined groups that may not be relevant to you.
In the Group Customization page, under User Defined Groups, click the Show list, and select My User Defined Groups (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Viewing Customized Groups and Customizing User-Defined Groups

Note that you can choose to group routers in three different ways: by category, by series, or by model. Select your preferred option.
Your Device Selector page will show the view illustrated in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Viewing the Device Selector Page

Note: The user-defined groups displayed in Figure 7 are those created by the current user. By removing the other users' groups and groups that are not in use present a better more clutter-free and easy-to-use menu.

Hover

Another excellent addition to the Device Selector is the Hover feature that displays the full device name. This is helpful with large names that extend past the window margins.

Powerful Search

And, last but not least, powerful search is now possible within the Device Selector, with the * and ? characters available for use within the search box. For example, a quick search for all devices that have the string *voice* is shown in Figure 8. This makes it convenient to search for devices for which you have only partial names. In the past, only an exact match would produce a successful search result.

Figure 8. Searching within Device Selector

Exercise: Try out the ? character. Just as when it is used with regular expressions, the ? represents one character.

Performance Tuning Tool

You can use the performance tuning tool (PTT) to tune CiscoWorks LMS to make the best use of the server hardware. In other words, if the server is powerful, CiscoWorks LMS can be optimized to use its power, and consequently, this results in increased CiscoWorks LMS performance.
This section is divided into the following subsections:

• Quick Start Guide

• PTT Details

Quick Start Guide

PTT is a command-line interface (CLI) tool. Telnet to your CiscoWorks LMS server and perform the following steps. The following example uses a Sun Solaris server.

Note: Comments start with //.

// The -list Match option lists the best profile for the server
sj-rme40-sol# ./rmeptt.sh -list Match
The profile matching the system configuration is:
perftune_Solaris.xml
// Apply the profile by using the -apply option
sj-rme40-sol# ./rmeptt.sh -apply perftune_Solaris
Daemon manager is running ..
Daemon manager must be shut down before applying a profile.
// Note that the daemon manager needs to be shut down
sj-rme40-sol# cd /etc/init.d
sj-rme40-sol# dmgtd stop
Daemon Management stopping. This may take a few minutes.
sj-rme40-sol#
sj-rme40-sol# cd /opt/CSCOpx/bin/rmept
sj-rme40-sol#
sj-rme40-sol# ./rmeptt.sh -apply perftune_Solaris
Updated config line for configmanager.DcmaService
Updated config line for configmanager.DcmaService
Updated config line for NCTemplateMgr
Updated config line for NCTemplateMgr
Updated the file :/opt/CSCOpx/objects/dmgt/dmgtd.conf successfully.
Updated config line for ConfigJobManager.heapsize=
Updated the file
:/opt/CSCOpx/MDC/tomcat/webapps/rme/WEB-INF/classes/JobManager.properties
successfully.
CCR update for max_threads_for_config_fetch succeeded.
CCR update for CDLNumOfThreads succeeded.
CCR update for max_db_connections succeeded.
The current profile is updated as : perftune_Solaris
The profile perftune_Solaris has been successfully applied on this machine.
S
sj-rme40-sol# ./rmeptt.sh -show
The profile applied on this machine is: perftune_Solaris
As seen in the preceding output, the new profile has been applied successfully.

PTT Details

Let us dig a little deeper to understand how performance is optimized. There are three parameters that significantly affect the server's performance.

• Size of heap memory allocated to a process

The size of heap memory allocated to a process controls how much paging is needed. The larger the memory chunk allocated, the less the process needs to page information in and out. By default, 128 MB is allocated to a process without any tuning on the system. However, with PTT, this allocation can go up to 256 MB.

• The number of threads that can be allocated

• The number of database connections

The number of threads and number of database connections are considered as a pair of parameters for the sake of CiscoWorks LMS discussions. Although, in general, it is possible to optimize each parameter separately, in the case of CiscoWorks LMS, these two parameters typically use very similar numbers for maximum performance.
Let us examine threads and database connections by using an example. When a software upgrade job is started for five devices, it uses up 5 threads (5 is the default maximum number of threads). However, powerful servers can handle up to 20 threads. PTT examines the hardware on which CiscoWorks LMS is running, and applies a predefined profile that modifies the three parameters described here (heap size, number of threads, and number of database connections). Similarly, database connections are required by each process to transfer information back and forth from the database, and, hence, having more connections increases performance. Again, like the number of threads, beyond a certain number, performance gains start to diminish.
A profile in CiscoWorks LMS is essentially a combination of heap size, threads, and database connections. Therefore, for servers with different hardware capabilities, different profiles will best match their needs. CiscoWorks LMS ships with a number of predefined profiles that correspond to each server's hardware, ranging from the minimum recommended hardware to very powerful servers.
The goal of PTT is to establish the best profile for a given hardware specification. Once the PTT script returns a suggested profile, you simply have to apply that particular profile to CiscoWorks LMS. You saw how this is accomplished in the "Quick Start" section.
Let us look at some additional PTT options:
// This option provides all possible options. Try this out on your machine.
# ./rmeptt.sh -help
// The -list option provides all possible profiles that match this machine
# ./rmeptt.sh -list
The profiles that match the OS in this machine are:
Default-Solaris.xml
perftune_Solaris.xml
// The -list Match option provides the best match for this machine
# ./rmeptt.sh -list Match
The profile matching the system configuration is:
perftune_Solaris.xml
#
// The -apply Default option reverts to the default profile (note: stopping the daemon manager is required for this action)
#
# ./rmeptt.sh -apply Default
Updated config line for configmanager.DcmaService
Updated config line for configmanager.DcmaService
Updated config line for NCTemplateMgr
Updated config line for NCTemplateMgr
Updated the file :/opt/CSCOpx/objects/dmgt/dmgtd.conf successfully.
Updated config line for ConfigJobManager.heapsize=
Updated the file
:/opt/CSCOpx/MDC/tomcat/webapps/rme/WEB-INF/classes/JobManager.properties
successfully.
CCR update for max_threads_for_config_fetch succeeded.
CCR update for CDLNumOfThreads succeeded.
CCR update for max_db_connections succeeded.
The current profile is updated as : Default
The profile Default has been successfully applied on this machine.
#
Therefore, PTT is a very useful tool to use when CiscoWorks LMS is installed fresh out of the box. It helps to optimize CiscoWorks LMS performance and is especially useful in exploiting the capabilities of a high-end server.

Summary

In this document, you took a tour of prominent new features and functionality in CiscoWorks LMS 2.6. First, you looked at dashboards for CiscoWorks Resource Manager Essentials, CiscoWorks Campus Manager, and CiscoWorks Common Services Software. Next, you used Setup Center to make changes in the application from a common launch point. Then, you customized Device Selector to meet your needs and used some of its additional power with the * and ? search keys. Finally, you used the performance tuning tool to tune your CiscoWorks LMS software to optimally use the hardware on which it runs.
Use these new features to add tremendous value to your operations.