User Guide for the Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance
Performing Administrative and Maintenance Tasks
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Performing Administrative and Maintenance Tasks

Table Of Contents

Performing Administrative and Maintenance Tasks

Verify Flow Records Generated

Access System Parameters or Diagnostics

Set Cisco NGA System Parameters

Network Parameters

SNMP Agent

System Time

Access Diagnostics Tools

Audit Trail

Tech Support

Maintain Your Appliance

Required Equipment

Install or Replace Server Components

Replace Hard Drives

Replace Your Power Supply

Maintain Your Site Environment

General Exterior Cleaning and Inspection

Cooling

Temperature

Humidity

Altitude

Electrostatic Discharge

Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference

Magnetism

Power Source Interruptions


Performing Administrative and Maintenance Tasks


Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance (NGA) contains several administrative and maintenance tasks. The graphical user interface (GUI) also provides some diagnostics tools for you to collect or view system data.

This chapter contains information on the following administrative and maintenance tasks including:

Verify Flow Records Generated

Set Cisco NGA System Parameters

Maintain Your Appliance

Once you complete the setup, configuration, and administrative tasks you may leave the Cisco NGA to its monitoring duties and view and analyze your data from the collectors.

Verify Flow Records Generated

After you complete Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance configuration tasks described in the previous chapters, you should verify that the configurations you made are successful.

To verify flow records are being sent to their destination, check the collector data by entering both of the following commands at the appliance command line interface (CLI):

show cache statistics rates monitor_name command. Counters begin to increment only after a minute has passed. This command displays the rate of raw traffic being processed and the rate of flows being created and forwarded to the export engine.

show collector statistics collector_name command. This displays the information about NetFlow packets being sent to the collector.

After you successfully verify your collectors are receiving data, you can periodically check audit trail or collect troubleshooting information as needed.

Access System Parameters or Diagnostics

To set your network parameters, SNMP Agent, and system time, use the Administration menu. You can also get details about several system preferences and view diagnostic details about Cisco NGA. Table 4-1 contains detailed descriptions of the tasks you can perform. All tasks are required, unless otherwise noted.

Table 4-1 Administrative Tasks

Tasks
Benefit

Resources—Displays an overview of the system, including CPU and memory utilization. (Optional)

Gives you insight into the appliance system load details.

Network Parameters—Display and configure the network parameters such as IP Address.

Enables you to check that you have parameters set correctly.

SNMP Agent—Display and configure the System Group and community strings for the server SNMP agent.

Some collectors will use SNMP to poll MIB variables on the appliance. This page allows you to synchronize the community string on the appliance with your collector or collectors to allow this SNMP communication. See SNMP Agent.

System Time—Configure server system time to use either the local server clock or synchronize with up to two external NTP servers.

Allows the system to generate accurate timestamps for diagnostic log messages and audit trail events. See System Time.

Audit Trail—Displays a listing of recent critical CLI activities from a syslog log file. (Optional)

Provides visibility into user login and configuration activity.

Tech Support—Provides troubleshooting information (similar to the show tech command). (Optional)

For troubleshooting purposes, this page allows you to view and download support data into a zip file. Should you need technical support for the product you may be asked to use your browser to download this file and send it to a Cisco support representative.


Set Cisco NGA System Parameters

There are three system administrative tasks you must perform to ensure Cisco NGA performs successfully. These settings should be in place before NetFlow generation takes place. Use the Administration > System menu to configure, reconfigure, or view these settings:

Network Parameters

SNMP Agent

System Time

Network Parameters

The initial Network Parameter information is prepopulated based on your responses during the installation. If you must reconfigure the system network parameters, you can do so from this window.

SNMP Agent

An SNMP Agent is a network management software module that resides in a device, in this case, Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance. It has local knowledge of management information and translates that information into a form compatible with SNMP.

The SNMP Agent on the Cisco NGA allows the collectors or other applications to use SNMP and a community string to send SNMP get and set requests to the appliance.You can manage the appliance with SNMPv2 and SNMPv1.

For security purposes, the community string is associated with the Cisco NGA IP address only, and no other SNMP application can use this community string to communicate with the appliance. For more information about community strings, see Working with Cisco NGA Community Strings.

Also, to further alleviate any security concerns, the SNMP exchanges between Cisco NGA and the collectors take place on an internal backplane bus. These SNMP packets are not visible on any network, nor any interface outside of the appliance. It is a completely secure out-of-band channel inside the appliance.

Working with Cisco NGA Community Strings

You use community strings so that other applications, such as collectors, can send SNMP get and set requests to the Cisco NGA, set up collections, poll data, and so on.

To create the Cisco NGA community strings:

Procedure


Step 1 Select Administration > System > SNMP Agent.

At the bottom of the window, the Community Strings Dialog Box displays.

Step 2 Click Create.

The SNMP Agent Dialog Box displays.

Step 3 Enter the community string (use a meaningful name).

Step 4 Enter the community string again in the Verify Community field.

Step 5 Assign read-only or read-write permissions using the following criteria:

Read-only allows only read access to SNMP MIB variables (get).

Read-write allows full read and write access to SNMP MIB variables (get and set).

Step 6 Do one of the following:

To make the changes, click Submit.

To cancel, click Cancel.

To clear the fields, click Reset.


System Time

Synchronizes the software clock using a local or a Network Time Protocol (NTP) time server. If you choose Local, you must enter the appliance Region and Zone. If you choose NTP, you must enter a NTP Server IP address. You can enter up to two NTP server IP addresses (a primary and secondary).

Access Diagnostics Tools

There are two diagnostic tools you can use to collect diagnostic information from Cisco NGA. Use the Administration > System menu to access these tasks:

Audit Trail

Tech Support

Audit Trail

The Audit Trail option displays a listing of recent critical CLI activities from a syslog log file. Use this tool when you need visibility into user login and configuration activity.

The following user activities are logged in the audit trail:

All CLI commands

User logins (including failed attempts)

Unauthorized access attempts

SPAN changes

NDE data source changes

Enabling and disabling data collections

Starting and stopping captures

Adding and deleting users

Each log entry will contain the following:

User ID

Time stamp

IP address (in case of remote web access)

Activity description

To access the audit trail window:


Step 1 Select Administration > Diagnostics > Audit Trail.

The Audit Trail Window displays.

The Audit Trail window provides a way to view the user access log and filter entries based on time, user, (IP address) from or activity. The internal log files are rotated after reaching a certain size limit.


Tech Support

Provides troubleshooting information (similar to the show tech command). Use this tool to view and download support data into a zip file.

The Cisco NGA syslog records appliance system alerts that contain event descriptions and date and time stamps, indicating unexpected or potentially noteworthy conditions. This feature generates a potentially extensive display of the results of various internal system troubleshooting commands and system logs.

This information is unlikely to be meaningful to the average user. It is intended to be used by the Cisco TAC or your support team for debugging purposes. You are not expected to understand this information; instead, you should save the information and attach it to an email message to the support team.


Note You can also view this information from the CLI. For information on using the CLI, see the Command Reference Guide for Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance.


To view tech support:


Step 1 Select Administration > Diagnostics > Tech Support.

After a few minutes, extensive diagnostic information is generated and displayed in the Diagnostics Tech Support Window.

Step 2 To save the information, either choose File > Save As... from the browser menu, or scroll to the bottom, click on techsupport-logs.tar.bz2, and save it to your local PC.


Maintain Your Appliance

This section covers details on maintenance tasks you may need to perform to replace faulty hardware in your appliance, as well as perform preventative procedures.

Required Equipment

Install or Replace Server Components

Maintain Your Site Environment

Required Equipment

The following equipment is used to perform the procedures in this chapter:

Number 2 Phillips-head screwdriver

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) strap or other grounding equipment such as a grounded mat


Tip You do not have to remove the cover to replace hard drives or power supplies.


Install or Replace Server Components


Warning Blank faceplates and cover panels serve three important functions: they prevent exposure to hazardous voltages and currents inside the chassis; they contain electromagnetic interference (EMI) that might disrupt other equipment; and they direct the flow of cooling air through the chassis. Do not operate the system unless all cards, faceplates, front covers, and rear covers are in place.
Statement 1029

Warning Class 1 laser product.
Statement 1008

Caution When handling server components, wear an ESD strap to avoid damage.


Tip You can press the Identification button on the front panel or rear panel to turn on a flashing Identification LED on the front and rear panels of the server. This allows you to locate the specific server that you are servicing when you go to the opposite side of the rack. You can also activate these LEDs remotely by using the CIMC interface.For LED information, see the Quick Start Guide for Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance.


This section describes how to install and replace server components, and it includes the following topics:

Replace Hard Drives

Replace Your Power Supply

Replace Hard Drives

If for some reason you must replace a faulty hard disk drive, use the instructions in this section to perform the replacement.

Drive Population Guidelines

The drive-bay numbering is shown in Figure 4-1. Cisco NGA uses only the first two hard disk bays.

Figure 4-1 Hard Disk Drive Numbering

HDD1

HDD2

HDD3

HDD4


Observe these drive population guidelines for optimum performance:

When populating drives, add drives to the lowest-numbered bays first.

Keep an empty drive blanking tray in any unused bays to ensure proper air flow.

To replace or install a hot-pluggable hard drive:


Tip You do not have to shut down or power off the server to replace hard drives because they are hot-pluggable.



Step 1 Remove the drive that you are replacing or remove a blank drive tray from the bay:

a. Press the release button on the face of the drive tray. See Figure 4-2.

b. Grasp and open the ejector lever and then pull the drive tray out of the slot.

c. If you are replacing an existing drive, remove the four drive-tray screws that secure the drive to the tray and then lift the drive out of the tray.

Step 2 Install a new drive:

a. Place a new drive in the empty drive tray and install the four drive-tray screws.

b. With the ejector lever on the drive tray open, insert the drive tray into the empty drive bay.

c. Push the tray into the slot until it touches the backplane, then close the ejector lever to lock the drive in place.

Figure 4-2 Replacing Hard Drives

1

Release button

3

Hard drive sled, bottom view

2

Ejector level

4

Securing screws (four)



Replace Your Power Supply

The Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance has one power supply. For more information about the power supply specifications and LEDs, see Quick Start Guide for Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance.


Note Shut down and power off the Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance using the shutdown command in the CLI. Do not use the Cisco NGA Power button unless the shutdown command is unsuccessful.


To replace or install a power supply, follow these steps:


Step 1 To remove the power supply that you are replacing or a blank panel from an empty bay (see Figure 4-3) do the following:

a. Remove the power cord from the power supply that you are replacing.

b. Grasp the power supply handle while pinching the release lever towards the handle.

c. Pull the power supply out of the bay.

Step 2 Install a new power supply:

a. Grasp the power supply handle and insert the new power supply into the empty bay.

b. Push the power supply into the bay until the release lever locks.

c. Connect the power cord to the new power supply.

d. Press the Power button to return the appliance to main power mode.

Figure 4-3 Removing and Replacing Power Supplies

1

Power supply handle

2

Power supply release lever



Maintain Your Site Environment

The following sections discuss various environmental factors that can adversely affect appliance performance and longevity.

Your Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance is configured to your order and is ready for installation and startup when it leaves the factory. After you install and configure your appliance, you might have to perform specific maintenance procedures and operations to ensure that the appliance is operating properly.

Following these preventive maintenance procedures can keep your appliance in top operating condition and minimize the need for costly, time-consuming service procedures:

General Exterior Cleaning and Inspection

Cooling

Temperature

Humidity

Altitude

Electrostatic Discharge

Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference

Magnetism

Power Source Interruptions


Caution To help prevent problems, before performing any procedures in this chapter, review the Regulatory Compliance and Safety Information documentation and the safety guidelines in the Quick Start Guide for Cisco NetFlow Generation Appliance.

General Exterior Cleaning and Inspection

This section details the cleaning requirements for exterior surfaces of the appliance and the inspection of cables and adapter cards.


Caution Never spray cleaning solution on the surfaces of the appliance. Overspray can penetrate into the appliance and cause electrical problems and corrosion.

Appliance

Use a lint-free, nonabrasive cloth to perform cleaning. Do not use a solvent, abrasive cleaning agents, or tissue paper. If the appliance is dirty (for example, with thick dust), use a soft damp cloth and wipe the surface of the appliance gently.

Immediately wipe off any water or liquid from the appliance.

Dust and Particles

A clean operating environment can greatly reduce the negative effects of dust and other particles, which act as insulators and interfere with the operation of an appliance's mechanical components. In addition to regular cleaning, you should follow these guidelines to deter contamination of the appliance:

Do not permit smoking anywhere near the appliance.

Do not permit food or drink near the appliance.

Cables and Connectors

Inspect cables and connectors to and from your appliance periodically to see if they are worn out or loose.

Adapter Cards

Check the connections on the adapter cards. Be sure they are secured to the appliance and have not been jarred loose or mechanically damaged.

Corrosion

The oil from a person's fingers or prolonged exposure to high temperature or humidity can corrode the gold-plated edge connectors and pin connectors on adapter cards in the appliance. This corrosion on adapter card connectors is a gradual process that can eventually lead to intermittent failures of electrical circuits.

To prevent corrosion, you should avoid touching contacts on adapter cards. Protecting the appliance from corrosive elements is especially important in moist and salty environments, which tend to promote corrosion. Also, as a further deterrent to corrosion, the appliance should not be used in extreme temperatures, as explained in the "Temperature" section.

Cooling


Warning Blank faceplates and cover panels serve three important functions: they prevent exposure to hazardous voltages and currents inside the chassis; they contain electromagnetic interference
(EMI) that might disrupt other equipment; and they direct the flow of cooling air through the chassis. Do not operate the system unless all cards, faceplates, front covers, and rear covers are in place. Statement 1029

Exhaust fans in the power supply and in the appliance itself cool the power supply and the appliance by drawing air in through various openings in the front of the appliance and blowing it out the back. However, the fans also draw dust and other particles into the appliance, causing contaminant buildup, which results in an increase in the appliance's internal temperature and interferes with the operation of various appliance components.

To avoid these conditions, we recommend keeping your work environment clean to reduce the amount of dust and dirt around the appliance, thereby reducing the amount of contaminants drawn into the appliance by the fans.

Temperature

Temperature extremes can cause a variety of problems, including premature aging and failure of chips or mechanical failure of devices. Extreme temperature fluctuations can cause chips to become loose in their sockets and can cause expansion and contraction of disk drive platters, resulting in read or write data errors.

To minimize the negative effects of temperature on appliance performance, follow these guidelines:

Ensure that the appliance is operated in an environment no colder than 50°F (10°C) or hotter than 95°F (35°C).

Ensure that the appliance has adequate ventilation. Do not place it within a closed-in wall unit or on top of cloth, which can act as insulation. Do not place it where it will receive direct sunlight, particularly in the afternoon. Do not place it next to a heat source of any kind, including heating vents during winter.

Adequate ventilation is particularly important at high altitudes. Appliance performance might not be optimum when the appliance is operating at high temperatures as well as high altitudes.

Make sure that all slots and openings on the appliance remain unobstructed, especially the fan vents on the back of the appliance.

Clean the appliance at regular intervals to avoid any buildup of dust and debris, which can cause an appliance to overheat.

If the appliance has been exposed to abnormally cold temperatures, allow a 2-hour warm-up period to bring it up to normal operating temperature before turning it on. Failure to do so might cause damage to internal components, particularly the hard disk drive.

Humidity

High-humidity conditions can cause moisture migration and penetration into the appliance. This moisture can cause corrosion of internal components and degradation of properties, such as electrical resistance, thermal conductivity, physical strength, and size. Extreme moisture buildup inside the appliance can result in electrical shorts, which can cause serious damage to the appliance.

Each appliance is rated to operate at 8 to 80 percent relative humidity, with a humidity gradation of 10 percent per hour. Buildings in which climate is controlled by air conditioning in the warmer months and by heat during the colder months usually maintain an acceptable level of humidity for appliances. However, if an appliance is located in an unusually humid location, a dehumidifier can be used to maintain the humidity within an acceptable range.

Altitude

Operating an appliance at high altitude (low pressure) reduces the efficiency of forced, convection cooling and can result in electrical problems related to arcing and corona effects. This condition can also cause sealed components with internal pressure, such as electrolytic capacitors, to fail or perform at reduced efficiency.

Electrostatic Discharge

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) results from the buildup of static electricity on the human body and certain other objects. This static electricity is often produced by simple movements, such as walking across a carpet. ESD is a discharge of a static electrical charge that occurs when a person whose body contains such a charge touches a component in the appliance. This static discharge can cause components, especially chips, to fail. ESD is a problem particularly in dry environments where the relative humidity is below 50 percent.

To reduce the effects of ESD, you should observe the following guidelines:

Wear a grounding wrist strap. If a grounding wrist strap is unavailable, touch an unpainted metal surface on the appliance chassis periodically to neutralize any static charge.

Keep components in their antistatic packaging until they are installed.

Avoid wearing clothing made of wool or synthetic materials.

Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference


Warning Blank faceplates and cover panels serve three important functions: they prevent exposure to hazardous voltages and currents inside the chassis; they contain electromagnetic interference
(EMI) that might disrupt other equipment; and they direct the flow of cooling air through the chassis. Do not operate the system unless all cards, faceplates, front covers, and rear covers are in place. Statement 1029

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) from an appliance can adversely affect devices, such as radio and television (TV) receivers operating near the appliance. Radio frequencies emanating from an appliance can also interfere with cordless and low-power telephones.

RFI is defined as any EMI with a frequency above 10 kilohertz (kHz). This type of interference can travel from the appliance to other devices through the power cable and power source or through the air like transmitted radio waves. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) publishes specific regulations to limit the amount of EMI and RFI emitted by computing equipment. Each appliance meets these FCC regulations.

To reduce the possibility of EMI and RFI, follow these guidelines:

Operate the appliance only with the appliance cover installed.

Ensure that the screws on all peripheral cable connectors are securely fastened to their corresponding connectors on the back of the appliance.

Magnetism

Because they store data magnetically, hard disk drives are susceptible to the effects of magnetism. Hard disk drives should never be stored near magnetic sources such as the following:

Monitors

Printers

Telephones with real bells

Fluorescent lights

Power Source Interruptions

Appliances are especially sensitive to variations in voltage supplied by the AC power source. Overvoltage, undervoltage, and transients (or spikes) can erase data from the memory or even cause components to fail. To protect against these types of problems, power cables should always be properly grounded and one or both of the following methods should be used:

Place the appliance on a dedicated power circuit (rather than sharing a circuit with other electrical equipment). In general, do not allow the appliance to share a circuit with any of the following:

Copier machines

Teletype machines

Laser printers

Facsimile machines

Any other motorized equipment

Besides the above equipment, the greatest threats to an appliance's supply of power are surges or blackouts caused by electrical storms.

If a blackout occurs—even a temporary one—while the appliance is turned on, turn off the appliance immediately and disconnect it from the electrical outlet. Leaving the appliance on might cause problems when the power is restored.