Q. What is the Cisco Network Connectivity Center (NCC)?
A. Cisco NCC is a new addition to Cisco network management products that combines the best of business services management-dynamic executive and operations views, customizable and available anywhere using the Web-backed by the industry's strongest, most accurate analysis. Cisco NCC delivers end-to-end management across multiple tools, technologies, and service domains. From networks and applications to business impact and dashboard views, Cisco NCC manages the entire IT environment in alignment with business objectives.
Q. What types of customers will benefit from the solutions provided by Cisco NCC?
A. Cisco NCC is suitable for any enterprise or service provider that needs to understand availability and performance issues at the network infrastructure, application, or business service level. Cisco NCC is unique in its ability to cohesively model, discover, and analyze across these domains and provide real-time, actionable intelligence to quickly resolve problems and enable world-class services to end customers.
Q. What features does Cisco NCC include?
A. CNCC features include
• Fast, accurate discovery of the entire environment
• Built-in information model that maps components and their relationships across layers
• Automatic identification of service-affecting faults-no rules writing required
• Business impact analysis that aligns IT with business objectives
• Advanced automation, including analysis, escalation, and update
• Flexible, Web-based dashboard views
Q.What components make up the Cisco NCC?
A. Cisco NCC is a set of closely interworking components that can be obtained and deployed separately:
Network Connectivity Monitor (NCM) pinpoints network connectivity problems in real time and identifies their impact on the network. It integrates and correlates topology, events, and analysis from multiple sources, and works with the Cisco NCC Global Console or Business Dashboard to provide a real-time, end-to-end perspective on your business-critical IT environment, its health, and its impact on your business.
Business Dashboard combines data-driven analysis and high-level graphics to deliver role-based views to business and operations users. Customized components can be embedded into third-party portals or custom Web pages, creating a desktop layout with multiple interactive content sources.
Business Impact Manager (BIM) module automatically calculates the effect of infrastructure and application faults on business services. Impact calculations are based on values that users assign to customer, service, and infrastructure components, according to business importance.
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Manager provides autodiscovery, network visualization, root cause and impact analyses, and topology and event integration for leading-edge MPLS deployments.
Network Protocol Manager (NPM) monitors the health of IP protocols including Border Gateway Protocol and Open Shortest Path First Protocol, pinpoints the root cause of problems arising from protocol failures, and correlates these events with problems in the underlying IP infrastructure.
ATM/Frame Relay Manager provides autodiscovery, network visualization, root cause and impact analyses, and topology and event integration, in this case in the context of ATM and Frame Relay network infrastructures.
Application Connectivity Monitor (ACM) supports application service availability by discovering applications by user-defined TCP ports, identifies when application connectivity is degraded, malfunctioning, or down, and is an important component of the Cisco NCC application management capabilities.
Application Services Manager (ASM) extends Cisco NCC's unique integration, correlation, root cause and impact analyses to the applications and services domain, automatically correlating service performance with details of the health of underlying network, system, and application resources. When service is degraded, malfunctioning, or down, Cisco NCC ASM automatically pinpoints the precise root cause delivering the information needed to sustain service delivery.
Report Manager captures, organizes, and presents historical views of events and the results of root cause and impact analyses from Cisco NCC applications.
Adapters are the interface components used to integrate data with Cisco NCC, both inbound and outbound. Several adapters are available for integration with a variety of leading technologies and vendors.
Q. Is Cisco NCC an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of SMARTS InCharge technology?
A. Yes, Cisco NCC is an OEM product based on SMARTS InCharge technology.
Q. What is the difference between Cisco NCC and Cisco Network Connectivity Monitor (NCM)?
A. Cisco NCM is a foundation component of the Cisco NCC product suite focused on finding the true root cause and effects of IP network connectivity issues. Other components in the Cisco NCC product suite extend beyond IP networks to the technologies and products listed above.
Q. Does Cisco NCC manage applications and business processes as well as networks?
A. Yes, Cisco NCC is a solution that reaches across domains including networks, systems, applications, and the business processes that run on them, to provide a complete view of business services and how issues at any of these layers affect those services and the customers relying on them.
Q. Does Cisco NCC manage devices and applications from other vendors?
A. Yes, Cisco NCC is a full multivendor management system, with more than 1000 devices from 100+ vendors currently certified.
Q. How is Cisco NCC packaged?
A. Cisco NCC is a suite of components that can be ordered individually. Most customers will use CiscoWorks NCM as a base product, which is available in "starter kit" form for managing 50 devices. Additional application or device licenses can be added at any time to manage new technologies or domains.
Q. Does Cisco NCC integrate easily with external applications and systems?
A. Cisco NCC is built on a foundation of open interfaces for both importing and exporting data using standards including Extensible Markup Language , Java, Perl, Structured Query Language, and Simple Network Management Protocol. Adapters are ready to use for integrating with leading products and vendors including HP, Tivoli, BMC, Remedy, NetIQ, and many others. With Cisco NCC as the foundation, you can choose the Cisco NCC and third-party solutions that meet your event management needs and integrate them into an end-to-end solution.
Q. What type of event rules do I need to write to support the Cisco routers and switches in my network? Do I have to rewrite my rules if I add additional ports on one or more of my switches?
A. Providing immediate value, Cisco NCC has built-in connectivity-analysis intelligence and does not require users to determine rules, polling parameters, or valid threshold values. As the network grows and changes, Cisco NCC will detect changes in Cisco devices and adjust its analysis accordingly.
Q. I am using an enterprise event management system for fault management. Do I need Cisco NCC? Why?
A. Cisco NCC is designed to integrate with current operations, whether installed as a standalone system, integrated with CiscoWorks Device Fault Manager (DFM), CiscoWorks IP Telephony Environment Monitor (ITEM), or with other event management systems, such as HP OpenView, Tivoli NetView, Cisco Info Center, or SMARTS InCharge. When integrating with other event management systems, Cisco NCC can act as a network connectivity analysis subsystem, forwarding its analysis to other applications used within current operations.
Q. What platforms does Cisco NCC support?
A. Cisco NCC runs on multiple platforms including Windows, Solaris, HPUX, AIX, and Linux.
Q. I understand that Cisco NCC ships conﬁgured with thresholds and polling intervals already established for a range of Cisco devices. Can I change these settings to meet the unique needs of my network?
A. Yes, Cisco NCC users with appropriate administration rights can modify all the thresholds and polling intervals in the various component products.
Q. What is the relationship between Cisco NCC and CiscoWorks DFM or CiscoWorks ITEM?
A. CiscoWorks DFM also is an OEM of a SMARTS InCharge product (Performance Manager), and CiscoWorks ITEM is a Cisco product built using SMARTS InCharge technology. Because both have the same technology foundation, integration between the products is implicit, and they easily are able to pass management information to Cisco NCC NCM to provide cross domain root cause and impact analyses.