Managing device images and configuration files is a crucial part of the day-to-day Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) activities required for managing networks as the combination of all device configurations determines the operating behavior and efficiency of the entire network. Image files define what software components are running on each network element while configuration files specify how the software and hardware will operate. Together, these images and files determine the functions, features, and services that each device and the network as a whole can provide.
Cisco Prime™ Network Change and Configuration Management significantly reduces the cost and time associated with carrying out network software upgrades by automating common time-consuming and potentially error-prone tasks. Network users can improve productivity while lowering operating costs by helping to ensure that deployments are consistent and error free across all managed devices. Given the critical role of configuration and image files, it is vital for network operations users to have comprehensive change control of which images execute on which devices. Since these files tend to change frequently (for example, through service activation activities), it is essential to be able to maintain a complete change history for every device. This helps enable users - on the rare occasion that a series of provisioning or device administration activities creates severe device or even networkwide degradation - to expedient restoration of service by reloading the last-known stable configuration file to the device.
Cisco Prime Network Change and Configuration Management provides the key capabilities required for automating control of image files and managing the archiving and restoration of configuration files. For example, an authorized network operations user can identify a "gold standard" device configuration for each device. Cisco Prime Network then monitors the network, automatically detects when any configuration change occurs, and archives the appropriate configuration files. Network operators can then quickly identify any differences among recently changed configuration files compared to the "gold standard" device configuration and, if needed, immediately restore the "gold standard" configuration to avoid costly downtime and the expense of having to back out a series of unwanted configuration updates.
With its easy-to-use graphical user interface, adoption of Cisco Prime Network Change and Configuration Management is easy and provides fast time to value.
Features and Benefits
The features of Cisco Prime Network Change and Configuration Management fall into the following three main categories:
• Change detection and control: Provides operators with full visibility and control over changes to network devices. Unplanned changes are quickly detected and the proper configuration restored.
• Configuration archive management: A full history of configurations for network devices helps enable informed decisions when unplanned changes affect individual devices or groups of devices as well as allows restoration to a last-known stable configuration.
• Software image management: Automates software deployment across managed devices, significantly reducing operational costs, increasing accuracy, and allowing the network to settle to a common software base faster.
Table 1 provides details for each category.
Cisco Prime Network Change and Configuration 3.8 enhancements include the following:
• Configuration file archiving and image distribution operations on criteria-based device groups
• Image import from a remote server
• Option to use FTP for faster configuration and image file transfers to a large number of devices
Table 1. Features and Benefits
Change Detection and Control
Automatic change detection
• Increases operational efficiency
• Provides timely change detection with reduced processing overhead
To get the highest value from Cisco Prime Network, it must be installed and configured with the final operations processes in mind. Cisco Advanced Services offers a broad array of services to help ensure that each Cisco Prime Network deployment is as fast and smooth as possible, optimizing the benefits of Cisco Prime Network. From initial process evaluations to specifying the most effective system configuration and implementation, Cisco Advanced Services is ready to provide customized assistance. For more information about Cisco Advanced Services for Cisco Prime Network, contact your local Cisco account team or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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