CiscoWorks Service Management Solution



Q & A

Service Management Solution

Q. What is the CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution?

A. The CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution (SMS) manages service levels between enterprises and internal or external service providers to ensure high-quality, economic delivery of converged network services. Working with the embedded Cisco IOS® Service Assurance Agent, CiscoWorks2000 SMS defines and monitors service- level agreements (SLAs) specifying traffic type, endpoints, and thresholds against key parameters such as latency, packet loss, and jitter. CiscoWorks2000 SMS sets real-time traps allowing prompt detection and correction of possible service degradation. Open Extensible Markup Language (XML) programming interfaces enable full management of service levels through easy integration with in-house or third-party analysis and provisioning systems.

Q. What's new in CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution 2.0?

A. CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution 2.0 includes changes to help customers gain even greater control over their WAN costs.

  • New SLA probes—CiscoWorks2000 SMS version 2 includes additional Service Assurance Agent probe types to provide even fuller coverage of business-critical SLAs. New probes include TCP Connect and UDP to any port to better emulate mission-critical applications, and DHCP to monitor availability of address services.

  • SLM Collection Managers—Software-based Collection Managers replace the ME1100 appliance available in CiscoWorks2000 SMS 1.0. CiscoWorks2000 SMS 2.0 ships with an embedded Collection Manager. Remote Collection Managers are available, providing additional scalability, distribution, and resiliency.

  • Improved reports—SLC and SLA summary tables and improved navigators provide direct, rapid access to critical SLA status information. All reports have both "full" and "exception only" modes. Users can export report contents to comma-separated variable (.csv) files for importing to spreadsheets or their own databases.

  • SLA violation traps—CiscoWorks2000 SMS configures SLA source routers to set traps on rising and falling thresholds. This translates into instant savings because fault management and trouble-ticketing systems can alert technicians to specific SLA violations. Such early warnings can prevent service degradation, failure, and SLA penalties.

  • API support—In response to customer requests, Cisco is making available to customers the CiscoWorks2000 SMS 2.0 XML applications programming interfaces (APIs) previously released only to third-party software vendors.

Q. What should I know about upgrading from CiscoWorks2000 SMS version 1.0 to version 2.0?

A. When upgrading from CiscoWorks2000 SMS version 1.0 to CiscoWorks2000 SMS version 2.0, the following conditions apply:

  • After upgrading the Service Level Manager software from version 1.0 to 2.0, the ME1110 hardware will no longer be accessible from the SLM server.

  • SLA collection jobs will be migrated to the default Collection Manager on the SLM server.

  • Jobs can then be pushed out to SLM version 2 Collection Managers deployed on distributed Solaris or Windows NT/2000 workstations.

  • The upgrade should be scheduled for a period when SLA data need not be monitored, as there will be a disruption in collection. Data collected to date will be maintained (though as noted, there will be a gap in the collection as the jobs are shut down and restarted on the new Collection Managers[s]).

Q. Can I install CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution software on the same system as CiscoWorks2000 LAN Management Solution (LMS) or CiscoWorks2000 Routed WAN (RWAN) Management Solution?

A. CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution will run on the same system where CiscoWorks2000 LMS or RWAN are installed. However, for performance reasons, Cisco strongly recommends dedicating a server to run the Service Management Solution.

Q. How is CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution different from the Internetwork Performance Monitor?

A. While both CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution and the Internetwork Performance Monitor employ the Cisco IOS Software Service Assurance Agent, they address very different aspects of network management. SMS generates management reports that display average, aggregated statistics of the network's ability to support service-level agreements. Internetwork Performance Monitor troubleshoots network response time and availability problems.

Q. What are SLM Collection Managers and what value do it provide to the Service Management Solution?

A. SLM Collection Managers are software agents that provide job management and the collection and aggregation of service-level data generated by Cisco IOS Software Assurance Agent. Collection Managers perform as an interfaces between the Service-Level Manager (SLM) and the network devices from which it collects service management statistics.

Q. Why use remote SLM Collection Managers since one is installed on the SLM server? How do remote SLM Collection Managers enhance the CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution?

A. By offloading most of the processing cycles related to collecting service-level data and managing data collection jobs, the remote SLM Collection Managers allow the CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution to support larger, more complex networks. Furthermore, additional Collection Managers can collect management statistics in physically separate management domains—such as in a large remote campus or beyond firewalls—that report back to a central CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution.

Q. How does the SLM Collection Managers help SMS collect service-level statistics across virtual private networks?

A. The SLM Collection Managers facilitate the collection of service-level statistics even in network topologies separated by the public Internet or by virtual private networks (VPNs) that are protected by firewalls. When placing SLM Collection Managers behind firewalls, they can collect management data by using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to poll network devices, which are usually filtered by firewalls. The SLM Collection Managers forward this data to the SMS server using the HTTP protocol, which can traverse firewalls.

Q. How do distributed SLM Collection Managers increase the reliability of collecting service-level statistics data?

A. Without a remote or distributed SLM Collection Managers the Ciscoworks2000 Service Level Manager server must collect network management data from all devices in every location of the network. If a WAN connection to a remote site is unavailable, or if the CiscoWorks2000 SMS server should go down for any reason, then the collection of service-level statistics from some or all of the network devices is terminated until the network or server is restored. Using one or more distributed SLM Collection Managers to collect service-level data allows such data to be collected even in the event of a server or management network failure.