Table Of Contents
Cisco WAN Access Performance Management System
Enabling Simple, Cost-Effective Delivery of Managed Network Services
As networking enters a maturing state, more and more companies are relying on their network for mission-critical applications. Consequently, the cost of network downtime and degradation has been rapidly growing. The most important link of the network is the WAN access, the means by which business applications are delivered. For many years, WAN managers have been concentrating resources and efforts to deliver acceptable services. Yet without proper tools to manage WAN performance, the level of service that can be delivered is limited. The mismatch between the level of services and user expectations often causes confusion and misunderstanding. The Cisco® WAN Access Performance Management System (WAPMS) is a unique solution for network managers wishing to raise overall service quality while reducing the cost of delivering high-performance, value-added services to their enterprise customers.
The Cisco WAPMS enables rapid rollout of robust WAN services by providing advanced, real-time, and historical performance information that providers can use for highly cost-effective operational support of the WAN access network. For service providers, this information can be used to generate revenue in the form of high-value network performance visibility that helps enterprise customers validate performance with intuitive reporting and relevant, measurable service-level agreements (SLAs).
Similar capability has frequently been available through the use of monitoring probes—hardware devices inserted into the circuit path to collect a variety of WAN performance statistics. Although this approach has traditionally been adopted at key locations, it is not cost-effective to deploy on a broad scale, nor does it suffice when networks require integrated data service units (DSUs) within the router for overall cost reasons. The new approach of Cisco Systems® helps enable customers to easily upgrade their networks to cost-effectively add WAN performance management to those remote locations that may have become more critical over time. This is particularly valuable in remote international locations where external DSUs are not deployable.
Cisco WAPMS Deploys Advanced WAN Performance Management without Hardware Probes
Delivery of WAN performance information is assured with the Cisco Programmable Network architecture to take advantage of new instrumentation within the Cisco IOS® Software and the Cisco CNS Event Gateway. The Cisco CNS Event Gateway is a critical component in the Cisco Programmable Network architecture that allows scalable device access from network management applications. In the Cisco WAPMS solution, the Cisco CNS Event Gateway provides a scalable, secure, and reliable data transport. Through a web interface, the Cisco WAPMS server publishes real-time and historical performance information to the network provider operations center and, potentially, to the customer, as a feature within a managed service offering.
The result is a highly cost-effective delivery of WAN services, helping enable the network provider to operate efficiently while demonstrating that service levels have been met or exceeded.
Features and Benefits
•Troubleshooting toolset—The Cisco WAPMS provides a series of intuitive graphical tools designed to enable the user to troubleshoot remote circuit locations and view local-loop, access-channel, and permanent-virtual-circuit (PVC) conditions. A range of WAN statistics is collected, including line errors, congestion on the ports and PVCs, utilization levels, among others. In addition, a series of SLA metrics is gathered, including round-trip delay, availability, and packet loss. These parameters are available for real-time and historical display and are archived for trend reporting and capacity planning.
•Performance monitoring toolset—A streamlined agent in Cisco IOS Software proactively monitors the WAN circuit for alarms and dispatches Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps to the central Cisco WAPMS console. These traps are automatically translated and displayed on the central console, or forwarded to other operations support systems for further analysis.
•Bandwidth optimization toolset—The accurate sizing of WAN ports and PVCs requires highly granular measurements of utilization levels and a comparison with the contracted WAN port speed and PVC throughput, such as sustainable cell rate (SCR) for ATM or committed information rate (CIR) for Frame Relay. The Cisco WAPMS Burst Advisor feature measures bandwidth utilization with 1-second granularity. This provides sufficient data points to help accurately size WAN ports and PVCs and avoids the misleading effects of averaged measurements. The Cisco WAPMS Burst Advisor helps make it possible to allocate sufficient bandwidth for application throughput, without exceeding budget limits. Equally, it is possible to determine where bandwidth may have been over allocated, allowing better business decisions to be made for cost reductions and budget reallocations.
•Planning and reporting toolset—The Cisco WAPMS Planning and Reporting toolset provides Web-based performance reports on more than 50 WAN parameters, including access channel and PVC conditions, as well as network wide executive-level reports such as SLA validation. The detailed and accurate network assessment in these reports provides the proper justifications for resource allocation and network planning. More importantly, the Cisco WAPMS reports provide an objective basis for collaboration between the users and the network provider, hence reducing the confusion and finger pointing. For service providers, these reports strengthen customer confidence and satisfaction, and provide a solid basis for service up-sell.
Extensive Analysis and Reporting Capabilities
Because the Cisco WAPMS provides the capability to accurately and proactively monitor WAN performance levels, it can benefit both enterprises and managed service providers.
Benefits for Service Providers
Managed network services providers can raise the overall penetration of managed services offerings and:
•Differentiate managed services offerings and generate value-added revenue streams
•Reduce operational support cost
•Ease the deployment with a simple Cisco IOS Software upgrade
•Eliminate remote probe hardware costs
•Achieve robust management visibility at remote international locations
Benefits for Enterprises
Enterprise organizations can gain greater control of their network by:
•Increasing network availability
•Reducing operational support costs
•Optimizing the use of bandwidth
•Validating service provider SLAs
•Achieving robust management visibility at remote international locations
The Cisco WAPMS makes use of Cisco IOS Service Assurance Agent for ATM and Frame Relay interfaces (SAA-ATM/FR) to collect highly granular statistics. Because it accesses to device driver statistics, the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR is supported on only selected platforms and interfaces. A successful deployment of the Cisco WAPMS requires the following:
•A Microsoft Windows PC that runs the Cisco WAPMS server
•The appropriate Cisco IOS images run on the selected router platforms, as well as the supported interface modules
•A Cisco CNS Event Gateway running on either the same server as the Cisco WAPMS for deployments with fewer than 500 monitored ports, or a Cisco Intelligent Engine 2100 Series appliance for deployments with more than 500 monitored ports
•Appropriate right-to-use (RTU) license keys to enable monitoring on the Cisco WAPMS server
The following tables show the specifications for each of the requirements. Table 1 gives the platforms and interfaces supported by the Cisco WAPMS.
The Cisco WAPMS solution requires the Cisco IOS Software release that includes the relevant feature(s) shown in Table 2.
Table 3 gives the recommended host machine configurations.
Cisco WAPMS Client (optional)
Cisco CNS Event Gateway
Use the included Cisco CNS Event Gateway for deployments with up to 500 Cisco WAPMS ports; or use the Cisco CNS Intelligent Engine 2100 Series appliance for deployments with more than 500 Cisco WAPMS ports.
Software and Interface License
Right To Use (RTU) Licenses can be purchased and installed on the WAPMS server. There are two types of RTU licenses. The first type of RTU license enables the WAPMS server to manage the Cisco routers. These licenses are classified by port speed and include the Service Summary view. There are five RTU classes in Cisco WAPMS 2.1: 56K/64K, T1/E1, IMA, DS-3/E3, and OC-3/STM-1. The second type of RTU license enables specific feature sets on the WAPMS server: Real-Time and Back-in-time. These licenses can either be purchased separately or as a bundle.
Cisco WAPMS licenses can be converted to Visual Networks® Analysis Service Elements (ASE) licenses. The converted licenses can be applied to unlicensed ASE probes from Visual Networks. This option provides the flexibility to use hardware probes in the short term and switch to a pure software solution when Layer 3 and above functionality is available in future Cisco WAPMS releases.
The Cisco IOS Service Assurance Agent (SAA-ATM/FR) in IOS releases listed in table 2 is compatible with existing Visual Networks Visual UpTime® Select™ server version 7.2 and above. SLA metrics can be measured between Cisco routers with SAA-ATM/FR and Visual Networks ASEs at version 7.1 or higher.
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