Table Of Contents
Q & A
Cisco WAN Access Performance Management System
System Technical Questions
Q. What is the Cisco® WAN Access Performance Management System?
A. The Cisco WAN Access Performance Management System (WAPMS) provides service-level management for ATM and Frame Relay services. It accesses real-time performance data through the Cisco CNS Integration Bus using the new Cisco Service Assurance Agent for ATM and Frame Relay (SAA-ATM/FR) interfaces. With a set of tools such as the Performance Monitor, Troubleshooter, Service Advisor, and Burst Advisor, the Cisco WAPMS provides network managers with a comprehensive system to manage all aspects of WAN service performance.
Because this solution is jointly developed by Cisco Systems® and Visual Networks, Cisco WAPMS is also compatible with Visual Networks Analysis Service Element (ASE) probes.
Q. What is new in Cisco WAPMS 2.1?
A. Cisco WAPMS 2.1 provides a Web GUI. Remote access using a Web browser is now possible.
Q. What are the functional components of the Cisco WAPMS system?
A. A complete system includes the following components: the Cisco routers that support the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR feature, the Cisco CNS Event Gateway, the Cisco WAPMS server, and Cisco WAPMS right-to-use (RTU) licenses.
The router must be upgraded to the proper version of Cisco IOS® Software that supports the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR. Refer to the answer to "What release of Cisco IOS Software supports the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR feature?" for more information. When the router is upgraded, a Cisco WAPMS software license is required for each WAN interface port to activate monitoring. The Cisco WAPMS server stores the data collected by the router, and can be remotely accessed through a Cisco WAPMS client or Web browser, which provides real-time and back-in-time views into the performance information.
Q. Is there an API to talk to the data repositories on the Cisco WAPMS server for integration with other systems?
A. Yes, the Cisco WAPMS has an API, which allows access to all the system data elements for read and write interfaces. If you would like more information on the specific interfaces for the API, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Is the Cisco WAPMS server software or hardware?
A. The Cisco WAPMS server is software. It requires PC server hardware with the Windows 2000 server and Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) 2000 server installed.
Q. What is the Cisco Service Assurance Agent?
A. The Cisco Service Assurance Agent (SAA) is a suite of Cisco IOS features that are embedded in Cisco IOS Software for assessing network performance. The Cisco SAA offers two types of operations: traditional SAA-IP, which uses synthetic traffic for per-traffic measurements such as response time and jitter, and the new Cisco SAA-ATM/FR probe, which uses a combination of active and passive monitoring. For the passive probing, the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR monitors more than 130 parameters, with some probe measurements having granularity as high as per-second granularity, and stores measurement locally for 24 hours for data reliability.
Q. What kind of performance data can the Cisco WAPMS provide?
A. The Cisco WAPMS accesses information from the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR in Cisco IOS Software. The Cisco SAA-ATM/FR periodically retrieves performance data from the T1/E1, inverse multiplexing over ATM (IMA), T3, E3, and OC-3 controllers; the ATM or Frame Relay interfaces; and the permanent virtual circuits (PVCs). By getting more than 130 parameters, it provides detailed and accurate information about important statistics such as data delivery ratio, bandwidth utilization, round-trip delay, link and interface status, and more. The Cisco WAPMS also provides 1-second granularity on link utilization for accurate assessment of traffic burstiness.
Q. How does the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR collect the data?
A. To collect data for the Cisco WAPMS solution, an administrator needs to configure three types of operations in the router: the controller, the ATM or Frame Relay interface, and the PVC. Each PVC requires a separate SAA operation.
In run time, the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR queries the controller and the ATM interface for performance data. It also sends synthetic Layer 2 traffic to the destination end. The synthetic traffic allows the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR to synchronize information from both ends of the connection, as well as measuring round-trip delay.
The synchronization of the information from both ends is especially important because it allows the Cisco WAPMS to accurately calculate data delivery ratio as well as link utilization. A Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) approach, for example, would not be able to guarantee the time synchronization and, therefore, would not be able to calculate the exact data delivery ratio or link utilization.
Q. Does the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR store any data in Cisco IOS Software? If so, how much?
A. The Cisco SAA-ATM/FR stores Cisco WAPMS data for up to 24 hours. This data is stored in 15-minute buckets.
Q. Is there resource impact to the router? If so, how much?
A. Because the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR is an embedded agent inside Cisco IOS Software, it consumes router resources. However, with careful engineering design, the CPU and memory impact for monitoring one T1 interface is less than one percent. The three SAA operations consume about 45 KB each. For example, if a router has one T1 controller, one ATM interface, and two PVCs, the total memory consumption is about 180 KB (4 x 45 KB).
Q. Are there any router memory requirements for supporting the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR feature?
A. There is no additional memory requirement for running the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR feature in Cisco IOS Software other than what is needed to support the Cisco IOS Software image. Refer to the Cisco Feature Navigator
( http://tools.cisco.com/ITDIT/CFN/jsp/index.jsp) for specific release requirements. The feature to include is SAA for ATM interface or SAA for FR interface.
Q. I saw a feature called SAA for FR operation. Is it the same?
A. No, SAA for FR operation is an older feature that only measures round-trip delay using synthetic traffic. Also, this feature support Frame Relay/ATM interworking. SAA for FR operation is not compatible with the Cisco WAPMS.
Q. Because this solution is jointly developed by Cisco Systems and Visual Networks, does the Cisco WAPMS server support Visual ASE probes?
A. Yes. The Cisco WAPMS server supports both Visual ASEs and Cisco routers.
Q. What release of Cisco IOS Software supports the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR feature?
A. Table 1 shows the minimum Cisco IOS releases for the Cisco WAPMS 2.1.
Q. Is there any dependency on platform or interface?
A. Because the Cisco WAPMS monitors the physical interface, it does have a hardware dependency. Table 2 shows the supported platforms and interfaces.
Q. How is the router able to collect information with 1-second granularity? Does it use a lot of memory?
A. Because the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR is embedded in the router, it sees the information going across the WAN interface in real time. By taking 1-second snapshots of the data, the Burst Advisor tool in the Cisco WAPMS can provide an accurate depiction of the use for the WAN port and PVC. The Cisco SAA-ATM/FR does not store each data point per second. Rather, it stores the measurements in a distribution table. This distribution provides sufficient data points for determining the capacity requirements for the WAN port and PVCs.
Q. Why does the Cisco WAPMS use the Cisco CNS Event Gateway to access the device instead of polling the data directly from the routers?
A. The Cisco CNS Event Gateway provides a scalable, reliable, and secure interface to access the data collected by the routers. This is a more efficient approach over SNMP polling, which adds additional overhead and CPU cycles to the router, resulting in a negative impact on router performance.
Q. Is the Cisco CNS Event Gateway hardware or software?
A. For deployments with more than 500 Cisco router-based WAN interface ports, the Cisco CNS Event Gateway is installed on a hardware appliance (Cisco CNS Intelligent Engine 2100 Series appliance) that is required in addition to the Cisco WAPMS server. For deployments with fewer than 500 Cisco router-based WAN interface ports, the Cisco CNS Event Gateway software is installed on the Cisco WAPMS server.
Questions for Licensing
Q. What is the licensing model for the Cisco WAPMS 2.1?
A. The Cisco WAPMS 2.1 has a tiered licensing model based on features. The base license provides access to service summary features. A real-time license can be added to the base license to provide real-time troubleshooting capability; and a back-in-time license can be added to the real-time license to provide historical troubleshooting and reporting capability. Real-time and back-in-time feature licenses can be purchased in a discounted, bundled price. The prices of the licenses depend on the port speeds. Consult your Cisco account representative or
email@example.com for more details.
Q. What features does the base license provide?
A. The base license provides access to the Cisco WAPMS Service Summary features for the monitored ports. It includes general health statuses of the WAN links, such as global event monitoring; detecting and filtering of relevant events; and identifying link layer, circuit state, and physical layer changes.
Q. What features does the real-time license provide?
A. The real-time license provides access to real-time troubleshooting capability. It includes SLA performance,
in-depth site-to-site throughput measurements, the Cisco WAPMS Burst Advisor and Service Advisor tools, etc.
Q. What features does the back-in-time license provide?
A. The back-in-time feature provides access to the historical performance statistics and reports.
Questions for Existing Visual Networks Visual UpTime Customers
Q. Can I upgrade an existing Visual UpTime Performance Archive Manager (PAM) to support Cisco routers?
A. Yes. You will need to verify that the PAM meets the minimal specifications to support the Cisco WAPMS functions. The PAM needs to be upgraded to Visual UpTime v7.2 or higher software under the existing Visual maintenance contract. If the PAM will be supporting more than 500 Cisco router-based WAN interface ports, an external Cisco CNS Event Gateway appliance is required. If it will support fewer than 500 Cisco router-based WAN interface ports, the Cisco CNS Event Gateway software can be installed on the PAM server.
Q. What are the feature differences between the Cisco WAPMS with the Cisco SAA-ATM/FR and the Visual Networks probe solution?
A. The Cisco WAPMS matches Visual Networks ASE probes in Layer 1 and Layer 2 monitoring capability. Although the Cisco WAPMS 2.1 does not support Layer 3 and above functions and the ASE probes do, the additional functions are currently being planned and will be available in future Cisco WAPMS releases (refer to Table 3).
Q. If I deploy a Visual UpTime ASE probe on one end and Cisco WAPMS on the other end, what features will I not see?
A. This scenario is usually referred to as the hybrid deployment scenario. The Layer 1 and 2 functions are the same at both ends. Additional functions supported on both ends in a hybrid deployment include burst advisor, service advisor, and SLA validation. The endpoint with an ASE supports additional functions, including packet capture, top talkers, and usage by protocol. However, note that these features are currently on the Cisco WAPMS roadmap and will be available in the future.
Q. Visual UpTime provides many reports. Are there any reports not supported with the Cisco WAPMS?
A. The Cisco WAPMS supports all standard and executive Visual UpTime reports except protocol distribution.
Q. What do I need to order to deploy the Cisco WAPMS in my network?
A. To deploy the Cisco WAPMS, you need:
•A Cisco WAPMS server that best suits your needs—Note that the Cisco WAPMS server is sold as software. You will need to have PC hardware with Windows 2000 server and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 software installed in addition to the Cisco WAPMS server software.
•A RTU license for each WAN interface port—these licenses are classified by port speed. The Cisco WAPMS 2.1 has five RTU classes: 56K/64K, T1/E1, IMA, DS-3/E3, and OC-3/STM-1. Within each class, you can purchase the feature licenses based on your requirements.
•A Cisco CNS Event Gateway—For deployments with more than 500 Cisco router-based WAN interface ports, a Cisco CNS 2100 Series Intelligence Engine with the Cisco CNS Configuration Engine option is required. For deployments with fewer than 500 Cisco router-based WAN interface ports, an embedded Cisco CNS Event Gateway is included in the software CD and can be installed on the Cisco WAPMS server.
Q. The ordering guide lists a conversion option for the Cisco WAPMS licenses. How does it work?
A. The Cisco WAPMS 2.1 provides a performance management solution for Frame Relay and ATM networks. Support for IP VPNs is currently being planned. However, if a customer requires IP VPN support, the customer can select the Cisco WAPMS IP conversion option. This option allows the Cisco WAPMS to provide an interim IP VPN solution by combining Cisco WAPMS RTU licenses and unlicensed Visual Networks IP ASEs. With this option, the customer purchases a standard Cisco WAPMS RTU license and then selects the Cisco WAPMS IP conversion option. The IP conversion option is a zero-cost option under the corresponding Cisco WAPMS RTU license. Choosing the Cisco WAPMS IP conversion option notifies the sales person of which Visual Networks ASE is required for the solution. The customer must then purchase an unlicensed Visual ASE through an authorized Visual Networks sales channel.
The total cost of the Cisco WAPMS IP conversion option has been priced at parity with the Visual IP solution. When future Cisco WAPMS releases provide the IP VPN function, the customer will then have the option of switching to the purely software solution by simply removing the Visual ASE probe. This option provides the customer maximum flexibility for using the best-of-breed technology and extends the investment in the Cisco WAPMS.
Q. If I have Cisco WAPMS 1.0 or Cisco WAPMS 2.0, do I need to pay to upgrade to Cisco WAPMS 2.1?
A. No, the upgrade from Cisco WAPMS 1.0 or Cisco WAPMS 2.0 to Cisco WAPMS 2.1 is free. Contact your Cisco account representative to coordinate the upgrade.
Q. Is a license required for the Cisco CNS Event Gateway?
A. A license is not required for the Cisco CNS Event Gateway if you are using it for the Cisco WAPMS. Refer to the Cisco CNS Event Gateway ordering guide for more information.
Q. How does the Cisco WAPMS RTU license work?
A. When you purchase the Cisco WAPMS RTU license, you must send an e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org along with the purchase order number, the number of each type of license, as well as the host machine ID (generated by a utility in the Cisco WAPMS server). A license key is then generated that you can install in the server to start managing the WAN ports.
Q. There is a Cisco product called the Cisco CNS Performance Engine. Is the Cisco WAPMS integrated with it?
A. The Cisco CNS Performance Engine is a mediation software program for broad-based performance management data. The Cisco WAPMS 2.1 does not integrate with the Cisco CNS Performance Engine. However, future Cisco WAPMS releases may take advantage of the capability provided in the Cisco CNS Configuration Engine to provide a deeper feature set.
Q. What kind of support contract can I purchase?
A. You can purchase a Software Application Support (SAS) contract with the Cisco WAPMS server and for each RTU license. Under the SAS contract, minor release upgrades and maintenance are provided.
For additional questions about the Cisco WAPMS, send e-mail to email@example.com.