A Cisco Element Management System for High-Productivity Network Operations
The Cisco® Element Management System™ (EMS) product line provides intelligent, device-specific fault, configuration, accounting, performance, and security (FCAPS) management. The Cisco EMS product line comprises a range of element managers based on a highly scalable, tested, and field-validated common infrastructure, which is designed to support carrier-class element managers across Cisco's product lines.
This flexible, modular model allows customers to install the mix of element managers they need to support their dynamic businesses. It also enables cost-effective and rapid deployment of new element managers, permitting the rapid introduction and management of new services. Cisco EMSs provide common interfaces and element-management services to applications in the network- and service-management levels of the operations support system (OSS).
The Cisco Catalyst® Switch Manager is a graphical user interface (GUI)-based, carrier-class EMS for managing the Cisco Catalyst 6500 and 6000, 4000 and 4500, 3550, 2970 and 2950 switches. This Cisco EMS provides a range of GUI features (Figure 1) designed to increase the efficiency of network operations. With real-time (physical and logical) inventory-discovery capabilities, this EMS quickens deployment of Cisco networking equipment and provides comprehensive element service assurance to more quickly solve network problems.
Sample GUI Screen Shots from the Cisco Catalyst Switch Manager.
The Cisco Catalyst Switch Manager runs on Sun Microsystems UltraSPARC servers with the Solaris 8 operating environment installed.
Table 1 lists the features and benefits of the Cisco Catalyst Switch Manager.
Table 1 Features and Benefits of Cisco Catalyst Switch Manager
Feature or Function
Benefit or Application
•Supports fault detection, logging and display, troubleshooting, and repair
•Technology-specific fault information via Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps, polling, and thresholding—MetroEthernet, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), virtual LANs (VLANs), routing protocols, etc.
•Inventory, configuration, and performance management operate in an integrated fashion
•Enables fast detection, troubleshooting, and repair, helping to ensure higher service availability, maximum revenue, and customer satisfaction
•Alarm information specific to a particular technology helps to isolate problems in the network
•Example: When a card or module is replaced, alarms can be generated signifying a network change and exactly what happened
•Automatically discovers, and updates in real time, the elements in a network, and how each element is configured in terms of field-replaceable units (for example, interface cards, power supplies, etc.) and installed software releases
•Maintained inventory also includes logical inventory (for example, IP addresses, VLANs, Hot Standby Router Protocol [HSRP], EtherChannel technology, metro Ethernet-type features)
•Inventory management function operates in real time and caters for online insertion and removal (OIR), configuration changes, and logical service changes
•Helps maximize use of the network to maximize revenue
•Offers a consolidated view of how a particular network element is installed, configured, and performing
•Accurate, up-to-date device inventory is essential to managing capacity (port, bandwidth consumption) and helping forecast increased subscriber activity
•Is powerful when used in conjunction with the fault-management capability of the EMS by correlating alarm conditions to the most granular level possible—for example, down to the port or VLAN level
Provisioning and service activation
•Includes provisioning of the following: quality of service (QoS), EtherChannel technology, VLAN, VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP), Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol(MST), Per VLAN Spanning Tree Protocol (PVST), Rapid, Per VLAN Spanning Tree Protocol Plus (Rapid PVST+), routing protocols (Border Gateway Protocol [BGP], Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System [IS-IS] Protocol, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol [EIGRP], Open Shortest Path First [OSPF] Protocol), Server Load Balancing (SLB), MPLS, 802.1Q Tunneling (QinQ), interfaces, packet over SONET (POS), Spatial Reuse Protocol (SRP)
•Uses service profiles for a more scalable and reliable service activation
•Synchronizes services with the network elements
•Offers flow-through provisioning by using the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) interface
•Provides better service to the customer and maximum revenue to the provider
•Eliminates the need to understand device-level idiosyncrasies, such as Cisco IOS Software command-line interface (CLI) abstraction
•Provides easy-to-use, flow-based GUI for deployment of new services
•Consistently shows configurations at all times; changes outside of the EMS are immediately reflected in the EMS
Performance and Thresholding
•Supports proactive checking for network-capacity breaches
•Performance-management data collection—historical and real-time
•Offers a powerful troubleshooting feature, useful for service-level agreement (SLA) supervision
•Immediately observes performance metrics for a given port, module, or chassis
•Logs performance metrics over time to aid in bandwidth management and capacity control
Network element administration
•Includes Cisco IOS Software image upgrade, configuration backup and restore, and management of Cisco IOS Software passwords
•Bulk network—element configuration
•Reduces reliance on CLI
•Enables less-skilled personnel to manage the network
•Reduces operator training costs
•Integrates with online Cisco resources for Cisco IOS Software image maintenance, such as verification of hardware prerequisites, firmware, etc.
•Allows changes to entire groups of network elements, such as authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA), Network Time Protocol (NTP), routing, etc.
•Assigns each user privileges according to which group(s) the user belongs and the roles assigned to the(se) group(s); for example, to restrict less-skilled staff to fault management operations only
•Enables the network operations center (NOC) manager to confidently permit less-experienced personnel access to the management system, reducing cost of NOC operations
•Access-security features reduce margin for error and prevent malicious access
•Increases reliability of service
•Supports up to 50 simultaneous users using the "fat client" model, in which the client performs the bulk of processing, and is X Window System-based technology
•Supports multiuser, multisite NOC operations
Disaster recovery support
•Supports network elements and EMSs, including "online" EMS database backup and restore
•Device configuration archive
•Reduces network downtime to increase reliability of service
•Helps ensure the EMS is continually available for provisioning and finding faults, even when backup and restore is in progress
•Date/time-stamped configuration archive aids in "rolling back" device configuration to a known "good" state
OSS integration interfaces
•Based on industry standards, including CORBA, SNMP, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and ASCII
•Enables integration into the service provider's OSS, and facilitates management using a single application
•Reduces training and provides benefits of EMS to an integrated OSS
For Further Information
For more information about the Cisco Catalyst Switch Manager, go to: