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Cisco Multiprotocol Label Switching Management
Enabling Innovative Services with Cisco Info Center for MPLS Networks
The Cisco® Info Center product line offers an integrated solution for end-to-end fault management and service-level assurance. This solution allows businesses to maintain and improve the quality of network services, retain customers, and sustain a competitive advantage. Cisco Info Center provides a powerful, customizable, distributed alarm and event management environment. In addition, it simplifies the process of understanding affected Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) VPNs with an intelligent solution that automatically correlates the affected VPNs in real time when used with Cisco IP Solution Center for the provisioning of Cisco Systems® hardware.
Cisco Info Center Overview
Cisco Info Center provides a high-performance, distributed, and integrated client-server system for alarm and event management from diverse sources, including many different vendor products and standard management platforms. Simplified partitioned views are achieved easily through the Cisco Info Center Desktop and increase productivity with no dependency or limitation to an underlying network management platform.
The key purpose of Cisco Info Center is to consolidate, de-duplicate (suppression of repeat events), filter, and correlate fault and alarm information from a wide range of management platforms and products. The Cisco Info Center solution provides a powerful, customizable fault management environment that filters out the noise in the network using event-triggered automations, and allows operators to focus on what is important—critical network and service-affecting alarms. This function, coupled with the Cisco Info Center VPN Policy Manager, enables a deeper understanding of which MPLS VPNs are affected by a network fault.
Cisco Info Center VPN Policy Manager
The Cisco Info Center VPN Policy Manager is a software product that interfaces to the Cisco IP Solution Center with minimal configuration to query and report back to Cisco Info Center the affected MPLS VPNs and the customers running across those VPNs. This information can then be used to create specific Customer Network Managed views. Customer network managed views, which involve partitioning, are provided to the network operations center (NOC) or VPN user. Customer network managed views constitute a "pull-through" requirement, because they are driven by sophisticated end users who are seeking visibility and control over VPN services. Customer network managed views focus on providing information about the service that the end user requires—not about the network itself.
Cisco Info Center can monitor the provider's network, but may not have visibility into the customer's network. The network events are captured and displayed in the simple-to-read Cisco Info Center Desktop.
With the provider edge events captured and displayed in the Info Desktop, information about the provider edge is forwarded to the Cisco Info Center VPN Policy Manager, which uses this information to automatically query Cisco IP Solution Center to find what customer edge devices are attached to that provider edge, what VPNs run across those customer edge devices, and what customers run across those VPNs (refer to Figure 1). This information is then presented in Cisco Info Center and displayed for the NOC operator or used to create customer network managed views.
Cisco Info Center Operations
Cisco Info Center offers a flexible tools menu with many troubleshooting tools included (refer to Figure 2). As new tools become available, they can be incorporated into the menu anytime manually, or Cisco Info Center Policy Packs can automatically add them. The Cisco Info Center tools enable NOCs to perform troubleshooting tasks quickly and simply from the central Info Desktop screen. Information contained in the event is automatically passed into the tool as an argument; for example: the MPLS ping tool when launched pulls the IP address out of the event and passes it to the ping command ping mpls ipv4 @IP_address/@Interface.
Cisco Info Center Provides Automatic Service-Level Correlation
Cisco customer partners will quickly realize the benefits and value of a Cisco MPLS network and Cisco integrated network management solution focused on MPLS VPN management:
•Capturing the events and automatically correlating them to impacted VPNs and customers is of great value in determining how to prioritize MPLS-affecting events in less time than before.
•Existing Cisco Info Center gateways tie into customer trouble-ticketing systems for the automated opening and synchronization of faults with the help desk.
•Cisco Info Center VPN Policy Manager comes equipped with a rich set of troubleshooting tools that take advantage of intelligent Cisco IOS® MPLS features for the quick resolution of MPLS events (refer to Figure 3).
•The system-based combination of event collection plus service-level correlation plus sophisticated troubleshooting tools enables the Cisco product-based MPLS network to provide the full life cycle of event management and reporting focused on the NOC and customer needs from the same data store.
Cisco Info Center MPLS Troubleshooting Tools
•Cisco Info Center 3.6
•Cisco IP Solution Center 3.1
For current Solaris-based network management product hardware requirements, refer to the Sun Cisco Optimized Platform Recommendations Table for hardware and part numbering ordering information.
•Version number: Cisco Info Center VPN Policy Manager 3.1
•Minimum memory required: 512 MB
•Disk space required: Solaris 450 MB
•Package distribution: FTP download
•24-hour support: Call Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
Sun Microsystems Sparc-based platforms:
Customers gain the flexibility and control to expand management capabilities with Cisco Info Center. In combination with Cisco Info Center VPN Policy Manager and Cisco IP Solution Center, Cisco Info Center automatically delivers intelligent information about impacted MPLS VPNs and displays them in a simple-to-use, single management console. This enables the NOC to be more productive in prioritizing and displaying customer network managed views for MPLS VPN environments.
For Further Information
For more information about Cisco Info Center, visit: