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Updated:December 22, 2010
Configuring a Small Business Routing, Switching, Wireless, Security, and Voice Network with a Single, Easy-to-Use Tool
® Configuration Assistant simplifies the task of configuring, deploying, and administering Cisco small business network solutions. Designed specifically for small business networks serving up to 100 users, this PC-based application with a simple graphical user interface (GUI) allows you to discover and configure Cisco Smart Business Communications System (SBCS) devices and platforms. (For a full list of devices and platforms supported, refer to Table 1.) After the network is deployed, Cisco Configuration Assistant can synchronize network configuration settings, provide troubleshooting tools, and present the real-time status of all of the Cisco small business devices in the network. Together, these capabilities substantially reduce the time the system administrator must devote to deploying and configuring the network.
• Setup wizards: Cisco Configuration Assistant includes an easy-to-use telephony setup wizard that allows users to configure IP addressing functions such as the WAN IP address and the voice and data VLAN IP address. The wizard also adds configuration options for automated attendant, business schedules, localization, inbound and outbound dial plans, users and phones, and call blast and hunt groups.
The Video Monitoring wizard provides trouble-free setup for streaming video from a Cisco WVC2300 or PVC2300 video surveillance camera to a Cisco SPA525G wireless IP phone.
The phone VPN wizard configures the SSL VPN client on the Cisco SPA525G wireless IP phone, facilitating voice connectivity to and from any remote location with Internet access.
The Security Setup Wizard simplifies the configuration of a Cisco Small Business Pro SA500 Series Security Appliance, Cisco Small Business Pro ESW 500 Series Switches, and Cisco AP 541N Wireless Access Points deployed on the same network.
• Voice configuration: Cisco Configuration Assistant can interact with and configure key voice applications and devices. Simply access the telephony services through the phone icon on the Cisco Configuration Assistant dashboard to easily set up and configure the phone system's users and phones. Cisco Configuration Assistant supports multisite configuration, allowing a maximum of five Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series sites to be networked together in a full-mesh data and voice virtual private network (VPN).
• Security configuration: Cisco Configuration Assistant allows users to activate the most commonly used Cisco software security features, including Network Address Translation (NAT) and firewalls. The tool can also configure the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series as a VPN server or the Cisco SR500 Series Secure Router as a VPN client.
In addition, Cisco Configuration Assistant supports advanced security functions such as intrusion prevention system (IPS), URL filtering, and voice over IP (VoIP) pass-through on the Cisco SR500 Series Secure Routers.
• Switch configuration: Cisco Configuration Assistant provides a quick and easy way to configure LAN ports on the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series and ESW 500 Series Switches. The tool allows dynamic VLAN assignment of voice and data traffic and simplifies activation of quality of service (QoS), security, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) features. The Smartports feature in Cisco Configuration Assistant allows each switch port to be customized to match the device that is connected, whether it is an IP phone, PC, access point, router, or LAN switch.
Features and Benefits
Cisco Configuration Assistant provides the following features and benefits:
• Multiple network views: Users can view the status of devices and monitor the network from three perspectives: the System Dashboard, Topology View, or Front Panel View. The enhanced Topology View (Figure 1) is an intuitive diagram that autodiscovers connected Cisco devices and third-party devices using the Bonjour protocol. Cisco Configuration Assistant can launch the web interface for Cisco and third-party devices through the Topology View.
Figure 1. Enhanced Topology View in Cisco Configuration Assistant
• Network synchronization: This feature detects inconsistent settings in the network, such as VLAN mismatches, incorrect time settings, and problems with security policies. Working with the Troubleshooting Advisor, users can easily detect and fix these inconsistencies. Error notification messages also appear on the System Dashboard.
• Simplified troubleshooting: Cisco Configuration Assistant can consolidate all the system logs required into a single archive with one button press. This archive can be sent to Cisco technical support for troubleshooting. For troubleshooting basic network connectivity, Cisco Configuration Assistant supports common utilities such as ping and traceroute, which can be run from a Cisco SBCS device. For the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series, Cisco Configuration Assistant also supports voice diagnostics for testing inbound and outbound dial plans, without the need to make test calls from an IP phone.
For advanced troubleshooting, Cisco Configuration Assistant can enable commonly used Cisco IOS® Software debug commands and include the output from these commands in the troubleshooting log, which can be sent to Cisco technical support for further troubleshooting.
Table 1 describes the supported voice, unified communications, wireless, LAN switching, and router devices and platforms.
Table 1. Devices and Platforms Supported by Cisco Configuration Assistant