Introduction to Cisco Inventory and Reporting
This chapter provides an overview of the Cisco Inventory and Reporting service and covers the following areas:
•Key Features and Benefits
•Inventory and Reporting Tool Components
•Inventory and Reporting Tool Services
•For More Information
The Inventory and Reporting capability, supported on the iTS technology platform from Cisco Systems, delivers the tools and technology to analyze, and report information about Cisco network elements and provide Network Aware Information. Inventory data is securely uploaded to Cisco via the Transport Gateway and reports are presented through the Inventory and Reporting Web Portal. The inventory data is also available to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to help enable faster resolution of any network issues.
Key Features and Benefits
This section identifies the key features of the Inventory and Reporting service and describes the benefits this service provides.
Accurate Install Base Information
The Inventory and Reporting capability provides accurate Install Base data to aid in asset management initiatives to help reduce total cost of ownership and to help drive Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Through accurate Install Base reporting, spend less time searching for Cisco information that applies to your network. Through the Web Portal, view value-added reports including details on Cisco network elements, Cisco physical elements with configuration (cards, chassis), memory details of devices, Cisco software types and versions, as well as End-of-life/End-of support information.
Faster Resolution Of Network Problems
Reduce security vulnerabilities through a better understanding of installed assets and operating systems. Furthermore, baseline information required to start troubleshooting your network is available to the Cisco TAC from the moment you open a service request. Your Cisco TAC engineer has instant visibility into the size and nature of your network.
Access to the Inventory and Reporting tool requires the installation of Cisco software to periodically upload your network information to the Cisco Inventory and Reporting back end, either manually or using an automatic scheduler.
Hardware Requirements (Minimum)
Pentium 4 or higher (Pentium M recommended
Windows 2000 Pro, Service Pack 3 or 4, Windows XP with Service Pack 2, or Windows 2003
Note: The language for the Windows platform should be English; otherwise, you will not be able to install CNC, which is the platform the Transport Gateway is installed.
1 GB system RAM, plus minimum 1.5 GB swap space for a total of 2.5 GB memory
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x and higher
Netscape Navigator 7.x and higher
Approximately 400 MB of disk space required by software package, plus an additional disk space required for discovery/inventory data (approximately 60 KB per network device, or 60MB per 1000 devices)
Java Plug-in 1.4.2 required, for CNC to be accessed through the Web Browser
Inventory and Reporting Tool Components
1. Cisco Network Collector (CNC) is an automated network discovery and inventory tool. CNC tracks all network elements discovered or added from a seed file, providing timely delivery of network information.
2. The Transport Gateway uses 128 bit encryption to securely upload all collected data, and/or data inventoried by CNC, to the Back End.
3. The Back End contains four services that process data that was collected by CNC and transported by the Transport Gateway. For more information see "Inventory and Reporting Tool Services".
4. The web portal provides a secure interface that lets users select a variety of reports in several different format types; once they are registered and entitled to the Inventory and Reporting service.
Inventory and Reporting Tool Services
The Cisco Inventory and Reporting program includes the following services groups:
The collected network data is processed and analyzed by applying rules to the data using RBIC. RBIC is a system designed to capture, share and re-use Cisco intellectual capital. The system captures expert knowledge from Cisco engineers.
Knowledge Repository - Intellectual capital
The knowledge repository is a collection of Cisco intellectual capital often referred to as knowledge engines. These are in general Cisco corporate back end systems that contain Business Unit data elements (like Field Notices and Advisories) and also systems rules for entitlement.
All network inventory data upload from the customer network into the Inventory and Reporting back end over the secure channel will be parsed against these data elements in the back end systems.
Certain data elements uploaded via the collector over the secure channel require data validation. Some examples of these data elements are Serial Numbers and Product Identifiers. Triangulations are done for the output of three different back end systems to either correct and validate or just validate these data elements.
The asset repository component of the Inventory and Reporting back end represents all the inventory uploads from all customers. This information is used as a source to build all the Inventory and Reporting reports accessible through the web portal. An industry standard platform is used to process and store end-user inventory data.
For More Information
For more information about the Cisco Inventory and Reporting tool, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org