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Home » Hacking News » Cisco unveils advanced VoIP and content delivery network management tools

Cisco unveils advanced VoIP and content delivery network management tools

by ivy on August 22nd, 2001 IN A MOVE to ease the administration of advanced networks, Cisco Systems today announced a pair of network management tools in the VoIP (voice over IP) and content delivery networking arenas. The new solutions are designed to provide scalable management over network infrastructure and services.

Cisco's new VoIP Health Monitor assesses the health of voice applications and uptime in converged voice/data networks. The solution also alerts network operators to potential problems.

The solution is comprised of two applications: Device Fault Manager, which focuses on traditional router and switch management, and the new Voice Health Monitor, which uses the same technology to monitor Cisco's CallManager call processing platform and the devices it uses.

According to Cisco, Health Monitor supports more than 175 Cisco devices, including routers, switches, gateways, and in-line power cards.

Brian Prones, senior product manager of Cisco's enterprise management division, said that the Health Monitor will help the many companies that are now looking to VoIP technology and want to scale beyond "device-by-device" management.

"Our customers need to understand the health of those devices as well as the health of the infrastructure that these services are running on top of," Prones said. "They have to know when something has gone down and how it's gone down."

In tandem with recently announced updates to Cisco's IP telephony QoS (quality of service) and service-level management solutions, the new solution delivers advanced configuration, management, and troubleshooting of IP telephony deployments, Prones said.

The new CiscoWorks QoS Policy Manager contains recommended design guides that suggest specific QoS parameters, depending on the class of a given device and how it is deployed within the network. Meanwhile, enhancements to the CiscoWorks Service Management Solution product measure issues, such as jitter thresholds across a WAN, to ensure that proper service levels are maintained. Users can also control the product through an XML interface.

Prones said that managing voice services can require more attention and care than managing data.

"Setting the right parameters across your network for quality of service is something our customers need to pay a lot of attention to," he said. "If an e-mail comes half a second late, you don't notice it, but if your voice runs into half-second delays, you'll throw the phone against the wall."

Martha Young, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates research firm in Boulder, Colo., said that although the enterprise demand for VoIP services has not yet taken off, Health Monitor could gain a foothold among companies with distributed workforces and small to midsize enterprises.

Young also noted that Cisco is keeping its word to support its AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data) platform.

"It's significant that they haven't stalled on their forward progress, even in terms of economic turmoil," Young said.

Also on Monday, Cisco announced the availability of its 1105 Hosting Solution Engine, a rack-mounted appliance for enterprises and service providers that maintain data centers.

The device provides operational support for Cisco routers, switches, server load balancers, and firewalls through integrated layer 2-3 infrastructure fault and performance monitoring, with layer 4-7 monitoring and activation of hosted services.

According to Prones, the Hosting Solution Engine lets system administrators group together specific devices by function and device, enabling them to easily take devices in and out of service.

"This lets enterprises carve off particular functions for users," Prones said. "You can let one group be in charge of the HR content, and another to be in charge of the finance content."

The Health Monitor suite is currently available today for $19,995. The Hosting Solution Engine will be available in mid September for $19,995.

from: idg

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