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Cisco Leaps Into Network Management
Cisco Systems jumped into the network-management field today with a broad new set of products called the Network Application Performance Analysis suite.
Cisco says its new products, some of which won't be available until March, will offer real-time, automated views of network performance, predict bottlenecks before they happen, and runs 'what if' scenarios to see how infrastructure and usage shifts will affect the network. They'll be able to analyze how specific applications are performing on the network and alert managers as to whether the network or networked applications are the cause of service problems, says Cisco.
On the services side, Cisco is offering to train a customer's employees to use the products, as well as outsourced network-management services. Cisco wouldn't provide details of pricing, but says the new products are interoperable with networks from other vendors.
Cisco says it plans to take a more granular approach to network management than competitive vendors, adding that the new products complement the service-oriented approach to networking it announced last week. "This issue of correlating network performance with application performance is an area that's not been well served by the network industry or the application industry," says Clive Foreman, VP of Cisco's network management group. "So now we're stepping up." Other products being planned include software that can define service and cost objectives and provide automated control and enforcement of service.
Case Western University CIO Lev Gonic, who has been testing these tools, sees great potential benefit if they live up to their billing. "As we were looking to harmonize and reduce the number of moving parts in the management tool set, we are looking at this Cisco stuff that is just coming on," says Gonic. If Cisco can bring these tools to manage the converged applications and services like IP television, voice-over-IP and wireless at Case Western's campus, Gonic thinks he might be able to blend a few of his IT management teams into one.
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