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Bringing Up a New Branch Site the Easy Way with Prime Infrastructure – Part 4

Last week, I went through application assurance with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. Today, as the 4th post of a 5-part blog series, I’ll go into troubleshooting for your branch site with Prime. Again, as a quick recap, here’s my blog series on how to set up networking with Prime for a new branch site.

WAN deployment – blog 1
Converged wired and wireless  – blog 2
Application performance – blog 3
Troubleshooting – (this blog)
Network health – blog 5
 steve song blog 4 pic 1

By now, your new branch site is in perfect condition with Cisco IWAN, wired and wireless Converged Access, as well as application assurance all working as designed. But you need to be prepared to start troubleshooting if something goes wrong. Every user who runs into network issues means productivity loss.  Every minute of a down network causes a significant amount of business loss. Fortunately, Cisco Prime Infrastructure gives you many tools, so you can achieve speedy problem resolution and provide outstanding user experience.

Here’s a Prime troubleshooting success story that a customer told me. It’s a hospital in Dallas, Texas. Keeping their wireless network running was a critical business priority because the medical staff depended on it for communications and patient care. One day, nurses reported intermittent wireless problems in a room. You know, intermittent problems can be hard to troubleshoot. When you are ready to diagnose the problem, the symptoms may or may not exist anymore. Using Prime, their networking team was able to narrow down to a laptop which was always present when the wireless problems occurred. As it turned out, it was doing heavy and unauthorized live streaming which hogged the wireless bandwidth. The owner was immediately notified to stop streaming. Problem solved and case closed.

I’ll share another Prime story with you. On the live Cisco Live Milan network in 2014, a customer laptop suddenly generated a spike in network traffic. With Prime, Cisco on site networking engineers quickly identified that the traffic was produced by an instance of BitTorrent. Before this file sharing program could cause any network instability or potential disruptions, the engineers used Prime to pinpoint the laptop location and contacted the user. The entire process was completed in about 10 minutes, from initial discovery to final resolution. Without Prime, the process would have taken at least an hour for these top engineers. Read more details here about this story.

With Prime, you can
– troubleshoot user problems with Prime Infrastructure’s User 360
° View;
– troubleshoot infrastructure problems with Prime traffic analysis and end-to-end AVC tools; and
– troubleshoot performance problems within the data center with Prime data center management tools
.
These capabilities help you respond to your potential network issues, faster and more efficiently.

Prime Infrastructure’s User 360° View feature is your first choice to troubleshoot an end user’s network access issue. All you need is the username to start with.

steve song blog 4 pic 2

 

As you can see from the chart above, Prime User 360° View shows clearly that this particular user’s access difficulty is related to 802.1x authentication. With that information, you can complete your troubleshooting by determining whether the issue was due to user credentials, 802.1x supplicant, or your Radius server or switch/authenticator configuration.

In last week’s blog, I discussed how Prime can perform in-depth traffic analysis and enable end-to-end AVC features to ensure application performance. The same tools can be used for any infrastructure related network issue troubleshooting.  The chart below shows Prime’s deep packet level troubleshooting capability that you can use to drill down to every packet.

steve song - blog4 -pic 3

 

To see how Prime provides data center management capabilities including support for Cisco UCS servers and Nexus switches, check out this Prime Infrastructure 2.2 At-A-Glance: Extending One Management to the Data Center.

Rapid identification and resolution of user access and network problem. This is what you can get from Prime Infrastructure. Prime makes network troubleshooting an easy task.

I’ll talk to you next week about how Prime helps you monitor and maintain your network health.

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Bringing Up a New Branch Site the Easy Way with Prime Infrastructure – Part 3

Last week, I discussed with you how to set up and managed converged wired and wireless access with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. Here, as the 3rd post of our 5-part blog series, I’ll focus on how to ensure application performance for your branch site users with Prime. Again, here’s my blog series plan on how to set up networking with Prime for a new branch site.

WAN deployment – blog 1
Converged wired and wireless  – blog 2
Application performance – blog 3 (This blog)
Troubleshooting – blog 4
Network health – blog 5
 applications

Your new branch network is up and running as planned.  Everything for your WAN, wired and wireless access is working beautifully. But how is your business application performance? At the end of the day, it’s all about the applications and user experience.

Read More »

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Converged Access now available on Catalyst 4500E!

Catalyst 4500E Supervisor 8-E now supports Converged Access with the IOS XE 3.7 release. The Supervisor 8-E is the latest generation high performance supervisor for Catalyst4500E and provides cutting edge features such as Service Discovery Gateway and support for SDN Openflow in addition to Converged Access and industry leading scale and performance. Miercom recently tested the performance of Supervisor 8-E and the report can be downloaded here. Since its launch, the Supervisor 8-E has become the highest selling supervisor in modular access and has been deployed by a large portion of the Catalyst 4500 install base.

The integrated wireless functionality for Converged Access on Supervisor 8-E is implemented through the same Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) ASIC as in the Catalyst 3850, so Catalyst 4500E customers who deploy Converged Access get the same field tested solution that has been deployed by thousands of Catalyst 3850 customers. Additionally, the Converged Access solution on Supervisor 8-E provides high availability (Access Point Stateful Switchover) and investment protection for wireless, which are the hallmark of the Catalyst 4500 platform. Read More »

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Bringing Up a New Branch Site the Easy Way with Prime Infrastructure – Part 2

Last week, I shared with you how to set up WAN networking with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. Today, as the second blog of my 5-part blog series, I’m going to discuss with you how to connect your branch site users to the LAN and wireless network with Prime. Before I go further, just as a quick heads up, here’s my weekly blog series plan on how to set up networking with Prime for a new branch site.

WAN deployment – blog 1
Converged wired and wireless  – blog 2 (this blog)
Application performance – blog 3
Troubleshooting – blog 4
Network health – blog 5
 steve song blog 2 pic 1

Your new branch router is up and running. Cisco IWAN is working beautifully. You can’t wait to connect your branch users to their LAN and wireless access network. Mobility is what everyone automatically counts on these days. Cisco forecasts an 18-fold growth in mobile traffic from wearable devices along from 2015 to 2019. Meantime, wired LAN is still critical. IP phones, printing and some business functions depend on rock solid wired LAN access. You want to set up your wired and wireless access for success. A big challenge is how to keep it simple and easy to manage. Read More »

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Cisco Active Advisor – Network Maintenance and Improvement Made Easy

Who doesn’t enjoy a vacation? And not just one day, but – four!

What if there were a cloud service that saved you so much time, you could actually send all of London’s working population on a 4-day vacation?

Well, that’s exactly what Cisco Active Advisor does – save you time and money so you can do just that! Read Pradeep’s post to find out how – Introducing Cisco Active Advisor – A Free Cisco Tool for Your Network.

But more on that later… Read More »

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