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Simple Device Management, Network Provisioning and Network Assurance for Small Carriers & RLECs

Guest Blog by Alison O’Brien, Product & Solutions Marketing Manager

Small Carriers and the NMS/EMS

Small carriers and rural local exchange carriers (RLECs) often forgo Network Management Systems/Element Management Systems (NMS/EMS) platforms because they don’t have dedicated IT departments. They often have limited staff, time and in some cases lack the breadth of technical IT skills needed to manage complex NMS/EMS platforms. In addition, finding a NMS/EMS solution that is priced to match their network size and that is easy to use and deploy can be a time consuming (if not impossible) task.

The Value of Network Management

Even though they may not use a NMS/EMS platform, these service providers do recognize the value of using a management tool. They know how an NMS/EMS can efficiently perform device management, network provisioning and network assurance tasks. They also know that an NMS/EMS can provide insight into network operation and performance, enabling their staff to more accurately respond to potential problems as well as automate manual tasks. And finally, they know the added value that an NMS/EMS can provide as they grow their business – particularly how it can support the expansion of new services.

EPN Manager ScreenShots_AO_03NOV2015


EPN Manager: Cisco’s Solution – Even for Small Carriers

Introduced in June of this year, Cisco’s Evolved Programmable Network Manager (EPN Manager) is Read More »

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It’s Not The Network

All too often we networkers spend our time defending the network not only from security threats but from blame as the root cause (actual or perceived) of performance problems. The network is guilty until proven innocent. So how do we counter these arguments, put the issue to rest, and uphold the integrity of the network? Logs, logs, logs.

Logs are evidence to support your hypothesis. There are a couple of different types of logs I’d like to talk through and the roles they provide in a tiered approach to troubleshooting.

SNMP – This is one of the first places I go to when an issue is reported. This provides a look at the current state of the network based on polling intervals and traps, and also a place to explore data patterns and trends. Most enterprises will have an NMS solution in place and in my experience this is also a great place to learn the topology of the network(s) when joining a new company. There are many commercial and open source products available and I suggest trying a few different options to find out which works best for you and your team as they all organize and present the data in slightly different manners. Read More »

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Part 3 – SDN Questions to Ask at the Gartner Data Center Conference

My final observation from my days at the London Gartner Data Center Conference is related to SDN and ease of network management – or otherwise.  Hopefully this discussion will give you some ideas for good questions to ask at the Las Vegas conference, which is running as I write this.

Cisco UCS on show at the Gartner Data Center Conference

Cisco UCS on show at the Gartner Data Center Conference

Before I start, if you are at the conference in Las Vegas, please do take time out to visit the Cisco stand #305 to find out more onCisco solutions including Unified Computing and ACI.  Also take some time to say hello to our with new, exciting team members from our Metacloud acquisition – it’s fantastic to have such OpenStack and DevOps expertise in particular part of the Cisco team.

To catch up on my earlier questions, see my part 1 and part 2 blogs – questions you can ask at any SDN conference or of any vendor, since this blog series is not just about the Gartner conference. Now on to more SDN questions to ask ….


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Announcing MSI for 3rd Party Management Partners

Many of you following this blog are very likely familiar with the Media Services Interface (MSI) and the key role MSI plays in the Medianet architecture. The MSI is an SDK residing on rich media applications and endpoints that makes the network and applications smarter together. Over the past several months the MSI has been increasingly integrated across a wide range of Cisco applications and endpoints. The path forward looks very exciting with plans for many more rich media applications integrating with the MSI.

The Cisco Developer Network program for Medianet system management partners has been in place for some time now and has been instrumental in helping 3rd party network management system partners leverage the benefits of medianet from a network standpoint. We are pleased to announce the expansion of this program to include MSI interoperability verification and testing for system management partners. For the first time, system management partners that are focused on the endpoint and application side of the equation can use the MSI to proactively monitor application performance and accelerate troubleshooting.

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