Does network management have to be this way?

It’s remarkable how many organizations continue to manage their on-prem and cloud networks with spreadsheets, CLIs, and custom scripts. When you consider the amount and frequency of network changes, using spreadsheets to track inventory and topology is unsustainable, and those spreadsheets become quickly outdated as a result. And many NetOps teams remain rooted in CLIs, managing switches and routers manually, one-by-one, even as network infrastructure and complexity grows.  

Evaluating a better solution

There are better ways, of course. Cloud-based network management tools and services – like the newly announced Cisco Nexus Cloud – offer simplified experiences, flexibility of choice, and other attributes that are making them increasingly popular. If your organization is considering cloud-delivered network management solutions, be sure to evaluate them through the following lenses: 

 1. Visibility 

You can’t monitor, optimize, or fix what you can’t see. That’s why visibility is the most important factor when it comes to network management, and seeing the full picture (with contextual insights for how all of the pieces come together) is essential.  

The vast majority of network management solutions require you to monitor network devices manually: line-by-line, serial number-by-serial number. Some show VMs in addition to ports, but few provide OS, traffic, and endpoint visibility. Attaining the full picture of network connectivity and health requires the use of multiple interfaces and data sets, forcing you to piece together a complex puzzle. 

Nexus Cloud is different. It provides comprehensive visibility, including network inventory, connectivity, policies, and context across physical and virtual environments – even multiple sites. In addition to quickly seeing overall network connectivity and health, Nexus Cloud allows you to drill down to see granular details related to endpoints, traffic flows, device utilization, compute resources, and network anomalies.  

 2. Path to Sustainability 

Nexus Cloud also will provide visibility into network power consumption, a unique capability that helps track and improve sustainability. Since Nexus Cloud is delivered as-a-Service, our customers can always enjoy the latest as capabilities are built. Capabilities such as monthly energy consumption (measured in watts and gigabytes) and cost of each device and each site will be built into the product over time. The tool will estimate the daily carbon emissions for a given site. And it will even provide estimates for power consumption and costs for future planning.  

 3. Grow at your pace 

The best cloud-based network management solutions provide simplified onboarding, automation, and support. Nexus Cloud, for example, enables fast, easy deployments via automated network and device discovery. It offers intelligent planning (via traffic modeling) and firmware updates (with AI-driven recommendations for optimal timing). It allows changes to be applied to all devices collectively. And easy connectivity to Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) accelerates ticket creation and problem resolution.  

 4. Troubleshooting 

Most management tools provide a veritable firehose of network data, but few help make sense of the data when problems or anomalies crop up. Network operators are often forced to become forensic investigators, hopping between CLIs and spreadsheets to understand and pinpoint issues. Nexus Cloud simplifies troubleshooting and accelerates mean time to innocence (MTTI) with comprehensive, contextual network visibility, exacting root cause analyses, and prescriptive recommendations for how to resolve problems and anomalies. 

 5. Time to value 

Some network management tools – whether cloud-based or on-prem – have a steep learning curve, and it can take up to six months to train a specialist on how to use them. Nexus Cloud is the opposite. With a simple, intuitive user experience, network operators can learn how to onboard new devices, visualize data, and perform other essential tasks in days, if not hours. In fact, Nexus Cloud automatically discovers Cisco ACI and NX-OS fabrics. It’s always on and continuously monitoring network topology, health, and compliance. And because it’s a cloud-based subscription service, there’s no hardware to purchase or maintain.  


If you’re still using spreadsheets and CLIs – or if you’re looking for a simple and flexible network management toolset – perhaps it’s time to consider a cloud-based alternative.  


To see Nexus Cloud in action:

register for a live demo on October 11.



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Richard Licon

Principle Technical Marketing, Engineering

Product Management - Competitive Insights