News Release

Cisco Announces An Industry Leading Integrated, End-to-End Service-Level Management Solution

New Suite Manages Network Availability, Performance and Security Policies
May 27, 1997

SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 27, 1997 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced theCisco Netsys Service-Level Management Suite (Cisco NSM), extending the awardwinning Enterprise/Solver product family acquired with Netsys Technologies,Inc. in November 1996. The Cisco NSM is an industry leading integratedservice-level management product to assure end-to-end network services,enable better management of the infrastructure and achieve greaterend-to-end network performance. It enables network managers to easilydefine, assess and repair end-to-end network service policies across mixedswitched and routed networks.

Today's mission-critical business applications depend on the network toprovide high-performance, secure, fast and reliable connectivity. The CiscoNSM's four core modules - Connectivity Service Manager, Performance ServiceManager, LAN Service Manager and WAN Service Manager - address theincreasing complexity of networks, the high rate of network change andheightened security concerns that challenge service provider and enterprisecustomers.

"With this introduction, Cisco has joined the small group of vendors thatare addressing significant customer management requirements," said JohnMcConnell, president, McConnell Consulting, Inc. "Cisco hits the target byaddressing service-level management from a policy perspective. The detailedinformation from the switched and routed infrastructures provides the meansto enforce the appropriate policies."

Defining and Assessing Networks Service Levels

The Cisco NSM establishes end-to-end network policies that define the levelsof availability, performance and security necessary for each networkedapplication. These policies ensure connectivity between key devices andapplications across the enterprise; provide protection of key networkresources; help enforce security policies; and ensure overall performancefor applications and network services.

"Service-level management has been widely used for years to manage SNAnetworks," said Herb Madan, vice president of Cisco's NetsysTechnologies(tm) Group. "Now, for the first time, network managers have thetools required to establish, measure and manage service levels on TCP/IP andIPX networks. The NSM is the only product offering that maintains acomprehensive understanding of network configuration, packet flows andnetwork utilization across routers and switches. This capability isessential to ensuring network services levels are met."

Service-Level Report Cards

The Cisco NSM automatically monitors and assesses service-level polices andruns a set of service-level summary and network health reports. Theresulting Web-based reports summarize which requirements are being met andwhich have been violated over time. Its multiprotocol, integrated, Layer 2and Layer 3 topology highlights service-level violations across the networkinfrastructure.

The service-level assessment summary report acts as a "report card" thatassesses which connectivity, survivability, security and performance policesare not being met. A "difference" mechanism in the software compares thecurrent run of service-level assessments with previous runs and identifieswhich service-level policy violations are new, persistent, transient, orhave been repaired.

Repairing Network Service Levels

When a service-level violation occurs, the Netsys QuickSolver capabilityquickly isolates the problem and suggests corrective changes. The uniqueVISTA (View, Isolate, Solve, Test, Apply) troubleshooting methodologyenables end users to view multiprotocol topologies, solve end-to-endproblems, test changes before implementation and apply changes to thenetwork. The VISTA methodology also enables users to perform "what-if"analyses of how the network will absorb new users or applications.

Other enhancements to the Cisco NSM include problem explanation, guidednetwork repair, LAN switching support and new routing protocols; BorderGateway Protocol (BGP), and intermediate system-to-intermediate system (IS-IS).

The Cisco NSM modules include:

Connectivity Service Manager

The Connectivity Service Manager enables the network manager to view, assesand troubleshoot the full spectrum of connectivity issues, includingphysical device connectivity, security and reliability. It uses built-inintelligence to actively monitor network configuration data and verify theavailability of key network services.

Performance Service Manager

The Performance Service Manager module complements the capabilities of theConnectivity Service Manager and monitors network performance levels,diagnoses and solves network performance problems, tunes existing networksand helps plan network changes. It adds Cisco-certified device performancemodels and actual traffic data collected from network probes, enabling theanalysis of interactions between traffic flows, topologies, routingparameters, router configurations and Cisco IOS(tm) releases.

LAN Service Manager

The LAN Service Manager module adds integrated LAN switching analysis andtroubleshooting capabilities to the NSM. It provides integrated Layer 2 andLayer 3 topologies and path tracing, automated integrity checking, andpowerful analysis capabilities for simulating and evaluating the effects onnetwork performance of moving end stations from one VLAN to another.

WAN Service Manager

The WAN Service Manager module integrates WAN switching analysis andtroubleshooting capabilities to the NSM. It provides integrated Layer 2 andLayer 3 topologies, automated integrity checking, and path tracing viasimulation of AutoRoute Layer 2 routing. It incorporates observed Layer 3traffic to determine how the WAN is really being used, in comparison to theestimated loads it was designed to support.

Cisco Systems

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