Global management software, Cisco Works?

Unanswered Question
Feb 9th, 2007

Hi,

I know there is a long history of questionably successful management softwrae prodcuts, java-heavy stuff that is not quite up to par with modern management platforms so I lost touch with this stuff. Can someone make a solid recommendation on the current Cisco Works (or another product) which will allow a global monitoring of things such as performance, status, vlan mapping, etc.

The environment at hand is 26xx/36xx routers and 55xx/65xx switches

Thanks

Boyan

I have this problem too.
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eofelt Fri, 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Hi Boyan,

I've researched in the past and overall Cisco Works is the most flexible tool for Cisco devices. Other tools may have this or that but Cisco Works is a comprehensive and flexible solution. It is java based from what I've seen.

HTH, please rate

Collin Clark Fri, 02/09/2007 - 13:10

IMO, CW is one of the worst products I have ever seen, mainly because of Java. It requires an exact version of Java, doesn't support SNMPv3, and some of the tools rarely work. It does however have tools that no one else has such as VLAN mapping. Depending on what you need/want there are other tools out there. We wanted trending, alerting, and the ability to script changes and upgrades off hours. We went with Solarwinds Orion and Cirrus. There are many others out there, it just depends on what you want and what you're willing to pay.

bbiandov Fri, 02/09/2007 - 13:16

thanks, it was interesting to find out what you guys think. I agree, java is the plauge of this industry, and Cisco's comiitment to that had shown weak, almost academic-like thinking in terms of strategy

Can you tell me more about Orion?

Collin Clark Fri, 02/09/2007 - 13:30

Check out the demo at http://npmv7.solarwinds.net/Login.asp

They have modules that are part of the web interface. They just released a Netflow module which is pretty cool.

General info on Orion

http://www.solarwinds.net/products/orion/index.aspx

General info on Cirrus

http://www.solarwinds.net/products/cirrus/index.aspx

They recently came out with a new feature in Cirrus called Policy Manager which is fantastic. You should see it under the above link. If you need specific questions answered, just let me know.

glen.grant Fri, 02/09/2007 - 16:55

We use CW but consider mediocre at best and a pain in butt at its worst . Also can be extremely slow if not configured correctly . The java stuff is a pain . It is good for password changes and config changes and getting inventory histories as long as you keep it up to date . You can run certain reports on it . For any "show commands " you can run any type of reports gainst a show command . It makes password changes on a large network a lot easier .

bbiandov Mon, 02/12/2007 - 14:50

So you guys have confirmed what I always knew about Cisco GUI stuff- total java pain.

I would like to know whether there are things implemented on the competitor side that dont match the functionality - sure poor implementation on the Cisco part aside, I am curious about flatout non-existent features that would be available on the crappy java app but NOT available on the industry strenght reliable non-Cisco app?

Thanks

Boyan

rpsunbeam Thu, 02/15/2007 - 12:34

Livetime up/down with performance history?

Solarwinds - and whatever you do, hook it up to a real sql server don't use the desktop sql, you'll hit the 2gb limit quickly if you have any number of devices. If you use a serious sql server in the background you can keep stats for a long time and trend your network very nicely.

now reporting/asset management/version control/syslog.. ciscoworks

If you tune your syslog/snmp logging so you eliminate the crap or use filters on the ciscoworks box, you can eliminate 99.5 percent of the junk. I have mine where I can come in and see that all layer 1-4 syslog msg's are zero. If anything hiccups anywhere overnight I'll see it even if it wasn't long enough to be seen in solarwinds polling interval.

It will also show me change controls, ie. what was changed before and after by network staff.

and in conclusion, if you have multiple personnel maintaining the network.. ACS with TACACS+ with per command auditing.. you don't know how many times I've looked in the log and seen someone doing something boneheaded that they wouldn't admit to.. thereby causing a long downtime, when it could have been solved in minutes.

and because network people tend to try to circumvent anything, i have two acs servers and two ciscoworks servers, can't get rid of all reporting at once :)

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