Cisco Announces Service Management Solution

Cisco Systems Inc. has announced extensions to the CiscoWorks2000 product family through the new Service Level Management Suite. The networking giant is broadening its partner-based program to include service management software vendors with new collaborative network management interface.

"We have seen an explosion in the demand for deploying and managing these services over the last year," says John McCormack, senior marketing manger for the enterprise management business unit at Cisco. "This service management solution empowers our enterprise customers to manage their vendor relationships for advanced services like VPNs."

Cisco plans to deliver a service level management suite with open XML-based management interfaces that enable partners to deliver multivendor, end-to-end service management environments.

The elements of this solution are Cisco IOS technologies, Cisco management connection service management program and open standards interfaces.

In Cisco IOS Technologies, the Service Assurance (SA) Agent is the fundamental technology enabling network centric measurements of service level metrics. This extends the Response Time Reporting capabilities, which began shipping in Cisco IOS 11.2 with additional services to measure Web, voice and data services.

The CiscoWorks2000 Service Level Management Suite utilizes the SA Agent to monitor network service level agreements. It provides business oriented reporting for IT managers on services deployed from service providers.

The Cisco management connection service management program enables enterprise customers to mix and match service management solutions of different partners. Vendors in the program have committed to deploying solutions based on Cisco's service management technology and open XML-based interfaces.

The initial vendors in the program include Compuware, Concord Communications, Desktalk Systems, FirstSense Software, Ganymede Software, Hewlett-Packard, InfoVista Corporation, Inverse Network Technology, Manage.Com, NetScout Systems, Network Associates, NextPoint Networks, ProactiveNET, Response Networks, TAVVE Software, Valencia Systems, Visionael and Visual Networks.

Next week at Networld + Interop in Atlanta, Cisco and Inverse will demonstrate an integrated service management solution allowing an end-to-end service environment providing network demarcation for service level management. The demonstration will show the Inverse VPN client technology distributed with the Cisco VPN client that allow monitoring of service quality over VPN networking and extending VPN metrics.

"Being able to offer service management capabilities that span the worlds of the private and public network is of strong interest to both service providers and enterprises alike," says John Morency, executive vice president of consulting services at market analyst house, Sage Research Inc. ( "The ability to isolate the source of performance problems, irrespective of whether those problems occur at the application or routing layers, will be a key success factor for the increased deployment of production quality public network services." --Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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