Later this month Cisco Systems will launch a package of Web tools to manage enterprise networks.
Cisco Works 2000 is built around the common information model (CIM). Customers will be able to manage networks from their browsers, using hyperlinks to go from one management tool to another.
Cisco has a policy of not discussing upcoming products, but it has briefed analysts and one Jim Herman, vice president of Northeast Consulting Resources, said: "This really signals that the Web is becoming the new paradigm for the management software market.
"In the past, the management platforms from Hewlett-Packard, Sun and IBM tried to fulfill this role. Now Cisco is proposing to achieve a new level of integration through Web technology using a common browser and by establishing bidirectional hyperlinks," he continued.
Herman expanded on Cisco's strategy to provide hyperlink access to multivendor tools as well as the level of data integration the company will provide. He explained that Cisco created an online registry for customers to register what hyperlinks they require, and Cisco will use this online registry with a minimum of fuss to set up the hyperlinks.
Cisco is leading efforts by the Desktop Management Task Force(DMTF) to extend the CIM standard and marry it with XML (extensible markup language). This will enable data to be exchanged between enterprise management platforms, such as IBM's Tivoli Systems and Computer Associates? Unicenter.
Cisco Works 2000 relies on Cisco Resource Manager (CRM), a Web tool for router configuration and status monitoring. Initial modules include a new version of CRM called Resource Manager Essentials and Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks Campus (CWSI).
Resource Manager Essentials provides inventory and configuration management, software deployment, device status and availability information as well as syslog analysis tools for switches and routers through a browser interface.
This feature provides menu-level access to applications such as Computer Associates's Unicenter TNG, Tivoli's TME10/New View, Hewlett-Packard's Open View, and Sun's Sun Net Manager.
CWSI Campus provides device and network performance monitoring and configuration capabilities for Cisco Catalyst and Light Stream switches.
CWSI Campus' features include Rmon-based traffic monitoring, logical and physical topology discovery and display, management facilities for multiple Lan services and user tracking.
Price and availability will be announced when Cisco launches the tools later this month.
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