Performance and Fault Management

Performance and Fault Management

by Paul L. Della Maggiora, Robert L. Pavone, James M. Thompson, Christopher E. Elliott, Kent J. Phelps

A comprehensive guide for designing and implementing effective strategies for network performance and management

  • Design and implement performance and fault monitoring that will measure and report the effectiveness of your Cisco network
  • Generate reports and alerts that provide network information and status
  • Learn to navigate Cisco's


A comprehensive guide for designing and implementing effective strategies for network performance and management

  • Design and implement performance and fault monitoring that will measure and report the effectiveness of your Cisco network
  • Generate reports and alerts that provide network information and status
  • Learn to navigate Cisco's documentation and MIBs to determine which elements of a specific technology you should manage
  • Study the key aspects of systems and VLAN management of Cisco devices
  • Discover best practices and related configurations for implementing network management on Cisco routers and switches

Performance and Fault Management is a comprehensive guide to designing and implementing effective strategies for monitoring performance levels and correctng problems in Cisco networks. It provides an overview of router and LAN switch operations to help you understand how to manage such devices, as well as guidance on the essential MIBs, traps, syslog messages, and show commands for managing Cisco routers and switches.

Written by a team of network management experts, this book details how to implement the practice of network management through documentation, process reviews, and network baselining. It explains various management commands, data, protocols, and resources in Cisco routers and switches. With this book, you will discover how to achieve optimum performance and fault management results on your Cisco network.

Product Details

Pearson Education
Publication date:
Networking Technology Series
Product dimensions:
7.65(w) x 9.45(h) x 1.68(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Conducting a Network audit

You bought this book to find out which management data to collect from the network, so why is the first chapter about audits and documentation? Simply put: You can't measure performance and watch for faults effectively without understanding where everything is and how it's connected. No matter how sophisticated the tools you purchase or build may be, the measures and alerts mean nothing without understanding how the network works.

Effective network management begins with a well-designed network. Unfortunately, most people do not have this luxury; if they do have network access, they usually cannot redesign the network to improve their ability to manage the infrastructure. aside from simplifying the management, starting with good network design or improving existing network design facilitates simpler and quicker resolution of network problems.

In order to implement effective network management, you must begin by learning and documenting the network as it currently exists. This includes documenting the physical and logical makeup of the network and its components, the people involved and their responsibilities, and the processes in place (if any) to enhance and maintain the network. These are the steps that make up a network audit. This chapter describes the primary tasks that are useful for learning and documenting how the servers, network devices, and users are connected. By learning and documenting the physical connectivity and logical configuration of your network, you will simplify the troubleshooting process when problems arise. The resultant information provides the foundation and integrity necessary to proceed with thecreation and seeding of the knowledge base described in Chapter 3, "Developing the Network Knowledge Base."

although not an exhaustive study, this chapter covers the following topics:

  • The purpose of network audits
  • Why documentation is important
  • Conducting a physical inventory audit
  • Conducting a connectivity audit
  • Conducting a process and personnel audit

The Importance of Network audits

The purpose of a network audit is to accurately assess and document the current state of the network, its components, the people involved, and the human processes used. The audit, in effect, documents the purpose and priorities of the network. Without the audit, you must rely on people's memory, hearsay, and possibly out-of-date or inaccurately documented maps and databases.Without proper documentation and understanding of how things change in the network, you cannot reliably deploy performance and fault network management. You must determine how all devices are connected to each other-both physically and logically-and where the network components are located. From this information, you can determine which devices, ports, and connections are important for the development of your performance and fault management strategy.

Note: When you are working with outside consultants for network design or management issues, the network audit should be the first action they initiate. Without understanding the components, people, and processes, an outside consultant cannot accurately determine the state of the network and develop a plan of action. Regardless of your company's level of documentation, the consultant must still verify that the information matches the physical reality.

Without a proper understanding of physical connectivity and the location of network components, it will take longer to isolate network problems and you stand a greater chance of mistakenly introducing faults into the network during moves, adds, and changes.

although commercial auto-discovery and mapping tools do a good job of drawing logically connected networks, they cannot discover on which floor, building, desk, or closet the devices are located. Trace a cable under the floor or between closets at 3 a.m. and you'll never underestimate the importance of a physical map again!

When a portion of a network goes down or becomes unstable, troubleshooting the source of the outage is done through a process of fault isolation. During an outage or fault, network administrators work as quickly as possible to search out and isolate the source of the problem. In order to do so, they typically begin somewhere in the middle or at the edge of the affected area, and work to reduce the fault domain or area of affected devices. The goal is to get as much of the network operating around the fault domain as possible. With proper documentation, this goal is much easier to achieve. In addition, in a well-documented network, the network manager knows which applications and users are affected by a problem, and can proactively notify the user community.

In a poorly documented network, fault isolation becomes a game of finding a needle in the haystack...

Meet the Author

Paul L. Della Maggiora, CCIE #1522, is a Technical Marketing Engineer for Cisco's Performance Design and Verification Center. With more than 10 years experience in the networking industry, he has served as Escalation Engineer and NMS team lead for the TaC and Product Marketing Engineer since joining Cisco in 1994.

Christopher E. Elliott, CCIE #2018, has 25 years of experience in the networking industry, starting on the aRPaNET. He currently works for the Cisco Systems TaC. For the last eight years, he has concentrated on network management, including writing network management applications containing a distributed SNMP polling system.

Robert L. Pavonc, Jr., CCIE #1265, is a Network auditor and Tools Consultant on the Net Tools Team within Cisco's Customer advocacy organization. With more than 10 years of experience, he has dealt with everything from configuring analog modems to troubleshooting complex customer IP networks.

Kent J. Phelps, CCIE #2149, has more than 15 years of experience with information systems and communication networks. With Cisco Systems since 1996, he has concentrated for the past six years on network management and analysis.

James M. Thompson, CCIE #1758, has more than 20 years of experience in data and communications networking-from working with the aRPaNET and MILNET through supporting networks with more than 10,000 routers. He is currently a High availability Network Consultant with Network Supported accounts at Cisco Systems.

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