Table of Contents

Overview of CiscoWorks Blue Native Service Point

Overview of CiscoWorks Blue Native Service Point

This chapter provides an overview of the CiscoWorks Blue Native Service Point (NSP) Release 2 program and its functions and benefits.

This chapter provides information on:

What NSP Provides

Designed for customers with large Systems Network Architecture (SNA) networks, CiscoWorks Blue NSP enables Sterling SOLVE:Netmaster operators to have full visibility of a Cisco router network from a single SOLVE:Netmaster console regardless of whether that router network is routing SNA traffic.

NSP provides visibility of the router network to the virtual telecommunications access method (VTAM), enabling management through a SOLVE:Netmaster console. Commands traditionally entered at the router console can be issued from a SOLVE:Netmaster console. These commands are then converted to RUNCMDs by NSP. The router responds to the RUNCMD in the form of network management vector transports (NMVTs) and these responses are displayed to the mainframe operator as a full-screen panel response. In addition to responses to RUNCMDS, NMVT alerts are also transported from the router to the mainframe where they are displayed by the SOLVE:Netmaster event display features.

The NSP suite of applications enable a SOLVE:Netmaster operator to monitor and manage Cisco routers, downstream physical unit (DSPU) resources, and Cisco Channel Interface Processors (CIPs) from a SOLVE:Netmaster console.

The NSP management environment is established via the service point interface that is integrated into Cisco routers. This service point interface accepts the RUNCMDs issued from a SOLVE:Netmaster console and transports responses and alerts from a router to the mainframe.

To manage routers from SOLVE:Netmaster, a VTAM connection must be established for each router and the appropriate service point must be defined in the configuration file of each router using Cisco Internetwork Operating System (Cisco IOS) software SNA interface commands. For more information on configuring a VTAM connection and verifying the SNA service point of a router, see the "Preparing to Install Native Service Point" chapter.

NSP provides the following from a SOLVE:Netmaster console:

NSP displays a summary of all the routers being monitored by NSP via the service point function. The color in which the service point name of a router displays indicates the status of that router. Statuses include up, down, connect, performance degraded, interface down, and alert received. This status panel also includes a command pop-up menu, which makes some of the most commonly-used router diagnostic commands easily accessible to a mainframe operator.
NSP also provides an extended summary view that displays flags next to a router that is experiencing performance problems that indicate the source of the problem. This feature enables operators to quickly diagnose the performance problems a router may be experiencing.
Added security support allows operators to be individually authorized to use either the display only functions of NSP or to use both the display and configuration functions.
Events sent by routers through NSP are correlated with the routers being managed by NSP to enable operators to easily view those alerts that apply to a specific router.
Cisco IOS software commands that are typically used to diagnose CIP and DSPU problems are available via a full-screen interface to make management of these devices simpler.
NSP provides a command line interface that enables SOLVE:Netmaster operators to connect to and issue any commands to a router that they would normally issue via telnet session to the router. This command line interface does not require TCP/IP at the mainframe.
The routers displayed on the Router Status panels can be grouped based on status or logical group criteria.
Performance data is periodically collected for routers and interfaces at user-defined intervals and is viewable from a variety of NSP panels.
NSP logs router and interface statistics in virtual storage access method (VSAM) for performance analysis. Performance statistics for both the routers and the interfaces enabled in those routers are logged to VSAM data sets that can be used later for performance analysis.
If CiscoWorks Blue SNA View Release 1.1 is installed, operators can display route information for sessions that pass through the routers being managed by NSP.

How You Can Use NSP

With NSP, you can monitor the performance of Cisco routers from your SOLVE:Netmaster console as well as monitor the performance of the interfaces enabled in your routers. You can view a list of alerts generated by these devices and sent to SOLVE:Netmaster. You can also control the functions an NSP operator can perform.

Specifically, you can use NSP to:

Functions and Benefits of NSP

NSP has four main functions:

The following sections briefly describe the benefits of the NSP functions.

Router Management

The router management function of NSP provides dynamic status information for routers that have been defined to or discovered by NSP.

You can use NSP to:

Interface Monitoring

The interface monitoring function allows you to monitor the interfaces enabled in the routers in your network. When you configure the NSP management environment, you can specify what types of interfaces you want to monitor and the interval at which you want the interfaces monitored.

You can monitor interfaces by type or on a per-router basis. You can also display the details about a specific interface as well as obtain interface history and performance data.

Note During interface monitoring, any new interfaces discovered by NSP are added.

The types of interfaces you can monitor are:

For more information on monitoring interfaces, see the "Monitoring Interfaces" chapter. For more information on configuring the NSP management environment, see the "Configuring NSP" section of the "Installing and Configuring Native Service Point" chapter.

Security Management

In addition to using standard security features offered by SOLVE:Netmaster and the Cisco IOS software, NSP also provides the following security features:

If an operator bypasses NSP by issuing RUNCMDs directly to a router, the following security issues are created:

Cisco IOS software security features used by NSP include:

NSP does not preclude you from using any of the SOLVE:Netmaster security features.

Performance Monitoring

NSP enables you to define router CPU and memory performance thresholds so that when the thresholds are exceeded the status of the router on the Router Status panels is altered. NSP provides data that enables you to evaluate the performance of the routers, interfaces, and DSPU and CIP resources in your network.

You can monitor the performance of these devices by:

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