Chapter 2 - IT & Supply Chain Management

Report
On the Job with a Network Manager
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Activities performed by network managers
Tools used by network managers
How management tools and management
technology are used to achieve a given
purpose
Support for network personnel
The organization of tasks and workflows
How network management personnel work
together
Procedures that management personnel must
follow to complete a job
After reading this chapter you should gain a
better understanding of the following:
 The types of operational tasks network
personnel face on a day-to-day basis
 How network management technology
supports network operators
 The different types of management tools that
network personnel use to do their jobs
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The three different scenarios provide an
overview of the role that a network manager
plays within an organization
Responsibilities differ widely depending on
the type and size of the organization
The examples are illustrative and by no
means comprehensive
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Pat is a network operator at the Network
Operations Center (NOC) of GSP
Her group is responsible for monitoring the
global backbone network and the access network
GSP is a multibillion-dollar business that
provides global services with “five nines” service
availability
Any disruption to service would cause revenue
losses in the millions of dollars, expose GSP to
penalties and liability claims, and put jobs in
jeopardy
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Pat works in command central
Big screens map the main sites of the
network and show statistics on network
utilization
Map items appear in green when everything is
operational
Occasionally entire nodes on the map turned
yellow or red when connectivity is affected
A smaller screen on Pat’s desk shows a list of
trouble tickets, which are used to track and
resolve current network problems
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The trouble tickets have two sources
◦ customer-reported problems and
◦ Network problems
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Reps provide “tier 1 support” for customers
If a service rep cannot help a customer, the
customer is transferred to a rep with more
troubleshooting experience
Pat’s group provides the third tier of support
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Trouble tickets typically contain
◦ a description of the problem
◦ who is affected
◦ contact information
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Sometimes this information is missing or in
error
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The second source of tickets
Reported by systems that monitor alarm
messages sent by network equipment
The problem with alarm messages is that
they rarely indicate the root cause of the
problem
In most cases, they reflect symptoms that
could be caused by any number of things
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Pat doesn’t see every single alarm in the network
The alarm monitoring system tries to group
messages that appear to point to the same
underlying problem
Viewing grouped messages is much more
practical than addressing individual alarms
In the past, Pat has seen 20 tickets all related to
the same problem
GSP has recently made significant progress in
reducing redundancy
Despite the progress made many tickets still
relate to the same underlying cause
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Pat must first acknowledge that she has read
each ticket
If she does not acknowledge the ticket, it is
automatically escalated to her supervisor
Next Pat analyzes the ticket information
She uses a monitoring application for the
affected part of the network to see what is going
on
She starts by verifying the symptoms that are
reported in the network
In some cases, Pat decides that a piece of
equipment needs to be replaced
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If equipment needs replacement Pat opens a
work order system to create an order for a
new part
It is not Pat’s responsibility to dispatch a field
technician
Sometimes technicians are dispatched to a
remote location to inspect and/or replace the
equipment
In other cases the rack-mounted equipment
in the NOC is affected
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When the technicians exchange a part, they use a
bar-code scanner that automatically updates the
central inventory system
Pat enters what she did and when resolution is
expected on the trouble ticket
For now, she is finished
When the work order is fulfilled a notification
from the system will be sent to her in-box
Pat used to close the tickets before receiving
notification from the work order system
She now understands that procedures are
essential for GSP to control quality of the services
it provides
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Chris and a colleague are responsible for the
computer and networking infrastructure of
the RC Stores headquarters and 40 branch
locations
RC Stores’ network contains almost 100
routers
◦ Typically, an access router and a wireless router in
the branch locations and
◦ additional networking infrastructure in the
headquarters and at the warehouse
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A managed service provider (MSP) is used to
interconnect the various locations of its network
◦ The MSP has set up VPN tunnels between the access routers
at each site that connects the branch locations to the
headquarters
◦ The entire network can be managed as a single network
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Chris runs a management platform from a
workstation at his desk
◦ The application provides a graphical view of the network
that displays the network topology
◦ Chris has built a topology map that groups multiple routers
into “clusters”
◦ A typical management application screen is shown in the
next slide
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Management applications support some statistical
views as well
Cisco Packet Telephony Center
Cisco Works IP Performance Monitor
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Chris adds a phone for a new user and
troubleshoots a problem that he suspects
might be caused by problems on MSP’s
network
Chris handles multiple responsibilities
because of the smaller size of his
organization and network
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Sandy works in the Internet Data Center for a global
Fortune 500 company, F500, Inc.
The data center
◦ is the center of the company’s intranet, extranet, and Internet
presence
◦ hosts the company’s external website and connects customers to
the online ordering system
◦ is host to all the company’s crucial business data
◦ hosts the company’s internal website which provides access to the
data given the proper access privileges
Since the functions provided by the data center are crucial
to its business, F500, Inc. decided not to outsource them
The way F500, Inc. organizes and manages its processes
and supply chains differentiates it from its competitors
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Sandy is to develop a plan to accommodate a new
supplier
It will involve configuring
◦ server and storage infrastructure critical for the business
relationship as well as
◦ an extranet over which the shared data can be accessed
Sandy has a list of the databases that need to be
shared and backed up and storage and network
capacity must be assessed
Sandy’s main concern is security
Sandy needs to set up a new VLAN to separate traffic
on the extranet from other network traffic
A typical networks configuration screen is shown in
the next slide
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Access control lists (ACLs) on the routers need to be
updated to reflect the new extranet security policy
Finally, authentication, authorization, and accounting
(AAA) servers need to be configured
Sandy must determine where the data will be hosted
and how her decision will impact the internal data
center topology
Sandy uses a performance-analysis application to
make these determinations
Data are stored in multiple places. This will be
transparent to applications.
A common uniform resource identifier (URI) will be
used to address the data
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Pat, Chris, and Sandy handle their jobs in different ways
The differences depend upon the size and purpose of the network and
the network functions that individual manages. Chris manages
numerous aspects of his network.
Different tools are used by the managers to carry out the required
management tasks
Pat’s job is determined by guidelines, procedures, and the way the work
is divided at her organization
Both manually-executed and automated tasks exist
Management tasks required abstract concepts that had to be broken
down into numerous subtasks
Running a network involves monitoring operations, diagnosing failures,
configuring services, analyzing historical data, planning, security, and
workforce management
Integration affects operator productivity
◦ Pat used integrated applications to manage trouble tickets
◦ Chris had to repeat some work because of a lack of integration in his phone system
applications
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Device managers and craft terminals
Network and element analyzers
Management Platforms
Collectors and Probes
Intrusion Detection Systems
Performance Analysis Systems
Alarm Management Systems
Trouble Ticket Systems
Work Order Systems
Workflow Management Systems and Workflow Engines
Inventory Systems
Service Provisioning Systems
Service Order-Management Systems
Billing Systems
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Craft terminals provide a graphical view of the
physical configuration of network equipment
Craft terminals are used to
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log into a device
view its current status
change configuration settings
perform diagnostic self-tests and
downloading software images
Managed equipment may provide a “built-in” craft
interface that renders a view of the device
Field technicians typically load craft terminal software
onto their notebooks so they can connect to a device
and managed it via a USB or serial interface
CiscoView for Catalyst 6500
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Network or packet analyzers are used to view
and analyze network traffic for diagnostic and
and troubleshoot purposes
Network analyzers
◦ capture or “sniff” packets that traverse the ports of
a router or switch and
◦ Display packets in a human-readable format that an
experienced network operator can interpret
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Similar to craft terminals but
◦ contain a database for retaining device
configuration information
◦ receive event messages from devices on the
network and
◦ discover equipment deployed on the network
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Element Managers may have an interface that
allows applications to manage equipment
through the element manager. This provides
◦ data synchronization between apps
◦ a simpler user interface and
◦ reduced management load
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General-purpose applications used to
monitor and manage the network,
comparable to element managers
May be proprietary
Often include toolkits that extend the
management platform
Often compared to a PC operating system
because it provides a means for
communicating with network devices and
tracking communications via an internal
database
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Collectors gather and store network data
◦ Netflow is a common
◦ It gathers data about the traffic traversing a router
or switch
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Probes are active collectors
◦ They can trigger events and collect the responses
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Provide information regarding suspicious
activity on a network, such as
◦ break-ins to routers or servers and
◦ denial-of-service attacks
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IDS listen
◦ for alarms
◦ inspect activity logs and
◦ observe load patterns to determine if a network has
been compromised
Performance Analysis Systems
 Enable users to analyze traffic and
performance data to recognize trends and
traffic patterns
Alarm Management Systems
 Collect, monitor, and group large volumes of
data that pertain to alarms that are triggered
by different events on the network
 May be provide an initial diagnosis of the
cause of an alarm
Trouble Ticket Systems
 Support network problem resolution
 Usually generated by users of the network who
experience a problem
 Assign tickets, escalate tickets that take too long
to resolve, and report statistics about the
resolution process
Work Order Systems
 Assign and track maintenance jobs in a network
 Help organize workforce that performs jobs
 Track the maintenance process
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Help manage execution of predefined
processes that consist of multiple steps and
different owners
Not specific to networks
Based upon concept of finite state machines
Events are managed by a workflow engine
Inventory Systems
 Used to track assets which may be either
physical or services (such as a phone service)
Service Provisioning Systems
 Facilitate the deployment of services, such as
DSL, over a network
 Typically found in operational support
environments of large service providers
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Service Order-Management Systems
◦ Used to manage orders for customers of large
service providers, generally not found in enterprise
environments
◦ Manages workflows and processes of an
organization
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Billing Systems
◦ Essential for collections of revenues
◦ Analyze accounting and usage data to identify
which communications services were provided to
whom
◦ Can be helpful in fraud detection
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Three scenarios illustrating how networks are managed in practice
and the variety of tasks that are involved were discussed
The service provider scenario emphasized workflows, processes, and
interactions
The medium-size enterprise scenario was characterized by a variety
of tasks that had to be performed by one individual and a greater
reliance on the individual expertise and intuition
The Internet Data Center scenario focused on the planning phase of
a network’s life cycle as well as management practices for both the
network and the devices and applications connected to it
The scenarios illustrate that network management involves
management technology as well as organizational and human
factors
In each case personnel were supported by a variety of tools
A wide variety of different tools exist
Running the largest, most complex networks usually involves
hundreds of management systems and applications

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