Monitoring Your Cisco Hardware with Intermapper

Windows, Linux, Mac OSX
December 14, 2016
It’s possible to monitor Cisco devices with Intermapper.


Do you have Cisco hardware in your IT environment? Some IT teams prefer Cisco devices for their support and functionality. Others simply inherit Cisco equipment from their IT predecessors. As networks grow in size and complexity, it’s safe to say that most organizations have Cisco devices running some portion of their day-to-day operations—and all of those devices must be monitored in real-time to prevent critical issues.

Whether you need to monitor a few Cisco routers or a roomful of Cisco hardware, Intermapper is a powerful Cisco network monitoring tool. From switches to blade servers, the software provides flexible support for all kinds of Cisco devices. You can use Intermapper to get the performance information you need to maintain a healthy network.

Here’s how CalSTRS monitored their Cisco environment with Intermapper.  

What do you need to monitor?

All of your Cisco devices need accurate, dependable monitoring, including common devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, and wireless controllers, or more uncommon devices, such as your Cisco Unified Communications Manager. For each device, you need up-to-date information about what traffic and utilization looks like, whether or not devices are available, and the status of physical attributes like CPU, memory, and power.  

How to monitor Cisco hardware with Intermapper

Intermapper is designed to reliably monitor hardware and applications from various device providers—Cisco included. IT teams looking for a Cisco network monitoring tool can use SNMP, NetFlow, and custom probes to monitor key metrics on Cisco hardware with Intermapper. Here’s how:

1. Built-in SNMP and Cisco-specific probes

Intermapper uses probes to interrogate network devices. Here’s how it works: the software a probe to a specific device, asks questions about that device’s performance, and gathers information. As long as the vendor—Cisco, HP, etc.—allows that information to be accessed, the probe returns to Intermapper with the requested information.

Most Cisco products support SNMP, one of the most well-known internet protocols. Intermapper has about 20 built-in SNMP probes that can be used to monitor common Cisco products. The software also has Cisco-specific probes that come ready-to-use out of the box: a CPU and memory utilization probe for Cisco routers, and an IP SLA Jitter probe for switches or routers.

2. NetFlow integration

Intermapper also allows network administrators to gain deeper insight about the bandwidth of Cisco hardware using NetFlow traffic information.

Cisco pioneered flows technology in 1996 when it introduced NetFlow. Since then, other vendors have launched their own flows technology. NetFlow allows IT to see beyond just traffic on Cisco devices and actually decipher where it originated and where it’s going. The technology captures and parses information to give network professionals deeper visibility to help with solving traffic issues.

Intermapper Flows gathers and displays NetFlow information for better analysis of network traffic, so you can quickly see which Cisco device is using the bandwidth and decide if thresholds should be adjusted or storage needs to be increased. 

3. Custom probes

With the speed of technology advancement and Internet-enabled devices, no network monitoring solution can support every single device out there. That’s why Intermapper offers a high degree of customization, making the software suitable for many technical requirements. Create-your-own-probe functionality enables IT professionals to monitor a broader scope of Cisco devices. Users have access to thorough documentation that guides them to make the probe they need in no time.

What’s neat is that the Intermapper community makes these custom probes available for other network professionals to use free for their benefit. Many of these probes support Cisco equipment.

The modern IT network is only expanding

It’s important to note that with businesses constantly replacing, upgrading, and migrating the hardware that runs their operations, today’s mix-and-match of vendor-specific devices will likely not match your network makeup five years from now.

In addition, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) means networks will only get bigger. Business Insider predicts that there will be 23.3 billion IoT devices connected by 2019 across all sectors, and 40% of these will come from the enterprise market.

As companies innovate, go mobile, and equip their employees for an internet-enabled age, they’ll be making more frequent changes and additions to their IT network. An ever-expanding network calls for the ability to monitor each and every device that comes along, whether it’s from Cisco, NETGEAR, Juniper, or another vendor. As your network changes over time, you have to ensure that your network monitoring software is flexible enough to support all these devices.

Whether you manage dozens or thousands of Cisco devices, Intermapper will provide dependable monitoring and mapping capabilities. As a vendor-agnostic tool, Intermapper’s flexibility to monitor devices from Cisco and other vendors makes it an ideal software choice for comprehensive network monitoring.

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