Network managers have not always demonstrated a tendency to do things the easy way. This is especially true in a Cisco (News - Alert) CLI environment. The CLI demanded a combination of homegrown tools, shortcuts, scripts and other techniques to enable the completion of even the simplest of tasks. For many, hours spent scouring Cisco Press books for assistance was common, and those who could make Cisco networks run were highly revered.
As a result, any Cisco tasks had to be completed by the “Cisco Guru” within the organization. The problem with this approach is this individual tends to be extremely busy and is known to make changes on the fly that may escape proper documentation. Plus, if one configuration change simply fixes a symptom instead of the problem, it can override another configuration and start a chain of wrong direction. In such environments, SMARTnet could offer relief.
SMARTnet helps to overcome many of these challenges, especially the downtime due to human error. ZK Research, according to this Network World (News - Alert) post, suggests such errors account for 37 percent of network downtime – a significant chunk. A decade ago, when the network was really just a supporting resource used for a few applications and Web browsing, a network that went down didn’t stop the shop. Today, it can bring the entire operation to a screeching halt.
As a result, the network manager today needs access to SMARTnet, leveraging intuitive, graphical tools that help them do their job more effectively and efficiently. For some, it can mean leaving CLI one behind; for others, it’s a valuable tool that allows them to manage the network more efficiently, staving off the pressure of the entire organization when the network goes down. After all, the dependence on the network dictates a network-centric compute model.
XS International offers an alternative solution to support the Cisco SMARTnet that provides additional capabilities and benefits for the network manager and the organization. Flexibilities in the contract are enabled, while simple contract management ensures optimal support within a single agreement and payment flexibilities help alleviate budget pressures. Hardware and software support goes beyond Cisco EOL/EOS.
This SMARTnet support also takes discounts to a deeper level than those available from Cisco. Plus, the Technical Assistance Center is Tier1 to Tier 3 and U.S.-based. Tier 4 escalation to OEM is available if necessary. Network managers also have access to custom reporting and coverage for all Cisco data, voice and unified communications, as well as SAN hardware and software products and subsequent security needs.
The reliance on the network demands a focused approach on configuration, management and support. SMARTnet is the first step in that direction and XS International helps complete the journey.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey