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Cisco updates management tools

Cisco takes advantage of ever-present Web standards to open up its management tools to a bevy of third-party software.

    Cisco Systems will take advantage of ever-present Web standards to open up its management tools to a bevy of third-party software, a strategy to extend the company's reach beyond its own networking equipment.

    A suite of new tools called CiscoWorks 2000 based on Web technologies allows an administrator to access a variety of management information from a centralized interface, a strategy similar to that used by software providers such as Microsoft and Novell. The company claims more than 30 third-party applications can communicate with the redesigned CiscoWorks suite through use of a new Cisco Management Connection interoperability process.

    New features of the CiscoWorks update, which is shipping immediately with prices starting at $4,995, include a Resource Manager Essentials tool and an update to CiscoWorks for Switched Internetworks Campus, an application designed for the company's Catalyst line of data switching devices.

    New Essentials functions include configurations management and change auditing while the latest version of CWSI Campus adds to its network discovery, display, configuration, monitoring, and analytical strengths, according to the company.

    Among the standards Cisco is supporting is the common information model, or CIM, a key emerging management protocol for communications between software applications.

    Hewlett-Packard, Computer Associates, Xacct Technologies, Micromuse, and IBM subsidiary Tivoli Systems are among the management software companies pledging to communicate with Cisco's tools.

    Separately, the Bay Networks division of Northern Telecom--soon to be renamed Nortel Networks--will announce a new network configuration software system for its Optivity suite of management tools next week that allows administrators to manage a network as a single system rather than a set of disparate network elements, according to the company.

    The new Optivity NCS builds on the company's NetArchitect and NetConfigurator applications and allows a manager to implement bulk configuration changes of network elements from multiple firms.