Cisco Monitoring with EM7 Keeps You Safe

Richard Chart

blog-201006-cisco-logoWe’re headed to Cisco Live next week, and looking forward to showcasing some of the cool new things we are doing with Cisco. (Stop by our booth #2148 or the Cisco Solutions Pavilion Security Showcase at booth #1349.)

One of them is Cisco’s Physical Safely and Security solution, which EM7 is an integral part of. The purpose of Cisco’s Management Appliance (EM7, tailored with Cisco specific content) is to take all physical security resources (such as cameras, door locks, etc.), as well as Incidence Response infrastructure (such as radio service) and integrate them into a single network monitoring infrastructure.

This EM7 appliance provides a flexible way to interact with multiple devices; where traditionally at best you had point solutions to monitor the video feeds, dispatch, physical access devices and everything else.

Such diverse infrastructure means a diverse range of methods for monitoring. Fortunately, EM7 excels in environments such as this.

Depending on the device type, EM7 will discover and monitor it using one or more of: ICMP, SNMP, SQL, custom APIs, and also process status information asynchronously via syslog or SNMP traps. Here you can see the design of the MAP infrastructure and how EM7 fits into it. We’re managing three components:

  • Monitoring – collecting and processing events.
  • Fault detection – determining the severity of each event and whether or not there are potential network issues. Making sure an appropriate fault is activated based on the event and severity.
  • Isolation of faults – through the interface (which is an EM7 dashboard), users can easily identify faults and potential issues, as well as have the tools to troubleshoot problems remotely and determine the root cause of each issue.

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This proactive monitoring has multiple benefits to users. Not only do they get a flexible tool to monitor any infrastructure or configuration, but a proactive monitoring tool for mission-critical operations which can detect and isolate faults as they occur.

This helps systems stay up and running which keeps citizens safe, whether at the local shopping mall, city center, or school, where these integrated physical safety and security systems are deployed.

This proactive monitoring and collection of data and statistics can also determine which areas of the physical security system need improvement or upgrades, and institute policies to measure reliability, storage requirements and other important metrics. The core management capabilities validated in this solution guide are as follows:

  • Device and application availability
  • Receipt of asynchronous faults
  • Generation of custom faults
  • Collection of performance information
  • Collection and storage of inventory information for each component in the system

Here is a great example of EM7 pulling different data into one view. The IPICS server converts radio frequencies to IP, and here you can see it is showing faults and alarms (active alarms and events), historical data trends, network statistics, and more.

If one of the alarms indicates that an important process on the IPICS server is not operating properly, the user can take appropriate actions to correct the issue directly on the IPICS server.

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EM7 is an integral part of making physical security systems safer for communities. Stop by and see us at CiscoLive so we can show you!

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