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Cisco Business Critical Services gets better network monitoring

The latest version of Cisco Business Critical Services includes limited management of third-party devices and improved detection of an impending hardware failure.

Cisco has added to its managed services portfolio tasks that include improved detection of an impending device failure that could cause a network outage.

The better network monitoring is one of several tasks added this week to Cisco Business Critical Services, which the company introduced a year ago. Other new services include the ability to make configuration changes and apply software upgrades to third-party devices.

Cisco has designed Business Critical Services to appeal to companies struggling to find enough IT talent to work on new projects while also performing the mundane, but necessary, tasks to keep a network running efficiently. A Cisco-sponsored IDC survey found 69% of more than 1,000 IT leaders worked in organizations that lacked the expertise to handle new initiatives, such as the digitization of business processes.

The additional tasks Cisco or its partners will perform as a part of Cisco Business Critical Services include profiling each Cisco device and then performing a statistical analysis of the data to determine the likelihood of failure. The review -- a form of machine learning -- relies on aggregated system-generated events Cisco has collected from customers' devices globally.

Business Critical Insights portal

Cisco reports on the analysis through the Business Critical Insights portal. The information provided includes risk ratings, crash probabilities and forecasts on device behavior. Customers will work with their assigned consultant to determine how to prevent network disruption.

Other new features within Cisco Business Critical Services include an API that customers or Cisco partners can use to integrate the managed service's analytics into third-party IT management systems, such as ServiceNow.

Finally, Cisco has extended the device and software data collected by Business Critical Services into third-party products. As a result, Cisco and its partners can report on inventory and whether software versions and configurations comply with corporate policies. The service can also make configuration changes and deploy software upgrades.

Cisco's managed services portfolio includes additional support options. One option is the installation of new products to make sure all licensed features are turned on and running.

Cisco is one of several vendors that offer managed services to hardware and software customers. Others include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei and Juniper Networks.

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