What’s New and Improved with the 18.2.1 Release?

cPacket Networks is pleased to announce the release of 18.2.1! We are excited to share new and improved features designed to improve operational efficiency, increase workflow productivity and simplify network management. The 18.2.1 release applies to cPacket’s cVu NG, cStor 10G and cClear product lines.

cBurst support of MPLS Traffic Class (TC) and MAC address filter types

For those unfamiliar with cBurst, this feature allows for high resolution monitoring of up to one thousand streams to help customers identify network problems in real time. cBurst is used by many users for accurate capacity planning and monitoring. cBurst supports QoS, VLAN, IPv4, IPv6, and IPCONV filter types. Individual profiles on a per port basis are configured for up to 1,024 individual filters, and are organized into 256 groups. Each filter is an n-tuple which is comprised of traffic criteria and a group number. Each of these filters belongs to multiple groups, and each group can be assigned a threshold for alerting. If a network problem occurs, an alert is immediately sent to cClear, the visualization dashboard. These alerts occur in real- time allowing the user to proactively detect and mitigate issues faster, reducing mean time to resolution. The time series data assigned for each group, or all groups, can be viewed on cClear’s dashboard. Furthermore, the data can be exported for inclusion in other databases.

In this release, MPLS TC and MAC address filter types have been added to the existing list of supported filter types. Figures 1, 2 and 3 below show several examples of MPLS TC and MAC address filter types.

Figure 1: Example of MPLS TC filter among other filter types

Figure 2: Example showing how to filter by source and destination MAC address and with IP source and destination addresses

Figure 3: Example showing how to filter by source, destination MAC address and MPLS TC

cClear SNMP Agent

The 18.2.1 release now includes a new feature that is fully integrated with cClear: SNMP Agent. The cClear SNMP Agent enables network operators to effectively manage the cClear network devices by collecting information such as system configuration, usage and connectivity of the underlying devices to the cClear management system. Furthermore, network operators will receive autonomous alarms and warnings on key cClear health conditions such as temperature, disk usage, power supply, fan and time synchronization.  The SNMP Agent is enabled by default but can be disabled and/or re-enabled from the Configure SNMP service panel seen in Figure 4 below.

Figure 4: Configuring the SNMP Service

Additional security enhancements

Secure Socket Shell, also known as SSH, is a common yet instrumental network protocol used to maintain secure, trusted access to remote based systems from any location, platform and across all network types. Some beneficial use cases that network administrators perform on remote systems are: logging into a shell on a remote host, executing commands, transferring files securely, as well as monitoring and managing servers automatically.

The 18.2.1 release allows for SSH terminal access administrative control for cPacket’s cStor and cClear. The access feature can be enabled to allow for remote cPacket support and necessary troubleshooting. To enable and/or disable SSH in the cStor and cClear, the user can check the box (to enable) or uncheck the box (to disable) in the settings menu.

Additional operational improvements:

The 18.2.1 release has various operational enhancements to improve overall efficiency and minimize time to resolution.

a. Suppressing Syslog Events and SNMP Traps

Syslog Events and SNMP Traps can be fully suppressed on any inactive or unused cVu and Cx monitoring ports, and when operating under minimal power conditions. This improved feature brings a new level of functionality and capability by gathering the number of critical events and traps as received by external management systems to a level required for optimal network performance. Utilizing this feature is critical for maintaining the network with as much uptime and as few issues as possible. Figure 5 below shows the command to suppress Syslog Events and SNMP Traps.

Figure 5: Configuration command to suppress Syslog events and SNMP Traps

b. Disablement of the Transmit (Tx) Laser Power on SFP/SFP+ Ports

Currently, cPacket’s cVu devices support the option of remotely disabling the Transmit (Tx) laser power on specified 40G QSFP ports to assist network operators with any troubleshooting and/or connectivity issues. The 18.2.1 release has extended this feature to the 1/10G SFP/SFP+ ports. Users can disable the Tx laser power on the QSFP or SFP/SFP+ port(s) by editing the settings seen below:

Edit the cVu config (cVu Settings  General)

Add the ‘qsfp_rx_mode_enable <port number or port range>’ to disable the Tx laser on QSFP port(s)

Add the sfp_rx_mode_enable <port number or port range>’ to disable the Tx laser on SFP port(s)

Click save

Users should note that the QSFP and SFP/SFP+ port(s) will be set to Receive (Rx) only mode.

c. cClear Device Status Information in Diagnostic Logs

As of 18.2.1, the cClear device will now include device status information such as power voltage, fan speed, power supply status and temperature in the IPMI sensor data and system event diagnostic log. The ability to analyze device status information is imperative for users to detect and correct any abnormalities to ensure proper functioning according to set specifications on the device.

d.  RTP Parsing and Packet Gap Reporting

Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) provides end-to-end network transport functions which are suitable for applications that transmit real-time data over IP based networks.  In the 18.2.1 release, users can now download information from RTP streams in JSON format directly from the cStor device. Secondly, any packet gaps that are detected will also be reported.

At cPacket Networks, we are continuously innovating and adding feature rich functionalities most sought after by our customers. We are focused on providing products and solutions that deliver superior network performance for today’s complex IT environments. With the 18.2.1 release, users can expect significant upgrades and new features designed to improve efficiency and decrease complexity, while minimizing troubleshooting time and reducing overall costs for greater ROI.

To learn more about cPacket’s products and solutions, contact us for a free demo.