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Get to Know: FindIT Probe

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Article ID:5863

Get to Know: FindIT Probe

Introduction

Once initial setup of FindIT Network Manager is complete, making use of its 'the built-in probe' feature unlocks the full potential of the web application. Similar to the first time setting up a mobile or computing device, the completion of setup opens up into a wealth of open-ended options, which can make it difficult to know where to begin. This guide assumes you've just completed initial setup and provides you with impactful next steps to take your FindIT implementation from day one to the next. Through the remainder of this article we'll answer the following question - "Ok, now that FindIT is setup, what's next?"

To answer that question, recognize that completing the setup of FindIT is scratching the surface of what FindIT is capable of offering. This guide is intended to provide the best practices for unlocking the potential of the web-app to ensure maximum uptime, reliability, and speed to your users.

  • Managing Your Dashboard
    • Available Widgets & Their Uses
    • Customizing Widgets
    • Customizing Widget Layout
  • Managing Notifications
    • Adding Cisco Active Advisor
    • Adding Email for Notifications
  • Creating Day One Backups

If you have not yet completed setup of FindIT on your network, do so before proceeding. For the purposes of this guide we've setup an internal lab. Your screens may vary visually due to different devices and network activity of a production environment. In our lab we'll be using the following devices:

WAP 551

WAP 571E

WAP 581

SF550-X-48MP

SG550X-24

SG500X-24MPP

SG200-26P

SG350X-8PMD

IP Phone

     

With a network topology:

Network Topology used in this article.

Managing Your Dashboard

FindIT is designed to enable network administration by leveraging SNMP functionality into a two distinct user interfaces. The FindIT Manager enables the configuration of multiple networks, each containing a FindIT Probe. The probe in turn, enables typical management functions available to the devices.

Remotely monitoring network performance via FindIT opens up the opportunity to leverage those abstracted features to elevate best practices within your organization. The monitoring process can be enhanced by actively managing your FindIT dashboard.

Available Widgets and Their Uses

The FindIT Probe Dashboard displays a series of user selected widgets that communicate a range of information in chart or graph form. The information contained in the widgets are polled & presented in real time, or as network related activity occurs. The list of available widgets include:

Widget

Purpose

Device Health

 

Displays each networking device along with the present state of the device. The color of the icon indicates the need for attention and includes:

Green = Information , Yellow = Warning , Red = Alert

Clicking on entries in the table of this widget provides additional details about the device status, updated every five minutes. At a minimum, the additional information displayed upon click will include Total Uptime, CPU Utilization, and Notifications.

Note: Further information included depends on the device type and can include Service Set Identifier (SSID), Rogue Apps (unverified software connected to the network), and Associated Clients.

 

Wireless Top Ten

 

Lists the top trafficked wireless devices on your network, sortable by traffic or client count. Wireless device types include: Access Points, Wireless Networks, and Wireless Clients.

When sorting by wireless device type, the widget displays the incoming traffic, outgoing traffic, and the total usage.

Note: You can view additional information on the traffic by placing your cursor over the chart.

When sorting by Clients, the table will display the devices and their corresponding client count.

 

Device Client Count

 

Contains a list of clients by device that have joined your network.

 

Network Client Count

 

(Wireless devices only) Contains a count of clients connected to wireless devices.

 

Traffic

 

The traffic widget displays incoming and outgoing network traffic sortable by Device, Port, and Time Period.

 

 

Customizing the Widgets & Dashboard

The FindIT Dashboard is customizable both in its use of Widgets, and or, in how the widgets are displayed across screen sizes. To customize the widgets on your Dashboard, use the following steps:

Step 1. After logging into the FindIT Probe, click on the Dashboard button contained in the navigation pane on the left of the screen.

Dashboard link highlight

Step 2. Click on the Edit button located in the upper right corner of the screen.

Note: A visual indicator that you've entered Edit mode includes the addition of icons, before & after example below:

The legend of icons used in the Dashboard is below:

Icon

Meaning

Click and hold to drag the widget to a different location on your Dashboard.

Minimizes the size of the widget to a slot-like size.

Maximizes the size of the widget to occupy as much space as available, allowing you to view data in more granular detail.

Widget settings enabling you to edit the title of the widget or modify the interval of chart updates.

Removes the widget from the Dashboard.

Pro tip: You can setup the same widget multiple times and reporting on different devices (or ports)- within a single Dashboard. The animation below displays setting up the Traffic widget for the same device, but monitoring different ports.

Note: Be sure to click Save Widgets when satisfied with the layout of your Dashboard.

Step 3. (Optional) Adjust the position by clicking & dragging the widget to your desired location.

Step 4. Once, you are satisfied with the locations of your widgets, click the Save icon.

 

Customizing the Widget Layout

In addition to managing the location of the widgets, you are able to select the Dashboard Layout from a pre-populated list of styles. FindIT includes six themes that react to screen size of the device accessing FindIT, from Small - Large the layout will react to the device. Please note that FindIT does not yet support mobile devices.

Step 1. From Edit Mode Layout (As pictured above in step 3) click on the settings icon.

Step 2. Select your preferred layout (ignore the numeric notation in this screen).

Note: This overlay window contains the widget grid aligned from Middle, Large then Small.

 

Managing Notifications

FindIT delivers notifications both to the FindIT user interface as well as to a specified email address via SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol). In this section, we will review what kinds of notifications FindIT delivers and how to manage them to provide you with network critical alerts. To ensure you receive only up to date information, some notification types will clear themselves automatically. As stated previously, the notifications arrive in 3 different categories:

Color

Meaning

Examples

Green

Information

 

Device additions, Firmware update available

 

Yellow

Warning

 

Device health, Authentication errors, Disabled SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)

 

Red

Alert

 

Device no longer available

 

Prior to setting up the email for notifications, you should first decide which type of notifications to receive email, versus being notified in the user interface of FindIT. To do this, perform the following steps:

Step 1. From any screen of the FindIT Probe User Interface (UI), click on the Notification icon.

Step 2. This will deliver you to the notifications screen. Once the page has loaded, click on the Settings tab.

Step 3. From this screen you are able to check off the boxes that deliver via the noted method. Popup Notifications will be delivered to the UI, while Email checked items will have their status sent to the designated email address. When you've selected which notifications you'd like to receive click Save. In a later section you will configure the email settings.

Note: It would be considered a best practice to monitor the status of your edge router or WAN facing device.

Device based notifications are defined below:

Device Notification

Purpose

Reachability

 

Notifies when a device has become unreachable or when it was established contact with the FindIT probe.

 

Credential / SNMP

 

SNMP has encountered an authentication error while establishing contact with the probe.

 

Credential / User ID

 

Authentication has failed due to the user credentials used.

 

Device Service / SNMP

 

The device is unreachable due to SNMP being inactive on this device.

 

Device Service / Web Service

 

The web service is presently disabled.

 

Health

 

Displays each networking device along with the present state of the device. The color of the icon indicates the need for attention and include:

Green = Information , Yellow = Warning , Red = Alert

 

There is a secondary category of notifications that are specific to Cisco services. Cisco Active Advisor will dynamically provide you with information on the following:

Cisco Support Notification

Purpose

Firmware

 

The latest Firmware is available for this device.

 

EOX

 

The device is approaching ... End of Life or End of Sale

 

Maintenance

 

Both the maintenance service and/or warranty have expired for this device.

 

 

Adding CAA Credentials

If you would like to setup Cisco Active Advisor, follow these steps:

Step 1. Within the navigation pane of the FindIT Probe click on Administration>CAA Credential

Note: You will need to have signed up for a Cisco.com address, if you do not have one, create one by clicking this link and then filling out the information requested.

Step 2. Login to CAA with your cisco credentialed email address.

Step 3. On the FindIT Probe, click on the Discovery button from the navigation pane on the left of the screen. Then click on Actions, and click on Upload to CAA.

Step 4. After this process is complete, click Actions again and then click Upgrade Firmware. FindIT will then intelligently upgrade devices, without severing communications with critical device interconnects while devices update. This process may take many minutes depending on how many devices are on your network.

 

Add Email Account for Notifications

This section is located later in this document in order to prevent your email from receiving unwanted notification types setup in the section titled Managing Notifications. To setup emailing of notifications, you will need the following pieces of information:

  • Mail server URL (Ex - smtp.google.com)
  • Associated SMTP port number (Ex - 25, 443)
  • Login credentials associated with your email service
  • Destination email address

Step 1. On the FindIT Probe, click on Administration in the left-hand navigation pane, then click on Email Settings.

Step 2. Enter the information outlined prior to Step 1, when that is done, click Test Connectivity. This will send a test email to the destination email address and will provide you an idea of the format to expect in future email notifications.

Now your email relay is setup to deliver notifications to your email address of choice. For a more in-depth look at configuring email address settings, click here.

 

Creating Backup & Restore

The last steps in setting up your FindIT next steps implementation is saving the device's running configurations to their startup configurations. Finally, creating backups of your network's settings. There are two backups that should be executed. You need to save the running configuration of your network's devices, as well as backups of the startup configurations.

Step 1. Navigate to the Discovery page and click on Actions, then click on Save Running Configurations. This will save the presently running configurations of your devices to the startup configuration. Retaining settings upon reboot of the devices.

Note: SNMP must be enabled on all applicable devices to have them included in this section's operations.

Step 2. Once the running configurations have been saved to the startup configurations, you'll receive a notification. Click Actions and this time select Backup Configurations. It is a best practice to leave yourself a descriptive note e.g. -Post-setup clean backup of network configuration- 

Note: This will create a copy local to the FindIT Probe hardware that you can later access by clicking on Administration and then Backup & Restore.

Step 3. If you would like to download an archive of the backup files, click Administration > Backup & Restore.

Step 4. Enter the password you used to log into the FindIT Probe and then click Backup & Download.

Step 5. This will initiate the download prompt from your browser. Select the save location for your archive and save the file.

Note: If you didn't receive this prompt, the browser may have saved the archive to the Download folder of your device.

Congratulations, you are now prepared to monitor and resolve issues relating to the health of your network. To take your network even further, check out these articles: