March 14, 2008

Cisco Network Assistant

Have you just got into a smaller business and your network is Cisco based? However you are not very experiences with Cisco devices and you are looking for some easy to use management tool which would be free? Well, you have just found it :-)

Cisco Network Assistant is a free management tool for small networks based on Cisco devices. It allows dynamic network discovery, ports and features management, monitoring, etc. It can set up CCIE level features just by clicking on some buttons, which can be in some cases very useful even for a skilled technician. With Cisco Network Assistant you can manage your smaller network from one application and from one place.

^ Network topology view in Cisco Network Assistant

^ Switch status

^ Information about devices

^ Security configuration wizard

You can download the Cisco Network Assistant at For downloading you will need a guest level CCO account.

For those of you who don't want to use Cisco Network Assistant for centralized management, but looking for an easy way of configuration of Cisco devices, there may be an option. If you have got an ISR series router, you will definitely have available also a tool called Cisco Security Device Manager or SDM.

^ SDM's main interface

SDM is a Java based configuration and monitoring tool which is usually stored in the device's flash, and it's accessible through a web interface of a device. Just enable a web server on your router (Router(config)# ip http server) and put your web browser to the address of your router.

For more info about SDM go to


  1. hi I am preparing for CCNA examination.but I have no proper lab facility to practice.till now I have practiced with Cisco packet I want to practice with SDM and CNA.can I practice with these three softwares or is there any other way to practice with SDM and CNA.please solve my mail id is .thaking you.......

  2. @jagadeeswararao: well, SDM is not (yet) implemented in Packet Tracer. If you want to practice SDM, you should find a real router to play with.
    Or ... I have never tried it but in theory it might work (like why not? ;-)) - download dynamips (or better GNS3), find a suitable IOS file that will run on the dynamips platform and then you should be able to play with SDM as well (of course you must also find somewhere the SDM installation).

    btw: I believe that you can pass the CCNA certification exam even w/o playing with SDM. I personally hate SDM.
    Anyway, good luck ;-)