The Cisco Support Tools page has had a lot of recent updates with useful tools that are free to partners. For this post, I want to focus on my favorite (fairly) new tool – the Cisco CLI Analyzer. In short, it is a very solid terminal application (similar to PuTTY and SecureCRT) with some handy Cisco support tools built in:
- System Diagnostics – detects well-known system problems, configuration issues, and promotes best practices
- Firewall Top Talkers – ASA tool which helps determine which traffic-passing connections have the highest bit rate during peak periods
- Traceback Analyzer – ASA tool which analyzes a crash and determines if it is related to a known bug
- Packet Tracer – ASA traffic simulator that detects dropped packets and verifies whether the configuration is the root cause
- Contextual Help and Highlighting -based on your command output and specific patterns, the CLI Analyzer will embed links and tooltips providing help and additional information
- IOS IP Route Analysis – check for changes in the global routing table, indicating a possible convergence or flapping issue
The CLI Analyzer supports device profile import from PuTTY and SecureCRT, so if you have been using those programs and want to give this a shot it’s an easy change. It has all the basic features such as password saving, logging, etc, but the real magic is with these built in tools. When you first connect to a device, the tool will automatically run a show version and show hardware and fill in device profile information such as Model, Version, and Serial number into the Devices page so you don’t have to. These device profiles can be exported and used in Cisco tools such as the My Devices page and the Coverage Checker.
My favorite feature (by far) is the System Diagnostics Tool. This builds on the existing Output Interpreter Tool that I have used for years to do a basic check for router/switch/firewall best practices. It’s a quick way to generate a report to make sure you have your basics covered. Here’s what it looks like:
Another really nice feature is the Coverage Checker (available in the bulk actions tool). This sends the serial number of selected devices to the Cisco Coverage Checker site to report on End of Sale / Life notices for the product and for SmartNet contract status.
I know everyone is as picky with their terminal programs as they are with their text editors, but give this one a shot. I think Cisco is doing a pretty good job with support tools lately and am excited to see what else they have in development.
Download Cisco CLI Analyzer (CCO login required)