Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Deployment Best Practices Series - Operations Acceptance of the Solution


Operations Acceptance of NACA is very important for a successful deployment. If Staff does not accept the solution than it will not be utilized to its capabilities or be maintained. This post is all about educating staff in order to ensure a successful deployment.

Introducing NACA to the Operations Staff:

NACA has to become an integral part of network and security operations in order to have a successful deployment. The following are some of the topics that Network Operations must be informed about:
  • Clean Access Servers (CASs) act as an extension to the routers and switches in the network
    • This causes network operations the need to understand how the CASs reside in the data path of users
  • In an Out-of-Band (OOB) Deployment, netops has to understand the integration between the Clean Access Manager (CAM) and all access switches
    • This requires the staff to have knowledge about SNMP Servers & SNMP Traps
Security Operations have many topics that they must know about to ensure acceptance of the deployment, some of those include:
  • How to enforce security policy with NACA
  • How to Review logs and report on users found non compliant
. . In order for the operation staff to understand these topics, they must have training and experience with NACA and the concepts. It is your job as a deployment engineer to ensure that these topics are covered and operations can hit the ground running with NACA.

Introducing NACA to the Help Desk Staff:

Help Desk is the nerve center of a NACA deployment. Ensuring that the HD staff can help users when issues happen is imperative to making them successful. Keys to empowering your help desk staff are:

  • Train them about common issues
  • Ensure they have proper access and knowledge of how to access the information needed to troubleshoot or help users
  • Have a documented escalation path (e.g. help-desk - operations -engineering - Cisco TAC)


Operations & Help Desk Staff are sometime forgotten about, but their knowledge and support of the NACA deployment is critical to a successful deployment.

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