ServiceGrid Article - Network Layer

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The network layer defines the basic connection between the Cisco ServiceGrid platform and the partner system. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) are used in this layer.

There is no single point of failure in the network layer. Every physical server is connected to at least two network switches. If one switch fails, the other can handle all requests without any interruption. Every physical server has at least two network adapters, one for a redundant connection to another switch. The ServiceGrid server and network infrastructure is based on redundancy.

IP Internet Protocol

In all cases, the Internet is used as the network protocol except for sending SMS and FAX.

In terms of security, two options can be applied:

  • Internet
  • Internet through Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)

Internet via SSL

The public internet provides a simple and commonly used standard to connect and to exchange data using TCP/IP. The communication partners are authenticated and the transferred data is encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL). SSL is the underlying mechanism of HTTPS and SMTP (through TLS).

Internet through IPSec

As an alternatinve to the easy transport through internet, ServiceGrid provides the possibility of an IPSec connection for an easy transport through internet. IPSec allows a secure and encrypted communication between the ServiceGrid application, and the service customers or service providers.

Encryption using HTTPS (SSL)

HTTPS should be used when

  • accessing the platform as an interactive user
  • using SOAP as a transport protocol
  • when using HTTP POST as a transport protocol

In these cases, no other (weaker) encryption method is possible.

Tunneling through IPsec

As an alternative to the direct transport using SSL/TLS through Internet, ServiceGrid provides the possibility of an IPSec connection. IPSec allows a secure and encrypted way of communication between the service customers or service providers and the ServiceGrid application.

For a complete list of Cisco ServiceGrid Articles, go to the List of Articles page.

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