Port scanner for Cisco IOS

Open letter to Cisco Systems: When are you going to start building more network troubleshooting and monitoring commands into your operating systems?

Case and point, why isn’t there any sort of port scanner or host discovery command available for Cisco IOS? The nmap program is open source (GPL), written in C/C++. Wouldn’t it be fairly straightforward to make something like that available for Cisco routers and/or firewalls?

It would be highly useful to be able to perform more in-depth testing, troubleshooting, and security monitoring from the Cisco CLI. As it stands now, your best bet is to just perform basic configuration on your routers, and then log into the nearest Linux system to actually take some measurements and see how everything is working.

This isn’t to say that Cisco routers should become full-blown monitoring stations. But how about a slightly more full-featured set of command-line tools? The available monitoring commands on Cisco routers haven’t changed in years, maybe decades. And yet, much network management work is still being done from the command-line.

What do you think? Should Cisco beef up its command-line network monitoring tools? Let us know in the comments.

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