Network Management Solutions SupportAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses design management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build effective tools for understanding network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich selection of open source and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to be aware of current network utilization and effectively prepare for future traffic increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to highlight poor or inappropriate uses of system services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive or limited network bandwidth. A well crafted network management plan can also help organizations to arrive at informed choices on network enhancements once they appreciate how much network resources actually required at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management platform in operation beforehand is vital to avoid severe problems that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of effective tools that should be the basis for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by improving important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that allows you to configure and monitor the management utilities built into security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to meet the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously scans key appliance processes on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 workers and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance parameters on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for organizations with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and operations-monitoring data from the managed devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on managed appliances. The application offers a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies with as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies configuration, installation, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant provides a unified system view and allows network managers to deploy its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and security policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. Security Manager effectively handles even small networks consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled via smart policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible methods to manage appliances and security policies including the option to manage the security network visually on a topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the novice operator to reduce training period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and management services
  • Operation with security MARS to associate events against related security appliance rules to promote quicker management decisions and increased system availability
  • Ability to allocate particular tasks to each manager during the implementation of a rule, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to act together as a single unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants can help you to use Cisco's network management utilities in combination with a variety of powerful third-party programs to develop a complete management solution to keep your network running smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, protect your data, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or repurpose network resources effectively and economically as your organization evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to enforce different throughput constraints on designated classes of processes according to the importance you specify. By buffering and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can help you to create a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network management technology to isolate and remediate trouble rapidly to keep your network in business.

To learn additional details about Progent's professional help for Cisco technology, select a subject:

In order to ask Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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