Cisco Network Management Solutions Professional HelpA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses develop management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to create powerful mechanisms for network utilization and network latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing network services.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a rich selection of free and proprietary management solutions to manage Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to understand existing network usage and effectively plan for downstream capacity increases. Management tools can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper uses of network services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management solution can also aid businesses to make informed decisions on wide and local area network upgrades once they understand the amount of network resources historically required at various times.

Having an effective network management solution in place in advance is vital to prevent major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. These assaults can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, if not virtually impossible, to find the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of effective utilities that should be the basis for any network management solution. Utilized in combination with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by improving important areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that lets you set up and monitor the software on security devices. ASDM is installed by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to handle the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Cisco Monitor Manager actively tracks key device parameters on voice/data environments serving five to 250 users and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important appliance processes on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not use any agent software on target devices. The application provides a variety of valuable features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding businesses with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified network view and allows network managers to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for managing all aspects of device set up and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is enabled via intelligent policy-based management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: define and apply new security policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile ways to control appliances and security policies such as the capability to manage the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new user to accelerate training period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while providing optional versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a single rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection management to appliances and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to correlate monitored data with related firewall rules to enable quicker management decisions and increased system availability
  • Ability to assign particular tasks to every administrator during the implementation of a rule, with structured change management and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to act together as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of powerful open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your network running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, protect your data, recover quickly from equipment failure or malicious attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management utilities to analyze and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to impose different bandwidth restrictions on designated types of activity based on the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning preference to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and repair problems rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.

To learn more details about Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

If you wish to ask Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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