Network Management Solutions Professional HelpAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at assisting companies design network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to create effective mechanisms for understanding network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and appliances that use available services.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a broad range of free and proprietary monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand existing network usage and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify inefficient or inappropriate uses of network services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up expensive or scarce network resources. A well designed network management solution can also help businesses to arrive at intelligent choices on WAN and LAN enhancements after they understand the amount of network resources historically needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management system in place in advance is critical to avoid severe disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can leave the network unusable and without proper utilities it can be time consuming, if not virtually impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of powerful tools that should form the foundation for any network management solution. Used in combination with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that permits you set up and operate the software built into network devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution developed to handle the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously monitors important appliance parameters on voice/data environments serving five to 250 users and with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date scanning of key device processes on small and midsize business-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for companies with up to 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and collects identification and performance-tracking information from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent on managed devices. Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-based networks. The application provides a centralized network view and permits IT managers to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for managing all facets of appliance set up and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small environments with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale networks composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security image, ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and apply new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible ways to control devices and policies such as the capability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Extensive video training for the novice operator to accelerate learning period
  • Globally call out which policies are common and inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a common rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule table
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based access control to appliances and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS to compare events against corresponding security appliance rules to help with quicker management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; allows the security and network operations team to work cooperatively as a single unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with an array of effective third-party programs to develop a complete network management strategy to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from equipment failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and affordably as your company evolves.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management applications to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to impose different bandwidth constraints on certain classes of activity according to the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your committed volume, and by assigning preference to the most important applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can assist you to create an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network management tools to isolate and fix trouble quickly to keep your network productive.

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To ask Progent about technical expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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