Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping companies develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and appliances that use available services.

Progent can assist businesses to deploy a rich range of free and proprietary monitoring and management products to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help IT administrators to be aware of current system utilization and intelligently plan for future capacity increases. Network management tools can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or inappropriate uses of system services, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network bandwidth. A well planned network management strategy can also help organizations to arrive at informed decisions on system improvements once they understand how much network bandwidth actually required at any one time.

Having an efficient network management platform in operation beforehand is critical to avoid major problems that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unusable and without proper tools it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created an array of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of any size by improving key areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that permits you configure and operate the management utilities on security devices. ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to configure, track, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to address the needs of small and midsize companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously scans important appliance parameters on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance processes on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and performance-tracking data from the monitored appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely transparent to system operations and does not deploy any agent software on managed devices. The application offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management application designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding companies with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and permits IT administrators to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family firewalls, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: define and apply new security policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer versatile ways to manage devices and policies such as the capability to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new operator to accelerate training period
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by new devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured consistently, at the same time providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule database for Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based connection management to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare events against corresponding firewall rules to help with quicker decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to each manager in the course of the deployment of a rule, with structured change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to work together as a single group with efficient coordination
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with a variety of effective third-party applications to create a complete network management strategy to keep your network running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, guard your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and enable you to scale or repurpose network resources effectively and economically as your company evolves.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of activity according to the importance you assign. By storing and sorting data packets above your contracted rates, and by giving preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate trouble quickly to keep your IT system productive.

To find out additional information about Progent's professional help for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:

In order to get in touch with Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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