Network Management Solutions SupportAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at helping businesses design management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create powerful mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use available resources.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a broad selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management tools to manage a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to be aware of existing system utilization and intelligently plan for downstream capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or improper uses of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up expensive or scarce network resources. A well planned network management solution can also help businesses to arrive at informed choices on system improvements once they understand the amount of network resources historically required at various times.

Putting an effective network management system in operation beforehand is vital to avoid major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can leave the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of powerful utilities that should be the basis for any management solution. Used in combination with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of any size by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and operate the software on security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application designed for the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager continuously checks important device parameters on voice and data environments serving five to 250 users and with as many as 250 IP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time scanning of key device parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 for companies with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and collects inventory and operations-monitoring information from the managed devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified network view and permits network administrators to employ its functions among switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise systems with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is enabled via smart policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer flexible methods to control appliances and policies such as the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a topology image
  • Extensive video help for the first-time user to accelerate learning time
  • Globally call out which policies are common and inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are implemented regularly, while providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a single rule database for Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies within the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access management to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS to correlate monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to promote faster decision making and enhanced system up time
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to each administrator during the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to act in sync as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities in combination with an array of powerful open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete network management toolkit to keep your network operating dependably, consolidate expensive resources, guard your data, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign network resources effectively and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management applications to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce different bandwidth restrictions on certain types of activity according to the importance you specify. By buffering and sorting excess packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by brute force policing of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can assist you to create an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use advanced network management tools to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To find out more details concerning Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco solutions, pick a subject:

To ask Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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