Network Management Solutions SupportA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at assisting businesses design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective tools for network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing network services.

Progent can help customers to deploy a rich selection of free and license-based management tools to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to be aware of existing system utilization and effectively plan for downstream capacity increases. Management tools can also be deployed to identify poor or improper uses of system services, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up expensive or limited network resources. An efficiently planned network management strategy can also assist organizations to arrive at intelligent choices on system improvements once they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth historically needed at specific times.

Having an effective network management system in operation beforehand is vital to avoid severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unstable and without proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides an assortment of effective utilities that should be the basis for any management solution. Utilized in combination with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by improving key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web Java applet that lets you configure and operate the management utilities on network devices. Cisco ASDM is installed by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, track, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to meet the requirements of small and midsize businesses. Monitor Manager actively tracks important device parameters on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of key appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock basis and periodically polls and gathers inventory and operations-tracking data from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is entirely transparent to IT operations and does not use any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of valuable features including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies with as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and permits IT administrators to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for managing all facets of device configuration and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments with no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control enterprise systems composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-based management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family firewalls, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer versatile ways to manage devices and security policies including the ability to administer the security network visually on a topology map
  • Extensive animated training for the novice operator to speed up training period
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to build a single rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to devices and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to support quicker management decisions and increased system availability
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to every manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; allows the security and network operations team to act in sync as a single unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside a selection of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a complete network management toolkit to keep your network operating dependably, conserve valuable resources, guard your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and allow you to expand or repurpose system hardware effectively and affordably as your company evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management applications to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated types of processes according to the importance you assign. By storing and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by giving priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate lost productivity caused by brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network management technology to identify and fix trouble quickly to keep your network productive.

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To ask Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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