Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at assisting businesses design network management solutions utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to build powerful tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and appliances that use network services.

Progent can help customers to utilize a broad selection of free and license-based monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to be aware of existing system usage and intelligently plan for downstream traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or improper utilization of system services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up valuable and scarce network resources. A well planned network management strategy can also assist organizations to arrive at intelligent choices on network improvements once they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth really required at specific times.

Putting an effective network management platform in place beforehand is vital to prevent major disruptions that can be due to Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can leave the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to find the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of effective utilities that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for companies of any size by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web Java applet that lets you configure and monitor the software built into security appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to configure, monitor, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution designed to address the needs of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager continuously checks key appliance processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key appliance processes on SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and gathers identification and performance-tracking information from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent on managed devices. The application provides a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
  • 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
  • Device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing companies with up to 40 switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports technology, the application simplifies setup, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco networks. The application offers a unified network view and permits IT managers to deploy its features across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution efficiently handles even small environments consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise systems composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile methods to manage appliances and policies including the option to administer the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Extensive animated training for the first-time operator to reduce learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a single firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule table
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based access management to devices and management services
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate events against related firewall rules to help with quicker management decisions and increased network availability
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to each manager during the implementation of a rule, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and network operations team to act in sync as a cohesive unit with efficient coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management consultants can show you how to utilize Cisco's management utilities in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your network operating dependably, conserve valuable resources, guard your information, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose system hardware effectively and affordably as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management utilities to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on designated classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By storing and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and fix problems rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

For additional details concerning Progent's professional help for Cisco technology, select a topic:

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

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