Cisco Network Management Solutions SupportAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are expert at assisting businesses develop management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to create powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a rich selection of free and license-based monitoring and management products to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can help organizations to be aware of current system utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream capacity increases. Management utilities can also be used to identify poor or inappropriate utilization of network services, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management plan can also aid businesses to arrive at intelligent choices on WAN and LAN upgrades once they appreciate how much system bandwidth historically required at specific times.

Having an effective network management platform in operation ahead of time is critical to avoid severe problems that can be due to Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These events can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to find the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created an assortment of powerful tools that should be the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor products, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of any size by dealing with important areas such as system utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that allows you to configure and operate the management utilities on security appliances. Cisco ASDM is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution intended to address the needs of small and midsize businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager actively checks key device parameters on voice/data networks serving 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for companies with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock basis and periodically polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not deploy any agent software on target appliances. The application provides a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies that have up to 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. It offers a centralized system view and allows IT managers to employ its features among switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution effectively handles even small networks with no more than than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-driven control techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide versatile ways to control devices and security policies such as the capability to manage the security network visually on a system topology image
  • Extensive animated help for the novice user to reduce learning time
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based connection control to appliances and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate events against related firewall rules to enable quicker decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and tracking; allows the security and network operations staff to work together as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with a variety of powerful third-party applications to develop a comprehensive management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve valuable resources, guard your data, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network resources effectively and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management utilities to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of activity based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by assigning priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can help you to create an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and repair problems rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To learn more details about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco products, select a topic:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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