Cisco Network Management Solutions SupportA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other vendors underscores the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are expert at assisting companies develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build effective tools for network utilization and latency, monitoring key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and appliances that use network services.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a rich range of free and proprietary monitoring and management solutions to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to be aware of existing network usage and intelligently plan for downstream capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or improper utilization of system services, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network bandwidth. An efficiently planned network management strategy can also help organizations to make intelligent decisions on WAN and LAN upgrades once they recognize how much system resources historically needed at any one time.

Having an effective network management system in operation beforehand is vital to prevent severe disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers an array of powerful tools that should be the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by helping with important areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that lets you set up and operate the management utilities on security devices. ASDM is installed by the network device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to meet the needs of small and midsize businesses. Monitor Manager continuously tracks key device processes on voice/data networks serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time tracking of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently polls and collects inventory and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely invisible to IT processes and does not deploy any agent software on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and permits IT managers to employ its functions among switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of device set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with no more than than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise systems with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer versatile ways to control devices and policies including the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive animated training for the new user to accelerate learning period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to create a common firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and management functions
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to correlate events against corresponding firewall rules to enable faster decision making and enhanced system availability
  • Ability to allocate particular tasks to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can assist you to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside a variety of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive network management strategy to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network hardware intelligently and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce different throughput constraints on certain types of activity according to the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can show you how to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network management tools to isolate and remediate problems rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

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If you wish to contact Progent about professional support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.