A wealth of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses develop network management strategies based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective mechanisms for tracking network utilization and latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and appliances that use available resources.
Progent can help customers to deploy a broad range of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management platforms can allow organizations to be aware of existing network utilization and effectively prepare for downstream capacity increases. Network management tools can also be used to identify inefficient or improper uses of network resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste expensive and limited network bandwidth. A well crafted network management plan can also enable organizations to make intelligent decisions on wide and local area network enhancements once they recognize how much system resources actually needed at specific times.
Having an effective network management solution in operation in advance is vital to prevent major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be difficult, if not 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 foundation for any network management solution. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by improving key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that lets you configure and operate the management utilities on security appliances. ASDM is installed by the network device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.
Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to handle the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager continuously scans important appliance parameters on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 IP phones. The application offers:
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 cycle and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of valuable features such as:
- Real-time tracking of key device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
- Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
- Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
- Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
- Networkwide device identification logging and reporting
- Highly secure and reliable operation
- Appliance performance monitoring
- IP Telephony tracking
- Connection status and traffic tracking
- Immediate alarms and notices
- Configuration archive
Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing companies that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Network Assistant simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. The application offers a centralized system view and allows network administrators to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.
Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and IPS. Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments with fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage large-scale networks composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager include:
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
- Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
- Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign new security policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
- Rich graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
- A variety of looks that offer versatile methods to manage devices and security policies including the capability to manage the security network graphically on a system topology image
- Comprehensive video training for the new operator to speed up learning time
- Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
- Capability to build a single rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule table
- Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
- Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and management functions
- Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare monitored data with related security appliance rules to support quicker management decisions and enhanced system up time
- Ability to assign specific tasks to every manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to work together as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities in combination with a variety of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your network functioning smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign network resources effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.
Progent can also assist you to utilize network management tools to monitor and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on designated types of processes based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and sorting excess packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network management technology to identify and remediate trouble quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.
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