Network Management Solutions EngineersAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at assisting businesses develop management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build effective mechanisms for understanding network utilization and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad selection of free and license-based monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco-powered environment. 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, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to be aware of existing system usage and effectively prepare for downstream traffic increases. Management tools can also be used to detect inefficient or improper uses of system resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management plan can also help organizations to arrive at intelligent choices on system improvements once they recognize the amount of network bandwidth historically needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place ahead of time is essential to prevent severe problems that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of powerful tools that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of networks for organizations of any size by dealing with key areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that allows you to set up and monitor the management utilities built into network appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended to handle the needs of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively checks important device processes on voice and data networks serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 basis and frequently touches and gathers inventory and operations-tracking data from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not use any agent software on target appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process views of Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-based networks. The application provides a unified network view and permits IT managers to deploy its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance configuration and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of appliances. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-driven control procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and apply updated policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Rich GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible methods to manage appliances and policies such as the capability to manage the security environment graphically on a topology map
  • Extensive animated help for the first-time user to accelerate learning period
  • Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by new devices to make sure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to devices and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS system to compare events with corresponding firewall rules to enable quicker decision making and increased network availability
  • Ability to assign specific tasks to each manager during the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and logging; permits the security and network operations team to act together as a single group with effective teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside a selection of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and enable you to expand or repurpose network resources effectively and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management tools to analyze and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to set up Cisco routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on designated types of processes based on the importance you assign. By buffering and sorting excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to develop a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize the latest network management tools to isolate and repair problems rapidly to keep your network productive.

To see more details about Progent's engineering support for Cisco networking products, select a subject:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about professional assistance for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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