Network management tools assist companies to implement infrastructure effectively, access client details quickly, monitor system operation, debug problems, protect against and respond to threats, and maximize responsiveness. Network management systems can spot inefficient or inappropriate uses of network services like streaming media or peer-to-peer file sharing that can waste bandwidth, lower employee productivity or leave you vulnerable to data leaks. A well planned network management solution can also assist organizations to make informed capacity planning decisions by exposing trends in network demand for different times or types of tasks.

Cisco Meraki Dashboard Experts

The Meraki Dashboard offers simplified cloud management for Cisco network hardware

Cisco has developed a rich and expanding catalog of infrastructure management solutions that support centralized management for on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid network models. With Cisco's later generation of security, switching, and wireless networking devices, you can run Meraki, DNA Center, or CLI management platforms for network management. For example, you can connect newer Catalyst or Meraki switches and Catalyst or Meraki Wi-Fi APs to the Meraki dashboard to manage critical components of your corporate infrastructure from the cloud. Progent's Cisco Catalyst WiFi access point experts, Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi access point consulting experts, Catalyst switches consultants, and Meraki switches consulting experts can help your organization to design, implement and tune a modern solution for network management.

Legacy Network Management Tools from Cisco and Others
Cisco Network Management Solutions SupportA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at assisting businesses design management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad selection of open source and proprietary monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of existing network usage and effectively prepare for downstream capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or improper uses of system services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable and scarce network bandwidth. A well crafted network management plan can also aid organizations to make informed decisions on network improvements once they understand the amount of system resources historically needed at specific times.

Putting an effective network management platform in operation beforehand is essential to avoid severe problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco provides an assortment of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any management solution. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by dealing with key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that permits you set up and monitor the management utilities on network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to handle the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously monitors key appliance processes on voice/data networks used by five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance processes on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a 24x7 cycle and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not deploy any agent on target devices. The application provides a variety of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports, the application streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and allows network administrators to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of device set up and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale systems composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer flexible methods to control appliances and policies such as the capability to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the first-time user to speed up training period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering optional flexibility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a single firewall rule database for Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to devices and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS to compare monitored data against corresponding security appliance rules to enable faster management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to allocate particular jobs to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and logging; allows the security and network operations team to work cooperatively as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with a selection of effective third-party programs to develop a comprehensive network management strategy to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, protect your information, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign network hardware effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also show you how to use network management utilities to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to enforce different throughput constraints on certain types of activity based on the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing data packets above your contracted rates, and by giving preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and remediate trouble quickly to keep your network in business.

To see additional information about Progent's engineering assistance for Cisco products, select a topic:

If you wish to ask Progent about technical support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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