Network Management Solutions SupportA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are expert at assisting companies design management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful tools for tracking network utilization and latency, viewing important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing available services.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a rich selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management products to maintain a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable IT administrators to understand current network utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Management tools can also be used to detect inefficient or improper utilization of network services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network resources. An efficiently planned network management plan can also help companies to make intelligent decisions on wide and local area network improvements after they understand how much system resources really needed at various times.

Having an effective network management solution in place ahead of time is vital to prevent major problems that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can render the network unstable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to identify the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed a selection of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by dealing with key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that permits you configure and operate the management utilities built into security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network device, and enables you to configure, track, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution developed to handle the needs of small and midsize businesses. Monitor Manager actively checks key device processes on voice/data environments used by five to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 IP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of key device processes on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for organizations with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent on target devices. The application provides a rich set of valuable features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process views of Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Cisco device operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-based networks. The application offers a unified system view and allows IT managers to employ its functions among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control enterprise networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-driven management techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile methods to manage appliances and security policies including the capability to administer the security network visually on a system topology image
  • Extensive video training for the novice operator to reduce training period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Capability to build a common rule database for Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to appliances and management services
  • Operation with security MARS to compare events against corresponding firewall rules to help with faster management decisions and increased network up time
  • Ability to assign specific tasks to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a rule, with structured change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations staff to work together as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can show you how to use Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of effective third-party applications to create a comprehensive network management solution to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose system hardware effectively and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management utilities to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By buffering and sorting data packets above your contracted volume, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can help you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize the latest network management tools to isolate and repair problems rapidly to keep your network productive.

To find out additional information about Progent's engineering support for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

To ask Progent about technical assistance for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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