An abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the value and difficulty of network management. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses design management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create powerful tools for network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring key router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing network services.
Progent can assist customers to deploy a broad selection of open source and license-based monitoring and management products to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management tools can help IT administrators to understand existing network utilization and intelligently plan for downstream capacity increases. Management tools can also be used to detect inefficient or inappropriate uses of system services, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable or limited network resources. A well planned network management plan can also enable businesses to make informed choices on wide and local area network improvements once they recognize the amount of system bandwidth historically needed at any one time.
Putting an effective network management system in place ahead of time is vital to avoid major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can render the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.
Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides an array of powerful tools that should be the foundation for any network management solution. Utilized in combination with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:
Cisco ASDM is a web Java applet that permits you configure and operate the management utilities built into network devices. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and control the unit.
Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application developed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks important appliance parameters on voice and data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application provides:
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 basis and periodically polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely invisible to system processes and does not use any agent on managed devices. Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features and benefits including:
- Up-to-date monitoring of important appliance parameters on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and VoIP phones
- Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
- Voice and data network discovery and topology
- Physical and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
- System wide device identification collection and documentation
- Highly secure and reliable communication
- Device performance monitoring
- IP Telephony tracking
- Connection status and data traffic monitoring
- Real-time alarms and notices
- Configuration archive
Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses with as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified network view and allows IT managers to employ its features across Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.
Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-based control techniques that can simplify administration. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
- Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 firewalls, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
- Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
- Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
- A variety of looks that offer versatile ways to control devices and policies such as the ability to administer the security environment graphically on a topology map
- Comprehensive animated help for the new user to reduce training period
- Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to ensure corporate policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering optional flexibility to modify policies at the local appliance level
- Capability to create a common rule database for all Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule table
- Easily set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a few mouse clicks
- Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based connection control to devices and management functions
- Operation with Cisco security MARS to correlate events against corresponding security appliance rules to promote quicker decision making and enhanced system up time
- Capability to assign particular tasks to every administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to act together as a single unit with effective teamwork
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with an array of powerful third-party applications to create a comprehensive network management solution to keep your network running dependably, conserve valuable resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and enable you to expand or repurpose system resources intelligently and affordably as your business grows.
Progent can also help you to utilize network management applications to analyze and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of processes according to the importance you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets above your committed volume, and by giving priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and repair problems rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.
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To contact Progent about consulting assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.