An abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses design network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build effective mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing key router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use available services.
Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich selection of open source and proprietary monitoring and management products to maintain a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.
Network management tools can enable organizations to be aware of current system usage and intelligently prepare for future capacity expansion. Management tools can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper uses of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and limited network resources. An efficiently crafted network management solution can also enable organizations to make informed choices on WAN and LAN upgrades once they understand how much system resources historically required at various times.
Having an effective network management solution in operation ahead of time is vital to avoid major problems that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These events can leave the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, if not practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.
Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed a selection of effective utilities that should be the basis for any network management solution. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor products, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that allows you to configure and monitor the software on network devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the adaptive security device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended to handle the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager actively tracks key device parameters on voice/data networks used by five to 250 workers and with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:
Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 basis and frequently touches and gathers identification and performance-tracking data from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent on managed appliances. The application provides a rich set of valuable features such as:
- Up-to-date monitoring of important device parameters on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and IP phones
- Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for companies with up to 50 users
- Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
- Device and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
- System wide device identification collection and documentation
- Highly secure and reliable operation
- Device performance monitoring
- IP Telephony tracking
- Interface status and traffic tracking
- Immediate alarms and notifications
- Setup archive
Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. The application provides a centralized system view and permits network managers to deploy its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.
Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for managing all facets of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of devices. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-based management techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
- Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
- Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
- Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
- A variety of views that offer versatile methods to control devices and policies such as the ability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology map
- Extensive animated help for the first-time user to reduce training time
- Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local device level
- Capability to build a common firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule base
- Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
- Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access management to devices and management services
- Operation with security MARS system to correlate monitored data with related security appliance rules to promote quicker management decisions and enhanced network up time
- Ability to assign specific tasks to every manager during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; allows the security and systems operations staff to work cooperatively as a single unit with effective coordination
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities in combination with a variety of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive management strategy to keep your network running dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to expand or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your company evolves.
Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of activity based on the importance you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your contracted volume, and by giving preference to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage charges from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can show you how to create an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use advanced network management tools to isolate and repair problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.
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If you wish to contact Progent about consulting support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.