A wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are experienced at assisting companies develop network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing available services.
Progent can help businesses to deploy a rich selection of open source and proprietary management solutions to manage a Cisco network. 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, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.
Network management tools can enable organizations to be aware of existing network utilization and effectively prepare for downstream capacity increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to highlight poor or improper utilization of system services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network bandwidth. A well crafted network management strategy can also enable companies to make informed decisions on WAN and LAN improvements once they appreciate how much network resources actually needed at specific times.
Having an effective network management solution in operation beforehand is vital to prevent severe disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to discover the location of the problem.
Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of powerful utilities that should form the basis for any management solution. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor products, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that allows you to configure and operate the software on security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco device, and allows you to configure, track, and manage the device.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application intended to address the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager actively monitors important device parameters on voice and data networks serving 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects identification and performance-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent on target appliances. The application offers a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
- Up-to-date monitoring of important appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
- Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for organizations with up to 50 users
- Network discovery and physical topology
- Physical and process views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
- System wide inventory logging and reporting
- Highly secure and dependable communication
- Appliance operations tracking
- VoIP Telephony monitoring
- Interface status and traffic monitoring
- Immediate alerts and event notification
- Setup log
Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies with up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified system view and permits IT managers to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.
Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance set up and policies for firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. The solution effectively handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control large-scale networks with thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-based management procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager are:
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help Your Business with Network Management
- Allows provisioning for Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 Series security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
- Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and apply new security policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
- Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
- Multiple views that offer versatile methods to control appliances and policies including the capability to administer the security environment visually on a topology image
- Comprehensive animated help for the novice operator to reduce training time
- Centrally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to make sure corporate policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
- Capability to create a common firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
- Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
- Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to appliances and management services
- Operation with security MARS to compare monitored data against related firewall rules to support faster management decisions and increased system availability
- Capability to allocate particular tasks to every manager in the course of the implementation of a rule, with structured change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations staff to act cooperatively as a single group with effective teamwork
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management utilities in combination with an array of effective third-party programs to create a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, consolidate valuable resources, protect your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign system resources intelligently and affordably as your business evolves.
Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on designated types of processes according to the importance you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage charges from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate lost productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak use.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can show you how to create an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate trouble quickly to keep your IT system in business.
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If you wish to contact Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.