Network Management Solutions SupportAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are experienced at helping businesses design management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and appliances that use available resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a rich range of open source and proprietary management products to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand existing system usage and effectively prepare for future traffic expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to identify inefficient or inappropriate utilization of network resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. A carefully planned network management solution can also assist companies to make intelligent choices on WAN and LAN upgrades once they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth historically required at various times.

Having an effective network management system in operation in advance is critical to avoid major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to find the location of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed a selection of effective utilities that should form the basis for any management strategy. Used in conjunction with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for organizations of any size by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that allows you to configure and operate the management utilities on network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the adaptive security device, and allows you to configure, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution developed to handle the needs of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager actively monitors important appliance processes on voice/data environments used by five to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for businesses with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely transparent to IT processes and does not deploy any agent software on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations with as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies setup, deployment, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. The application offers a unified system view and allows IT managers to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for managing all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. Security Manager efficiently handles even small networks consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to manage large-scale networks with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-based management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide flexible ways to control devices and security policies including the capability to administer the security environment graphically on a topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the new user to accelerate learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to devices and administration services
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to correlate events with corresponding firewall rules to promote faster decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Capability to allocate specific tasks to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; allows the security and network operations team to work in sync as a single unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can show you how to use Cisco's management tools alongside a variety of powerful third-party programs to create a comprehensive management strategy to keep your network functioning dependably, consolidate expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign system resources intelligently and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to analyze and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to impose different bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of processes according to the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent ISP excess usage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can help you to develop 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 engineers can use advanced network management technology to isolate and fix problems rapidly to keep your network in business.

To find out additional details concerning Progent's engineering expertise for Cisco technology, select a topic:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about professional help for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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