Network Management Solutions SupportAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the value and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at assisting companies design management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create powerful mechanisms for understanding network utilization and latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad selection of open source and license-based monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help organizations to understand current network utilization and intelligently plan for downstream traffic expansion. Management utilities can also be used to highlight poor or inappropriate uses of system resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management plan can also help businesses to arrive at intelligent choices on network enhancements once they recognize how much network bandwidth historically required at various times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place ahead of time is essential to prevent major disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These events can render the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers a selection of effective tools that should form the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that lets you set up and operate the management utilities on security appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to handle the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager continuously checks important device parameters on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 users and with up to 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time tracking of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for companies with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and gathers identification and performance-tracking information from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is entirely transparent to IT operations and does not use any agent software on target appliances. The application offers a variety of valuable features such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Appliance performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations with up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a centralized system view and permits IT administrators to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. The solution effectively handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is achieved via intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 Series security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
  • Rich GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer versatile ways to control devices and policies including the ability to manage the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive animated training for the novice operator to accelerate learning time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by new devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to create a common rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS to compare events with corresponding security appliance rules to support faster management decisions and increased system up time
  • Capability to allocate particular jobs to each manager during the implementation of a rule, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with a variety of effective third-party applications to create a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, conserve valuable resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network resources intelligently and economically as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain types of activity according to the importance you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your committed rates, and by assigning priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can assist you to create an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate trouble quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

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