An abundance of network management products from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build effective mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices utilizing network services.
Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich selection of free and proprietary management products to manage a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of existing network utilization and effectively plan for downstream capacity expansion. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper utilization of network services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up valuable and limited network resources. A well planned network management strategy can also help companies to arrive at informed decisions on network improvements once they recognize the amount of system resources historically required at specific times.
Having an effective network management solution in operation ahead of time is critical to prevent severe disruptions that can result from DoS attacks and malicious viruses. These events can render the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the location of the problem.
Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of effective utilities that should form the basis for any management solution. Utilized in combination with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that lets you configure and operate the management utilities on network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and control the device.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application developed for the needs of small and midsize businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously tracks key appliance parameters on voice/data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely transparent to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. The application offers a variety of useful features including:
- Up-to-date tracking of key device processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
- Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for businesses with up to 50 workers
- Voice and data network discovery and topology
- Physical and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
- System wide device identification logging and documentation
- Advanced security and reliable communication
- Cisco device operations monitoring
- IP Telephony tracking
- Interface status and traffic monitoring
- Real-time alerts and notices
- Configuration archive
Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, the application simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and allows network administrators to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.
Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution effectively manages even small environments with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-driven management techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager include:
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
- Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 Series security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
- Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
- Intuitive graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
- A variety of looks that offer flexible methods to manage appliances and policies including the capability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology map
- Comprehensive animated help for the new user to reduce learning period
- Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering optional flexibility to modify policies at the local device level
- Ability to build a common rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
- Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
- Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to appliances and administration services
- Integration with security MARS system to compare monitored data against related security appliance rules to help with quicker decision making and increased system up time
- Capability to allocate specific jobs to every manager during the deployment of a rule, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations staff to work together as a cohesive group with effective teamwork
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management consultants can help you to use Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete network management toolkit to keep your network running smoothly, conserve valuable resources, protect your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your company evolves.
Progent can also help you to utilize network management tools to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to impose different throughput restrictions on certain classes of processes according to the importance you specify. By storing and sorting data packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can keep ISP excess usage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak use.
Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can show you how to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use advanced network management tools to identify and repair problems rapidly to keep your network in business.
For more information about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco products, pick a subject:
To contact Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.