Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are expert at assisting companies develop management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad selection of open source and proprietary monitoring and management products to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand current network utilization and intelligently plan for future capacity increases. Network management tools can also be used to identify poor or improper uses of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management plan can also assist companies to make intelligent choices on WAN and LAN improvements after they recognize the amount of system resources really required at any one time.

Having an efficient network management platform in place in advance is essential to prevent major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to find the location of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides a selection of effective tools that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of any size by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that permits you set up and monitor the management utilities built into network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security device, and allows you to configure, track, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to handle the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Cisco Monitor Manager actively checks important device parameters on voice and data networks serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 IP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of key device processes on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for businesses with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically touches and collects inventory and performance-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system operations and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations that have up to 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified network view and permits IT administrators to deploy its functions among switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of device configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Security Manager efficiently handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is enabled via smart policy-based control techniques that can simplify administration. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer flexible ways to control appliances and security policies such as the option to administer the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the novice operator to accelerate training time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while providing optional versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to build a single rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to appliances and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS to correlate events against related security appliance rules to help with quicker decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to each administrator during the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and network operations team to act cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network consultants can show you how to utilize Cisco's network management utilities alongside a selection of powerful third-party programs to develop a comprehensive management strategy to keep your network operating dependably, conserve valuable resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or malicious attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign network hardware intelligently and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure routers to impose different throughput restrictions on designated types of processes according to the importance you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed volume, and by assigning preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can show you how to create an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and repair trouble rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.

To see additional information about Progent's engineering help for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:

In order to ask Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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