Network Management Solutions SupportAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies develop network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for tracking network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich selection of open source and license-based management tools to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to be aware of existing system usage and intelligently plan for downstream traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify inefficient or improper utilization of system resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste expensive and scarce network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management solution can also aid companies to make intelligent decisions on WAN and LAN upgrades after they appreciate the amount of network resources really required at any one time.

Putting an effective network management system in place ahead of time is critical to avoid severe disruptions that can be due to DoS attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These events can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of powerful tools that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by addressing important areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that allows you to set up and monitor the software built into security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network device, and allows you to configure, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application designed for the needs of small and midsize businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously tracks key appliance processes on voice and data networks used by 5 to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time tracking of key appliance processes on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to system operations and does not deploy any agent on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding organizations that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and allows network managers to deploy its features among Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of appliance set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution efficiently handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control large-scale networks with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-based control procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Respond more quickly to threats: specify and apply new security policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide flexible ways to manage appliances and security policies such as the option to manage the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Extensive video training for the novice operator to reduce learning period
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are implemented regularly, while providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a single rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule base
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection management to devices and management functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to correlate events with related security appliance rules to support faster decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each manager in the course of the deployment of a rule, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to act cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network consultants can show you how to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive management strategy to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, consolidate valuable resources, protect your information, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to expand or repurpose system resources intelligently and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management utilities to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to impose a variety of throughput constraints on designated classes of processes based on the importance you assign. By storing and queuing excess packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can help you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person network specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use the latest network management technology to isolate and repair problems quickly to keep your network running smoothly.

To see more information concerning Progent's professional assistance for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

If you wish to contact Progent about technical assistance for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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