A wealth of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses design network management strategies based on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to create effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices that use network resources.
Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich selection of free and proprietary management products to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management tools can enable organizations to understand current system utilization and intelligently plan for downstream capacity expansion. Management tools can also be used to detect poor or improper uses of system services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and scarce network resources. A well crafted network management solution can also enable businesses to make intelligent decisions on system upgrades once they understand the amount of system bandwidth actually required at specific times.
Having an efficient network management system in place ahead of time is critical to avoid major problems that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can render the network unstable and without proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the source of the problem.
Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any management solution. Used in conjunction with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of all sizes by improving important areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:
Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web Java applet that allows you to configure and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the unit.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application designed to handle the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously tracks key appliance processes on voice/data environments used by five to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. The application offers:
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects identification and operations-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to system operations and does not deploy any agent on target appliances. Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features such as:
- Up-to-date tracking of important device processes on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
- Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with up to 50 users
- 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 dependable communication
- Device operations monitoring
- Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
- Connection status and data traffic monitoring
- Immediate alerts and notices
- Configuration log
Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, the application simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified system view and allows IT administrators to employ its features across switches, routers, and wireless access points.
Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is enabled through intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist You with Network Management
- Allows control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
- Respond more quickly to attacks: define and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
- Rich graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
- Multiple views that offer versatile methods to control appliances and security policies including the ability to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology map
- Extensive video training for the new operator to speed up learning period
- Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, while offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
- Ability to create a single firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
- Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a few mouse clicks
- Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to appliances and administration functions
- Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare events with related firewall rules to enable quicker management decisions and enhanced network up time
- Capability to assign particular tasks to every manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a single group with efficient teamwork
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's management utilities alongside a variety of powerful open source and proprietary applications to create a complete network management toolkit to keep your network running dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network resources intelligently and economically as your company grows.
Progent can also assist you to use network management tools to analyze and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to enforce different bandwidth restrictions on designated types of processes according to the importance you specify. By storing and sorting data packets above your committed volume, and by giving preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.
Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises network specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use the latest network management tools to identify and remediate problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.
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