Network Management Solutions Professional HelpAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at helping companies design network management solutions utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build effective tools for network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use network services.

Progent can help customers to deploy a rich range of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to understand existing system usage and effectively plan for downstream traffic expansion. Management tools can also be used to identify poor or improper uses of network services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management solution can also aid companies to arrive at informed choices on network upgrades once they understand the amount of network bandwidth historically needed at any one time.

Putting an effective network management system in place ahead of time is vital to prevent severe problems that can be due to Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of effective tools that should form the foundation for any management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of any size by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that permits you set up and operate the management utilities on network devices. ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively scans key appliance processes on voice and data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. The application provides a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Cisco device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notices
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports technology, the application simplifies setup, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized system view and permits IT managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to manage large-scale networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-based management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security image, ASA 5500 security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide flexible ways to control appliances and security policies including the ability to administer the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new user to accelerate training time
  • Globally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Ability to create a common rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to appliances and management functions
  • Operation with security MARS to associate events against related firewall rules to enable quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Capability to allocate specific tasks to every manager during the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations staff to act cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with a variety of effective third-party programs to develop a complete management strategy to keep your network running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, protect your data, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign network hardware intelligently and economically as your company evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to analyze and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on designated classes of activity according to the priorities you specify. By buffering and sorting data packets above your contracted volume, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and remediate problems rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

For additional information about Progent's engineering support for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

If you wish to contact Progent about professional help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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