Cisco Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping companies develop management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful tools for tracking network utilization and network latency, monitoring important router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and license-based management utilities to maintain a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of current system utilization and effectively prepare for downstream traffic increases. Management tools can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper uses of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable or scarce network resources. A carefully planned network management plan can also assist organizations to arrive at informed decisions on network upgrades after they recognize the amount of system resources historically required at any one time.

Putting an effective network management platform in operation in advance is essential to prevent severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco provides an assortment of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities on security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to address the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively monitors important appliance parameters on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 VoIP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date tracking of important device processes on SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 Series for organizations with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring data from the monitored devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not deploy any agent software on target devices. The application offers a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Appliance performance tracking
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. The application offers a centralized network view and permits IT administrators to deploy its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small networks consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control enterprise systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-based management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer versatile methods to manage devices and security policies including the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated help for the first-time operator to reduce training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN links by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS to associate monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to promote quicker decision making and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to act cooperatively as a single group with efficient coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management tools alongside a variety of powerful third-party applications to create a complete network management toolkit to keep your network running dependably, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover quickly from equipment failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain types of activity based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by giving priority to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can help you to create an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

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If you wish to ask Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.