Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at assisting businesses design network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful tools for tracking network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich selection of open source and proprietary management products to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to understand current network utilization and intelligently plan for downstream capacity increases. Management tools can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper uses of system resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up expensive or scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management solution can also aid companies to arrive at informed choices on network upgrades after they understand how much system resources actually needed at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management platform in operation beforehand is vital to avoid severe problems that can result from DoS attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of effective utilities that should be the basis for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with the top third-party products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that permits you configure and monitor the software built into network appliances. ASDM is installed by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed for the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager continuously scans key appliance parameters on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with as many as 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date tracking of key device parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and performance-tracking information from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely invisible to IT processes and does not use any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations with up to 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. The application offers a unified network view and permits IT administrators to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments with no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale networks with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 firewalls, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: define and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible ways to manage devices and policies such as the option to manage the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Extensive animated help for the new user to accelerate training time
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time providing optional flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection management to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to correlate events with corresponding security appliance rules to promote quicker management decisions and increased system availability
  • Ability to assign specific jobs to each administrator during the implementation of a rule, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to act in sync as a single group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's management utilities in combination with a variety of effective third-party applications to develop a complete network management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose system resources intelligently and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to analyze and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to impose a variety of throughput constraints on designated classes of processes according to the priorities you assign. By storing and sorting excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can help you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize the latest network management tools to isolate and fix trouble quickly to keep your IT system in business.

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To contact Progent about engineering support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.