A wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are expert at assisting companies design management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for understanding network utilization and network latency, monitoring key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use available resources.
Progent can help businesses to deploy a rich range of open source and license-based management products to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management platforms can help IT administrators to be aware of current system usage and intelligently prepare for future capacity increases. Network management utilities can also be used to identify inefficient or inappropriate uses of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up valuable and scarce network resources. An efficiently designed network management solution can also aid organizations to arrive at informed choices on WAN and LAN enhancements once they appreciate how much network bandwidth really required at specific times.
Putting an effective network management platform in place beforehand is essential to avoid major disruptions that can be due to DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.
Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of powerful utilities that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by improving important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that allows you to configure and monitor the software built into network appliances. ASDM is installed by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to set up, track, and control the device.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution developed to handle the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager continuously monitors important appliance parameters on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 basis and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not use any agent on managed devices. The application provides a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
- Up-to-date scanning of important device processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and VoIP phones
- Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for organizations with up to 50 workers
- Network discovery and physical topology
- Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
- System wide inventory collection and documentation
- Advanced security and reliable communication
- Appliance operations monitoring
- VoIP Telephony monitoring
- Interface status and data traffic monitoring
- Immediate alerts and event notification
- Setup archive
Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies that have up to 40 switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified network view and allows IT managers to employ its features across switches, routers, and access points.
Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution effectively manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage large-scale systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is achieved through intelligent policy-based control techniques that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
- Allows control of Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
- Respond more quickly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
- Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
- Multiple looks that offer versatile methods to control devices and policies including the capability to administer the security environment graphically on a topology image
- Comprehensive video help for the novice user to accelerate training time
- Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
- Ability to build a common rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule table
- Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a few mouse clicks
- Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection management to appliances and administration functions
- Integration with security MARS to associate events with corresponding security appliance rules to help with quicker decision making and increased system availability
- Capability to assign particular tasks to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; allows the security and network operations team to act together as a single unit with efficient teamwork
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a complete management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve valuable resources, secure your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or malicious assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose system resources effectively and economically as your company evolves.
Progent can also help you to use network management tools to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on designated classes of processes according to the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to create an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize the latest network management technology to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your network productive.
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In order to ask Progent about consulting support for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.