Network management tools help companies to implement network infrastructure efficiently, look up user information quickly, monitor system operation, troubleshoot issues, protect against and respond to cyber attacks, and maximize performance. Network management tools can spot inefficient or inappropriate uses of network resources like streaming multimedia or peer-to-peer file sharing that can burn up bandwidth, reduce employee output or allow data leakage. A prudently crafted network management solution can also assist organizations to make informed capacity planning moves by exposing tendencies in resource demand for different times or types of jos.

Meraki Dashboard Consultants

The Meraki Dashboard enables simplified cloud management for Cisco network hardware

Cisco has developed a rich and expanding portfolio of infrastructure management solutions that support unified management for on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid network models. With Cisco's later generation of security, switching, and wireless networking devices, you can run Meraki, DNA Center, or CLI management platforms for network monitoring and management. For example, you can connect the latest Catalyst or Meraki switches and Catalyst or Meraki WiFi 6/6E APs to the Meraki dashboard to monitor and manage critical components of your IT infrastructure from the cloud. Progent's Catalyst Wi-Fi access point experts, Meraki Wi-Fi access point consulting experts, Catalyst switches consulting experts, and Meraki switches experts can assist your organization to design, deploy and tune an up-to-date environment for network monitoring and management.

Legacy Network Management Platforms from Cisco and Others
Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at helping companies design management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad range of free and proprietary management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand current network usage and intelligently plan for future traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to detect poor or improper uses of network resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. A well designed network management strategy can also enable organizations to make intelligent decisions on WAN and LAN improvements after they appreciate how much network bandwidth really needed at any one time.

Putting an efficient network management system in place in advance is essential to avoid major disruptions that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, if not practically impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of effective tools that should form the foundation for any management strategy. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top 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. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network device, and enables you to configure, track, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed for the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously tracks important appliance parameters on voice/data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important device processes on SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for companies with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not use any agent on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with up to 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified system view and allows network administrators to employ its functions among switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of devices. Scalability is achieved via intelligent policy-driven control techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of devices in just a few steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide versatile ways to control devices and security policies including the option to administer the security environment graphically on a topology image
  • Extensive video help for the first-time operator to accelerate learning time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure corporate policies are implemented regularly, at the same time providing optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a common rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine 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
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access control to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate events with corresponding security appliance rules to enable faster decision making and increased system availability
  • Ability to allocate particular tasks to every administrator during the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to act together as a single group with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can show you how to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a variety of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, guard your data, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to monitor and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on certain types of processes based on the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets above your contracted rates, and by giving priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can help you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and remediate trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To learn more details about Progent's professional support for Cisco networking products, select a subject:

If you wish to ask Progent about consulting help for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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