Network management platforms help organizations to deploy network infrastructure effectively, access client information quickly, track system operation, troubleshoot issues, protect against and respond to threats, and optimize performance. Network management systems can spot inefficient or improper uses of network resources like streaming multimedia or peer-to-peer file sharing that can waste bandwidth, lower worker output or allow data leaks. A well planned network management environment can also help companies to make smart capacity planning moves by exposing trends in network usage for various periods or types of jos.

Meraki Dashboard Consultants

The Meraki Dashboard allows unified cloud management for Cisco network hardware

Cisco has developed a diverse and expanding portfolio of network management platforms that allow centralized management for local, cloud-based, or hybrid network architectures. With Cisco's newer security, switching, and wireless networking devices, you can choose among Meraki, DNA Center, or CLI management platforms for network management. For instance, you can connect the latest Catalyst or Meraki switches and Catalyst or Meraki WiFi 6/6E access points to the Meraki dashboard to manage critical layers of your corporate infrastructure from the cloud. Progent's Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi access point consulting experts, Cisco Meraki WiFi AP experts, Catalyst switches consulting experts, and Meraki switches experts can help you to plan, implement and optimize an up-to-date environment for network infrastructure management.

Legacy Network Management Platforms from Cisco and Others
Network Management Solutions SupportA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies develop network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective mechanisms for tracking network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing available resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad range of free and license-based management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand current network utilization and effectively plan for downstream capacity increases. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight poor or inappropriate utilization of system services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and limited network bandwidth. A carefully planned network management plan can also enable companies to make intelligent choices on WAN and LAN upgrades once they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth actually needed at any one time.

Having an effective network management platform in operation in advance is critical to prevent severe problems that can be due to Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can render the network unstable and without proper utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of effective tools that should form the basis for any management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that permits you configure and monitor the management utilities built into security appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to configure, monitor, and control the device.

Monitor Manager is a management application designed to handle the needs of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key device parameters on voice/data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time tracking of key device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for businesses with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring data from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent software on target devices. The application provides a variety of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process views of Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and permits network administrators to deploy its functions among switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise systems with thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and assign new security policies to thousands of devices in just a few steps
  • Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible ways to manage devices and policies including the capability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the new operator to accelerate learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, at the same time providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule table for Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis 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
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to appliances and administration services
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to compare events against corresponding security appliance rules to help with faster decision making and increased network availability
  • Ability to assign specific jobs to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations staff to work cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside a selection of powerful third-party programs to develop a complete management solution to keep your infrastructure running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, protect your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to expand or repurpose system resources effectively and affordably as your business evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of throughput constraints on certain classes of activity based on the importance you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets that exceed your committed volume, and by giving priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or avoid gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize advanced network management technology to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.

For more information about Progent's consulting help for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:

In order to ask Progent about professional expertise for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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