An abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and other vendors highlights the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are expert at assisting businesses design management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build powerful tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices utilizing available resources.
Progent can help customers to deploy a broad range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management tools can allow organizations to understand current system usage and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be used to identify poor or improper utilization of system resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network resources. A well planned network management strategy can also help companies to make informed choices on system enhancements after they recognize the amount of system bandwidth actually required at various times.
Putting an effective network management solution in operation in advance is critical to prevent major problems that can be due to DoS attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such events can leave the network unusable and without proper utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.
Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of effective utilities that should form the basis for any management solution. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of any size by improving key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:
Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that allows you to set up and operate the software on network devices. ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, track, and control the device.
Monitor Manager is a management solution developed for the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager continuously scans key device parameters on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:
Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. The application offers a variety of useful features and benefits including:
- Real-time monitoring of key appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
- Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with up to 50 users
- Network discovery and topology
- Physical and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
- System wide inventory logging and documentation
- Advanced security and dependable operation
- Cisco device performance tracking
- Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
- Interface status and traffic monitoring
- Real-time alarms and notifications
- Setup archive
Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. The application provides a unified network view and permits IT managers to deploy its features across switches, routers, and access points.
Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution effectively manages even small networks consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also expands to manage enterprise systems with thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled through intelligent policy-driven control techniques that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management
- Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series firewalls, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
- Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
- Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
- Multiple views that offer flexible methods to manage appliances and policies such as the capability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology image
- Comprehensive animated training for the new user to reduce training time
- Globally call out which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, while offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
- Ability to build a single firewall rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule base
- Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN interfaces with a few mouse clicks
- Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to devices and administration services
- Integration with Cisco security MARS to associate monitored data against corresponding firewall rules to support quicker decision making and enhanced system up time
- Capability to allocate specific tasks to each administrator during the implementation of a rule, with structured change management and logging; allows the security and network operations staff to act together as a cohesive group with effective coordination
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can show you how to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a selection of powerful third-party applications to create a comprehensive management strategy to keep your network running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign system resources intelligently and affordably as your organization grows.
Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to enforce different bandwidth restrictions on certain types of activity based on the priorities you assign. By buffering and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak use.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can show you how to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and fix problems quickly to keep your IT system in business.
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In order to ask Progent about technical help for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.