Network Management Solutions Professional HelpAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and other vendors highlights the value and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping businesses design management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing available services.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a broad range of open source and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand current system utilization and intelligently plan for downstream traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be used to detect inefficient or inappropriate uses of system resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or limited network bandwidth. A well designed network management strategy can also aid businesses to arrive at informed choices on system enhancements once they understand the amount of network bandwidth historically required at various times.

Having an efficient network management system in place beforehand is essential to prevent major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to discover the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of powerful tools that should be the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of networks for companies of any size by improving important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities on network appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application designed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key device processes on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device processes on small and midsize business-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for businesses with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically touches and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to IT operations and does not use any agent on target appliances. The application offers a rich set of useful features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Device operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. It provides a centralized system view and permits network administrators to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of device set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution efficiently manages even small networks consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide versatile ways to manage appliances and security policies such as the ability to administer the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive animated training for the first-time user to accelerate training time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, at the same time providing optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to build a common rule database for Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to devices and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate events with corresponding firewall rules to enable faster management decisions and increased system availability
  • Capability to assign particular tasks to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and network operations staff to act together as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can help you to use Cisco's management utilities in combination with a variety of powerful open source and proprietary programs to create a complete network management solution to keep your network operating dependably, consolidate expensive resources, protect your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose system resources effectively and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also show you how to use network management tools to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on certain classes of activity based on the importance you specify. By storing and queuing data packets above your committed rates, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and repair trouble quickly to keep your network productive.

For additional details concerning Progent's professional expertise for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about consulting assistance for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.