Network Management Solutions Professional HelpA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at helping businesses develop network management strategies based on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices that use network services.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and proprietary management products to manage a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to understand existing network utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream capacity increases. Network management utilities can also be used to identify inefficient or inappropriate uses of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up expensive or limited network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management strategy can also enable companies to arrive at informed choices on wide and local area network enhancements after they understand the amount of system resources actually needed at various times.

Putting an efficient network management solution in operation beforehand is essential to avoid major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can render the network unstable and without proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor products, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that allows you to set up and monitor the software on network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution designed to handle the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key appliance parameters on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of key appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for businesses with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a 24x7 cycle and periodically touches and collects identification and operations-tracking information from the managed appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to IT operations and does not use any agent software on managed devices. Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Device operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Cisco 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 Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Network Assistant offers a unified network view and allows network administrators to employ its features across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to control large-scale systems with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-based control techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer versatile methods to control devices and security policies including the ability to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new operator to reduce learning period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to make sure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect anomalies within the rule base
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to support faster decision making and increased system availability
  • Capability to assign particular tasks to every manager during the implementation of a policy, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and network operations team to act in sync as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with a variety of powerful third-party programs to create a complete management strategy to keep your infrastructure running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, protect your data, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and enable you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management tools to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated types of activity based on the importance you assign. By buffering and sorting excess packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can help you to develop an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use the latest network management tools to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To learn additional information concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco technology, pick a subject:

To ask Progent about professional help for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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