An abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at assisting companies design management strategies utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to create powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing available resources.
Progent can assist customers to utilize a rich selection of open source and proprietary management solutions to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.
Network management tools can allow IT administrators to understand current system utilization and intelligently plan for future traffic increases. Network management tools can also be deployed to identify inefficient or inappropriate utilization of network resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste expensive and scarce network resources. A well planned network management plan can also aid businesses to arrive at intelligent choices on wide and local area network upgrades after they appreciate how much network bandwidth really needed at any one time.
Having an efficient network management platform in place ahead of time is essential to prevent major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unstable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.
Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers an array of effective tools that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by helping with important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:
Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities on security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network appliance, and allows you to set up, track, and control the device.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to address the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager continuously monitors important device parameters on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system processes and does not deploy any agent on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a rich set of useful features and benefits including:
- Real-time tracking of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and IP phones
- Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with as many as 50 users
- Network discovery and topology
- Physical and process views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
- System wide device identification logging and documentation
- Advanced security and reliable operation
- Device operations monitoring
- IP Telephony monitoring
- Connection status and data traffic monitoring
- Immediate alerts and notifications
- Setup log
Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports, Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a centralized network view and permits network administrators to deploy its features across switches, routers, and access points.
Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-based management techniques that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
- Allows control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
- Respond more quickly to threats: define and assign new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in just a few steps
- Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
- Multiple views that offer versatile ways to manage appliances and security policies including the capability to administer the security environment graphically on a topology image
- Comprehensive animated help for the novice operator to reduce training time
- Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing optional flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
- Ability to create a single rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule base
- Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a VPN wizard
- Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and management services
- Operation with security MARS system to compare monitored data with related security appliance rules to support faster management decisions and enhanced system availability
- Capability to assign particular tasks to every manager in the course of the deployment of a rule, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and network operations staff to act cooperatively as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can help you to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside a selection of powerful third-party applications to develop a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your network running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious attacks, and allow you to expand or reassign network resources intelligently and economically as your organization evolves.
Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to enforce different throughput restrictions on certain types of activity based on the importance you assign. By buffering and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak demand.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can help you to create an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your IT system productive.
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If you wish to contact Progent about professional expertise for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.