Network management tools assist companies to implement network infrastructure effectively, look up client information quickly, track system operation, troubleshoot problems, protect against and respond to cyber attacks, and optimize performance. Network management systems can help detect inefficient or inappropriate uses of network services such as streaming multimedia or peer-to-peer file sharing that can burn up bandwidth, reduce worker output or enable data leaks. A well crafted network management environment can also help organizations to make informed capacity planning decisions by surfacing trends in network usage for various times or types of tasks.

Meraki Dashboard Consulting Experts

The Meraki Dashboard offers simplified cloud management for Cisco infrastructure hardware

Cisco has developed a diverse and expanding catalog of network management platforms that allow centralized management for on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid network architectures. With Cisco's later security, switching, and wireless infrastructure products, you can run Meraki, DNA Center, or CLI management platforms for network management. For instance, you can interface newer Catalyst or Meraki switches and Catalyst or Meraki WiFi 6/6E APs to the Meraki dashboard to manage vital layers of your corporate infrastructure from the cloud. Progent's Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi AP consulting experts, Cisco Meraki WiFi access point consulting experts, Catalyst switches consultants, and Meraki switches consulting experts can assist your organization to design, implement and optimize an up-to-date environment for network monitoring and management.

Legacy Network Management Tools from Cisco and Others
Cisco Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at assisting businesses design network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build effective mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a rich selection of free and proprietary management solutions to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of existing network utilization and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight inefficient or inappropriate uses of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable or scarce network resources. A carefully crafted network management strategy can also aid companies to make intelligent decisions on system enhancements after they recognize the amount of system bandwidth historically required at specific times.

Putting an effective network management system in operation beforehand is critical to avoid major disruptions that can be caused by DoS attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can render the network unstable and without proper tools it can be time consuming, and in some cases practically impossible, to identify the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in combination with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web Java applet that lets you set up and operate the software built into network devices. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution developed to handle the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager actively monitors important device parameters on voice and data networks used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with up to 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to IT processes and does not use any agent software on target appliances. The application offers a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Network Assistant simplifies configuration, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified system view and permits IT managers to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and security policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution effectively handles even small networks consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled through intelligent policy-driven control techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and assign new security policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible ways to control appliances and policies such as the capability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the novice user to reduce learning period
  • Globally call out which policies are common and inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and management services
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate monitored data against corresponding firewall rules to help with quicker management decisions and increased network up time
  • Capability to assign specific tasks to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations staff to act together as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to create a complete management solution to keep your infrastructure running dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose network resources effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to analyze and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on certain classes of processes according to the importance you assign. By storing and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost worker productivity caused by brute force policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can help you to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

To find out additional information about Progent's professional support for Cisco technology, choose a subject:

In order to ask Progent about technical expertise for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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