A wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other vendors highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses develop management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to create effective tools for network utilization and network latency, monitoring key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing available services.
Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad range of open source and license-based management solutions to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management tools can enable IT administrators to understand current network usage and intelligently plan for downstream capacity expansion. Management tools can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or improper uses of system services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable or scarce network resources. An efficiently planned network management strategy can also help businesses to arrive at informed decisions on system upgrades once they appreciate the amount of network resources historically required at specific times.
Having an effective network management platform in operation beforehand is critical to avoid major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These events can leave the network unusable and without appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the location of the trouble.
Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of effective utilities that should be the basis for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by improving key areas such as system utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:
Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities built into security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and control the device.
Monitor Manager is a management application developed to address the needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively checks key appliance processes on voice/data networks used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring data from the monitored appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely invisible to system processes and does not use any agent on managed devices. The application provides a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
- Up-to-date monitoring of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and VoIP phones
- Support for the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for organizations with up to 50 workers
- Network discovery and physical topology
- Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications deployment
- Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
- Highly secure and reliable communication
- Cisco device operations tracking
- VoIP Telephony monitoring
- Connection status and data traffic monitoring
- Immediate alarms and notices
- Setup archive
Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing businesses with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified network view and allows network managers to employ its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.
Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of appliance set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-based management procedures that can simplify administration. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
- Supports control of Cisco routers running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family firewalls, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
- Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few simple steps
- Rich graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
- A variety of views that offer versatile ways to manage devices and security policies such as the capability to manage the security network graphically on a topology image
- Comprehensive animated help for the first-time operator to reduce training period
- Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while providing sufficient versatility to customize policies at the local appliance level
- Ability to create a single rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
- Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces with a few mouse clicks
- Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to appliances and management services
- Integration with security MARS to correlate monitored data against related security appliance rules to enable quicker decision making and enhanced system availability
- Capability to assign specific tasks to every administrator during the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to act together as a cohesive group with effective coordination
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside an array of powerful third-party programs to develop a comprehensive management solution to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or reassign system resources intelligently and affordably as your company evolves.
Progent can also help you to utilize network management tools to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on certain types of activity based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your committed volume, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can show you how to create an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and repair trouble quickly to keep your IT system productive.
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If you wish to ask Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.