Cisco Network Management Solutions SupportA 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 engineers are experienced at helping businesses develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing network services.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a rich selection of open source and proprietary management utilities to maintain a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand existing network usage and intelligently plan for future traffic increases. Management tools can also be used to identify poor or inappropriate uses of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently crafted network management strategy can also assist organizations to make informed choices on network upgrades once they understand how much network bandwidth historically required at specific times.

Putting an effective network management platform in place ahead of time is vital to prevent major problems that can be due to Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such events can leave the network unusable and without proper utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers a selection 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 offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that permits you set up and operate the software on security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to configure, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application developed to address the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager actively checks important device processes on voice/data networks used by five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to IT processes and does not use any agent on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing businesses with as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized system view and allows IT managers to employ its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale systems with thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled via intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile ways to manage appliances and security policies such as the ability to manage the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the first-time operator to reduce learning period
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new devices to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, while providing optional flexibility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Capability to build a common rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate events with related firewall rules to help with quicker decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Ability to allocate particular tasks to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and logging; permits the security and network operations team to work together as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network consultants can help you to use Cisco's network management tools in combination with a variety of effective third-party applications to create a comprehensive network management strategy to keep your infrastructure running dependably, consolidate valuable resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or repurpose system resources intelligently and economically as your organization evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management tools to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to impose a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated classes of processes according to the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning preference to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and fix problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

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If you wish to get in touch with Progent about professional assistance for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.