Cisco Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses develop network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to build effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad selection of open source and proprietary management utilities to maintain a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of current network usage and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper uses of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable or limited network resources. A carefully planned network management strategy can also assist companies to make intelligent choices on system upgrades after they recognize how much system bandwidth historically needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place ahead of time is essential to avoid major problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. These events can leave the network unstable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to identify the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has developed an array of effective utilities that should be the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that permits you configure and operate the management utilities built into security appliances. ASDM is installed by the network appliance, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended for the needs of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively monitors key appliance parameters on voice and data networks used by five to 250 workers and with as many as 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 for companies with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a 24x7 cycle and periodically polls and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system processes and does not deploy any agent software on managed devices. Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing businesses that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application streamlines setup, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco networks. Network Assistant offers a unified network view and permits network administrators to employ its features across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all aspects of device set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of devices. Scalability is achieved via intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible methods to control devices and policies such as the ability to manage the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the novice operator to accelerate learning period
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to build a common firewall rule database for Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies within the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN interfaces with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to devices and management functions
  • Operation with security MARS to associate events with related security appliance rules to enable faster management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and tracking; allows the security and network operations staff to act cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's management utilities in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive management strategy to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose system hardware intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management tools to monitor and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to impose different bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By buffering and queuing data packets above your contracted volume, and by giving priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can assist you to create an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your network running smoothly.

To see more information about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco networking products, pick a topic:

In order to ask Progent about professional support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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