Network Management Solutions Professional HelpAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping companies develop management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to build effective tools for tracking network utilization and latency, monitoring key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a broad selection of open source and license-based management products to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to understand existing system usage and effectively prepare for downstream traffic increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to detect poor or improper utilization of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive and limited network resources. A carefully planned network management strategy can also enable organizations to make intelligent decisions on network improvements once they recognize how much system resources really needed at various times.

Putting an efficient network management solution in operation beforehand is vital to avoid severe disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to discover the location of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers a selection of powerful tools that should be the basis for any network management solution. Used in combination with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and operate the management utilities on network appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application developed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously checks key appliance processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important appliance processes on SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock basis and frequently polls and gathers inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely transparent to system processes and does not deploy any agent software on target appliances. The application offers a rich set of valuable features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with as many as 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and permits network managers to deploy its functions among switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for managing all facets of device set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage large-scale systems composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-driven control procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide versatile methods to manage appliances and security policies including the ability to administer the security network graphically on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the first-time user to speed up training period
  • Globally call out which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to appliances and administration services
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to compare monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to help with faster decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to every administrator in the course of the implementation of a rule, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to act cooperatively as a single group with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's management utilities alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to create a complete network management toolkit to keep your network running dependably, consolidate valuable resources, guard your data, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or reassign system hardware effectively and affordably as your company evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to impose different throughput restrictions on certain types of processes according to the importance you specify. By storing and queuing data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to create an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use advanced network management technology to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.

To learn more information about Progent's professional help for Cisco products, select a subject:

If you wish to contact Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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