A wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are expert at helping businesses develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing key router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing network services.
Progent can help businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and license-based management tools to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.
Network management platforms can allow organizations to understand current network usage and intelligently prepare for downstream capacity increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to detect poor or inappropriate uses of system resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste expensive or scarce network resources. A well planned network management plan can also enable businesses to arrive at informed choices on WAN and LAN upgrades after they understand the amount of system resources really required at various times.
Having an effective network management solution in operation beforehand is critical to avoid severe disruptions that can follow DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to find the location of the problem.
Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco provides a selection of effective tools that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that lets you configure and operate the management utilities on security appliances. ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to configure, track, and manage the device.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application developed for the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously monitors key appliance parameters on voice and data environments used by five to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application offers:
Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently touches and gathers identification and operations-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on target appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a rich set of useful features and benefits such as:
- Real-time monitoring of key appliance parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
- Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with up to 50 users
- Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
- Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
- Networkwide inventory collection and documentation
- Advanced security and dependable communication
- Device performance tracking
- VoIP Telephony monitoring
- Interface status and data traffic monitoring
- Immediate alarms and notices
- Setup archive
Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. It offers a centralized system view and allows network managers to employ its features across switches, routers, and access points.
Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Security Manager effectively manages even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to manage large-scale networks with thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled via smart policy-based management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
- Supports control of Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
- Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and apply new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in just a few steps
- Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
- Multiple views that offer versatile ways to control appliances and security policies such as the ability to administer the security network visually on a topology map
- Extensive video help for the novice user to accelerate learning time
- Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing optional versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
- Capability to build a common rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
- Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
- Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based access management to appliances and administration functions
- Integration with security MARS system to correlate events with corresponding firewall rules to enable faster decision making and increased network availability
- Capability to assign specific jobs to every administrator during the deployment of a rule, with structured change management and logging; allows the security and network operations team to work together as a single unit with efficient coordination
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can help you to use Cisco's network management tools in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete network management solution to keep your network functioning smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network resources intelligently and economically as your business grows.
Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to analyze and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on certain types of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets above your committed volume, and by giving priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage charges from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy demand.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system productive.
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