Cisco Network Management Solutions Professional HelpAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at assisting businesses develop network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand existing network usage and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be used to identify poor or improper uses of system services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up valuable and limited network resources. A well crafted network management solution can also enable companies to make informed choices on system enhancements once they recognize how much system bandwidth actually required at any one time.

Having an effective network management platform in operation in advance is essential to prevent severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of powerful utilities that should be the basis for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and operate the software on network devices. ASDM is loaded by the network appliance, and enables you to configure, track, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution designed to address the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager continuously monitors important device parameters on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of key appliance processes on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for companies with up to 50 users
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 basis and periodically polls and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system operations and does not deploy any agent software on target appliances. The application offers a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing businesses that have up to 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies configuration, installation, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and permits IT managers to employ its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of device set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager effectively manages even small networks with no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise networks with thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled via intelligent policy-driven management techniques that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide flexible ways to control appliances and security policies such as the capability to administer the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive video training for the novice operator to reduce training period
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, while offering optional flexibility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a common rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect anomalies within the rule base
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and management functions
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to compare monitored data against corresponding firewall rules to promote faster decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Ability to assign particular tasks to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and network operations team to work together as a single group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management tools alongside a variety of effective open source and proprietary applications to create a comprehensive network management strategy to keep your network running smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, guard your information, recover quickly from equipment failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to expand or repurpose system resources effectively and economically as your organization evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management tools to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on designated types of activity based on the importance you specify. By storing and queuing data packets above your committed rates, and by giving priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network management tools to identify and repair problems rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

For additional details concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco technology, select a topic:

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

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