Cisco Network Management Solutions Professional HelpAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at assisting businesses design network management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build effective mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a rich range of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to understand existing network utilization and effectively prepare for downstream traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be used to identify poor or inappropriate uses of network resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable or scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently planned network management strategy can also assist businesses to arrive at intelligent choices on network improvements once they understand how much system bandwidth really required at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management platform in operation ahead of time is critical to prevent major disruptions that can be caused by DoS attacks and malicious viruses. These events can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, if not practically impossible, to discover the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of powerful tools that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that permits you configure and monitor the management utilities built into security devices. Cisco ASDM is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution developed for the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously tracks important appliance processes on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important device processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for organizations with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 basis and frequently polls and collects inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies with as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, the application simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and allows network managers to deploy its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution effectively handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also expands to manage enterprise networks with thousands of devices. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide versatile ways to control appliances and security policies such as the capability to manage the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive animated training for the new operator to reduce training period
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering optional flexibility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Ability to create a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN links with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access management to devices and management services
  • Operation with security MARS to associate monitored data against related firewall rules to promote quicker management decisions and increased network availability
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and network operations team to act together as a single group with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of powerful open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, conserve valuable resources, guard your data, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious attacks, and enable you to scale or repurpose network hardware intelligently and economically as your company grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to impose a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated types of activity according to the importance you specify. By storing and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by giving preference to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep ISP excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and fix trouble quickly to keep your IT system in business.

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