Network management platforms help companies to implement infrastructure effectively, look up client information quickly, track system operation, troubleshoot problems, defend against and respond to threats, and optimize responsiveness. Network management tools can help detect inefficient or improper uses of network resources like streaming media or peer-to-peer file sharing that can waste bandwidth, reduce worker output or enable data leakage. A well planned network management solution can also assist companies to make informed capacity planning moves by surfacing tendencies in resource usage for various periods or types of activities.

Cisco Meraki Dashboard Experts

The Meraki Dashboard offers simplified cloud management for Cisco infrastructure appliances

Cisco has developed a diverse and expanding catalog of network management platforms that support centralized management for local, cloud-based, or hybrid network models. With Cisco's later generation of security, switching, and wireless infrastructure products, you can choose among Meraki, Cisco DNA Center, or CLI management platforms for network management. For example, you can interface the latest Catalyst or Meraki switches and Catalyst or Meraki Wi-Fi access points to the Meraki dashboard to monitor and manage vital layers of your corporate infrastructure from the cloud. Progent's Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi AP consulting experts, Cisco Meraki WiFi AP consulting experts, Catalyst switches integration experts, and Cisco Meraki switches experts can help your organization to plan, deploy and optimize an up-to-date environment for network management.

Traditional Network Management Platforms from Cisco and Others
Cisco Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other vendors highlights the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at assisting businesses develop management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for understanding network utilization and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing available services.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich range of free and license-based management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can help IT administrators to understand current network usage and effectively plan for downstream traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or inappropriate uses of system resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management solution can also enable companies to arrive at informed decisions on WAN and LAN enhancements once they recognize the amount of system resources really needed at any one time.

Putting an efficient network management platform in operation beforehand is critical to avoid severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to identify the source of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of powerful utilities that should be the basis for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor products, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by addressing important areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that permits you set up and operate the management utilities on network devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and control the device.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution designed for the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans key appliance parameters on voice/data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time tracking of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and collects identification and operations-tracking information from the managed appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely invisible to IT operations and does not use any agent on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notices
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding companies with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. It offers a centralized system view and permits network managers to employ its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small environments with no more than than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise systems with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: define and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile methods to manage appliances and policies such as the ability to administer the security environment visually on a topology image
  • Extensive video help for the first-time operator to reduce learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a single firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule table
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to devices and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data against corresponding firewall rules to promote quicker decision making and increased network up time
  • Ability to assign particular jobs to each administrator during the deployment of a policy, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and network operations team to act together as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management consultants can show you how to utilize Cisco's network management utilities alongside a selection of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose network hardware intelligently and economically as your organization evolves.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management applications to analyze and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure routers to impose different throughput constraints on designated classes of activity according to the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting data packets above your committed volume, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage charges from spinning out of reach and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize the latest network management technology to identify and repair problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

For more information concerning Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco technology, choose a subject:

To ask Progent about consulting help for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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