Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and other vendors highlights the importance and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at assisting companies design management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create powerful tools for network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich range of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to manage a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can help organizations to understand current system utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream capacity increases. Network management utilities can also be used to detect poor or improper utilization of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management plan can also assist organizations to make informed decisions on WAN and LAN improvements once they appreciate the amount of system bandwidth actually needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management solution in place beforehand is essential to prevent major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can leave the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers a selection of powerful utilities that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of any size by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that allows you to configure and operate the software built into network devices. Cisco ASDM is installed by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application intended to handle the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager continuously scans important appliance processes on voice and data networks serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of key appliance processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for companies with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock basis and frequently touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system operations and does not deploy any agent on target appliances. The application offers a variety of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Network Assistant offers a centralized network view and permits network managers to deploy its functions among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small networks consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based control techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of devices in just a few steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile ways to manage appliances and policies including the ability to administer the security environment visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the new user to reduce training period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to ensure corporate policies are implemented consistently, while providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule base
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS system to associate events against related firewall rules to support quicker management decisions and increased system availability
  • Ability to assign particular jobs to every administrator in the course of the implementation of a rule, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to act together as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can assist you to use Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to create a complete management strategy to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, conserve expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network hardware intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management tools to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on certain classes of processes based on the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and remediate problems rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

For additional details concerning Progent's professional assistance for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:

In order to contact Progent about engineering help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.