An abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses design management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing network services.
Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich range of free and license-based management utilities to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management tools can enable IT administrators to understand existing system utilization and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper utilization of system services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste expensive or scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently planned network management strategy can also help businesses to make informed choices on network improvements once they understand how much network bandwidth actually required at any one time.
Having an efficient network management platform in operation in advance is critical to prevent major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the source of the problem.
Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers an array of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor products, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for companies of any size by improving important areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that lets you configure and operate the management utilities on network appliances. ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, track, and control the device.
Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans important appliance parameters on voice and data networks used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features and benefits including:
- Real-time scanning of important appliance processes on SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
- Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
- Voice and data network discovery and topology
- Physical and service level views of Unified Communications implementation
- Networkwide inventory collection and documentation
- Highly secure and dependable operation
- Device operations tracking
- VoIP Telephony monitoring
- Interface status and traffic tracking
- Immediate alarms and event notification
- Configuration archive
Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding organizations with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a unified network view and allows network administrators to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.
Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution effectively handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is achieved through smart policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management
- Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
- Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
- Intuitive graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
- A variety of views that offer versatile ways to manage devices and security policies including the option to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology map
- Comprehensive video training for the new user to reduce learning time
- Centrally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new devices to make sure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
- Ability to build a common rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
- Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN links with a VPN wizard
- Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection control to appliances and administration services
- Integration with Cisco security MARS to associate events with corresponding firewall rules to promote quicker decision making and enhanced system availability
- Ability to allocate specific tasks to each manager during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to work cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of powerful third-party applications to create a complete network management solution to keep your network operating smoothly, conserve valuable resources, guard your information, recover quickly from equipment failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose system resources effectively and economically as your company grows.
Progent can also help you to utilize network management utilities to analyze and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on certain types of activity based on the importance you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by giving priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate trouble rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.
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To contact Progent about technical assistance for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.