An abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at assisting businesses design management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and appliances that use network services.
Progent can help customers to deploy a rich selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.
Network management tools can help organizations to understand existing system usage and intelligently plan for future traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or inappropriate uses of network services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently crafted network management solution can also assist organizations to make intelligent decisions on system enhancements after they recognize how much system resources historically required at various times.
Putting an effective network management system in operation beforehand is critical to prevent major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can leave the network unusable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.
Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Used in combination with the top outside vendor products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:
Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that permits you configure and monitor the management utilities built into network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.
Monitor Manager is a management application designed to meet the needs of small and midsize businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans important appliance parameters on voice and data environments serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 basis and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to IT operations and does not use any agent software on target appliances. The application provides a rich set of useful features such as:
- Real-time scanning of key appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
- Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with up to 50 users
- Voice and data network discovery and topology
- Device and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
- System wide inventory collection and documentation
- Advanced security and reliable operation
- Appliance performance monitoring
- IP Telephony monitoring
- Connection status and traffic tracking
- Immediate alerts and notices
- Configuration archive
Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management application designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco-based networks. The application offers a unified system view and allows IT administrators to employ its functions across switches, routers, and WAPs.
Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of device set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to manage enterprise systems with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager include:
ProSight WAN Watch: Network Infrastructure Monitoring and Management
- Supports control of Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
- Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
- Intuitive graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
- A variety of views that provide versatile ways to control devices and security policies such as the option to administer the security environment visually on a system topology image
- Comprehensive video help for the new operator to accelerate learning time
- Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
- Ability to create a common rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
- Easily configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces with a few mouse clicks
- Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to devices and management services
- Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare events with related firewall rules to help with faster decision making and increased system up time
- Ability to assign specific tasks to every manager during the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to work in sync as a single group with efficient coordination
ProSight WAN Watch, part of the ProSight suite of network management services, makes it easy and affordable for small and mid-size organizations to manage their network infrastructure including Cisco network appliances as well as servers, endpoinjts and peripherals. WAN Watch generates accurate network diagrams automatically and keeps them current as your network evolves. WAN Watch also discovers and stores configuration information for virtually all devices attached to your network, monitors performance, and alerts you when issues are detected. By automating tedious management tasks, WAN Watch can cut hours off common chores like mapping network topology, expanding your network, troubleshooting configuration problems, locating devices that require critical updates, or understanding band resolving performance bottlenecks. Find out more about ProSight WAN Watch network infrastructure management services.
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities in combination with a variety of powerful open source and proprietary applications to create a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your business evolves.
Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to impose different throughput restrictions on certain types of activity according to the importance you specify. By storing and queuing data packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to the most important applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use the latest network management technology to isolate and remediate trouble rapidly to keep your network productive.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Network Management Solutions
To talk to Progent about consulting services for Cisco network management tools, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
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In order to get in touch with Progent about engineering support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.