A wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping companies develop network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build powerful tools for network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing available services.
Progent can assist businesses to deploy a rich selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management tools to manage a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management platforms can help IT administrators to understand current system utilization and effectively plan for downstream capacity increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to detect poor or inappropriate uses of system services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up expensive and limited network resources. A carefully planned network management solution can also help organizations to arrive at intelligent decisions on wide and local area network upgrades after they appreciate the amount of system bandwidth actually required at specific times.
Putting an effective network management platform in place in advance is critical to avoid major disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.
Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of effective utilities that should be the basis for any management strategy. Used in conjunction with the top third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:
Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based Java applet that allows you to set up and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the unit.
Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed for the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager continuously tracks key appliance parameters on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and gathers inventory and operations-monitoring information from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent software on target appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features and benefits including:
- Real-time tracking of important appliance processes on SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
- Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for businesses with as many as 50 users
- Network discovery and physical topology
- Physical and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
- System wide inventory logging and reporting
- Highly secure and reliable operation
- Appliance performance tracking
- Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
- Connection status and traffic monitoring
- Real-time alerts and notices
- Configuration log
Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with up to 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant provides a unified system view and permits IT managers to employ its functions among switches, routers, and WAPs.
Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and security policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Cisco Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is enabled through smart policy-based management techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management
- Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
- Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
- Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
- Multiple views that offer flexible ways to manage appliances and policies such as the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology image
- Extensive video training for the new user to speed up learning time
- Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
- Capability to create a single firewall rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
- Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
- Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access control to devices and management functions
- Operation with security MARS system to compare events against corresponding firewall rules to enable faster decision making and enhanced system availability
- Capability to assign particular jobs to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to act together as a single group with efficient teamwork
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of powerful open source and proprietary programs to create a complete management solution to keep your infrastructure running dependably, conserve valuable resources, protect your information, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign system hardware intelligently and economically as your company evolves.
Progent can also help you to use network management tools to monitor and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on certain types of processes according to the priorities you specify. By buffering and sorting excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can show you how to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize the latest network management technology to isolate and repair problems quickly to keep your network in business.
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If you wish to contact Progent about consulting support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.