An abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at helping companies develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful mechanisms for tracking network utilization and network latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use network resources.
Progent can help customers to utilize a rich range of open source and license-based monitoring and management products to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.
Network management tools can help organizations to be aware of existing system usage and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic increases. Management tools can also be used to highlight poor or improper utilization of system resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and limited network resources. An efficiently crafted network management solution can also aid companies to arrive at intelligent choices on wide and local area network improvements after they understand the amount of system resources really required at any one time.
Putting an effective network management platform in operation beforehand is critical to prevent severe disruptions that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and without proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.
Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of effective tools that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:
Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that lets you configure and monitor the management utilities built into network devices. ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, monitor, and control the device.
Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager continuously tracks key appliance processes on voice and data networks serving five to 250 workers and with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Monitor Manager offers:
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock basis and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely transparent to system processes and does not deploy any agent software on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features including:
- Real-time scanning of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
- Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
- Voice and data network discovery and topology
- Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications deployment
- System wide inventory logging and documentation
- Advanced security and reliable operation
- Cisco device performance monitoring
- IP Telephony monitoring
- Connection status and traffic monitoring
- Real-time alerts and event notification
- Setup log
Network Assistant is a PC-based management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized network view and allows IT administrators to deploy its features across switches, routers, and WAPs.
Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of device set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is achieved via intelligent policy-driven control techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management
- Supports control of Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
- Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
- Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
- Multiple looks that offer versatile ways to manage devices and security policies such as the ability to administer the security network visually on a topology map
- Comprehensive animated training for the new user to reduce training time
- Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, at the same time providing sufficient versatility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
- Ability to build a single rule table for Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
- Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections by means of a VPN wizard
- Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access management to devices and administration functions
- Operation with Cisco security MARS to associate events with corresponding security appliance rules to promote faster management decisions and enhanced network availability
- Ability to assign specific tasks to every administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to act together as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management consultants can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of powerful third-party applications to create a complete management strategy to keep your network running dependably, consolidate valuable resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network hardware effectively and affordably as your company evolves.
Progent can also help you to use network management applications to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By buffering and queuing data packets above your committed rates, and by assigning priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can keep ISP excess usage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can help you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and remediate trouble quickly to keep your network running smoothly.
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