An abundance of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at assisting businesses design management solutions utilizing on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create powerful tools for network utilization and network latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing network resources.
Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad range of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.
Network management tools can help IT administrators to be aware of existing network usage and effectively plan for downstream capacity increases. Management utilities can also be used to highlight poor or improper uses of network services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. A well crafted network management solution can also assist businesses to make intelligent choices on wide and local area network upgrades once they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth historically needed at specific times.
Having an effective network management platform in operation ahead of time is essential to prevent major disruptions that can be due to Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the location of the problem.
Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of effective tools that should form the foundation for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:
Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that allows you to configure and operate the software on security appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to configure, track, and control the device.
Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application intended for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager actively monitors key device processes on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 VoIP phones. The application offers:
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a 24x7 basis and periodically touches and collects identification and performance-monitoring data from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system operations and does not deploy any agent on managed appliances. The application offers a variety of valuable features including:
- Real-time scanning of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
- Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
- Network discovery and topology
- Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
- Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
- Highly secure and dependable communication
- Cisco device performance monitoring
- IP Telephony monitoring
- Connection status and data traffic tracking
- Real-time alerts and event notification
- Configuration log
Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Network Assistant offers a unified network view and allows network administrators to deploy its features among switches, routers, and wireless access points.
Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution efficiently manages even small networks consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also expands to manage enterprise systems with thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-based management techniques that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
- Allows control of Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
- Respond more quickly to threats: define and apply updated policies to thousands of devices in just a few steps
- Rich GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
- Multiple looks that offer versatile methods to manage appliances and policies including the ability to manage the security network graphically on a topology map
- Extensive video training for the new operator to speed up learning time
- Globally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, while offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
- Ability to build a common firewall rule table for Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule base
- Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a few mouse clicks
- Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and administration services
- Integration with security MARS system to compare monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to enable quicker decision making and increased network availability
- Ability to assign particular jobs to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to act together as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
Progent's Cisco-qualified network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside a selection of effective third-party applications to develop a comprehensive management solution to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, protect your information, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose system resources intelligently and affordably as your organization grows.
Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of processes according to the importance you assign. By storing and sorting data packets that exceed your committed rates, and by assigning preference to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage charges from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak use.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can help you to create an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and repair trouble quickly to keep your network in business.
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In order to ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.