An abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping businesses design network management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices that use available resources.
Progent can assist businesses to deploy a broad selection of free and license-based monitoring and management products to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.
Network management platforms can help organizations to be aware of existing system utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or inappropriate uses of system services, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up expensive and scarce network resources. A carefully crafted network management strategy can also help companies to make informed choices on system improvements after they understand how much system bandwidth actually needed at specific times.
Putting an effective network management system in operation ahead of time is critical to prevent major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unstable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to find the location of the problem.
Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any management solution. Used in combination with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by improving key areas such as system utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:
Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that allows you to set up and operate the management utilities on network appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.
Monitor Manager is a management application intended to address the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager actively monitors key appliance processes on voice/data environments serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application provides:
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently polls and collects identification and operations-monitoring information from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent on managed appliances. The application offers a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
- Real-time scanning of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and IP phones
- Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
- Voice and data network discovery and topology
- Device and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
- System wide inventory logging and reporting
- Advanced security and dependable operation
- Cisco device performance monitoring
- IP Telephony monitoring
- Connection status and data traffic tracking
- Immediate alerts and notices
- Setup archive
Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding organizations with as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a unified system view and allows network managers to deploy its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.
Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution efficiently manages even small environments consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale networks with thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled via intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager are:
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
- Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
- Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
- Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
- Multiple looks that offer versatile ways to control appliances and policies including the ability to administer the security environment graphically on a topology map
- Extensive video help for the novice user to reduce learning time
- Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are implemented consistently, while providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
- Capability to build a single firewall rule database for Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
- Easily set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
- Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and management functions
- Operation with security MARS to compare events with corresponding security appliance rules to enable quicker management decisions and enhanced network up time
- Capability to assign particular jobs to every manager during the deployment of a policy, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to act cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
Progent's Cisco-qualified network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's management utilities in combination with a selection of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete network management strategy to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to expand or repurpose system resources intelligently and affordably as your business grows.
Progent can also help you to utilize network management tools to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on designated classes of processes according to the importance you assign. By storing and queuing data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP excess usage charges from spinning out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.
Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to create an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network management technology to identify and repair problems rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.
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In order to contact Progent about engineering help for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.