Network Management Solutions SupportAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are experienced at assisting companies develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build powerful tools for tracking network utilization and latency, monitoring key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad selection of free and proprietary management solutions to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to understand current system usage and effectively prepare for downstream capacity increases. Management tools can also be used to detect poor or improper utilization of network resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste expensive and limited network bandwidth. A well designed network management plan can also enable businesses to make intelligent choices on network upgrades once they understand how much network resources historically needed at any one time.

Putting an efficient network management solution in operation in advance is vital to prevent severe disruptions that can be due to Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of powerful utilities that should be the foundation for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that lets you configure and monitor the software built into security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management solution developed for the needs of small and midsize companies. Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans key device parameters on voice/data networks used by five to 250 users and with up to 250 VoIP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of key appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series for organizations with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently polls and collects inventory and performance-monitoring data from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Cisco device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based management application designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding companies that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports, the application streamlines setup, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. It provides a centralized system view and permits network administrators to employ its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for managing all facets of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution effectively handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage large-scale systems composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer flexible ways to manage devices and policies such as the ability to manage the security network graphically on a topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new user to speed up training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a single firewall rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to compare events with related security appliance rules to enable faster decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to every manager during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and network operations team to act together as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can show you how to use Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of powerful third-party programs to develop a complete network management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, guard your data, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign network resources effectively and economically as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management applications to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to impose different throughput restrictions on certain types of activity based on the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy 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 on-site network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use the latest network management technology to identify and repair problems rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To see more information about Progent's consulting support for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

In order to ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.
















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