Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses design network management strategies based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of open source and license-based management solutions to manage a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to be aware of existing network utilization and effectively prepare for future traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be used to detect poor or improper utilization of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste expensive or scarce network resources. An efficiently designed network management solution can also help companies to make informed decisions on WAN and LAN improvements after they recognize the amount of network bandwidth really needed at any one time.

Having an effective network management platform in operation in advance is vital to prevent major problems that can be due to Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created an array of powerful utilities that should form the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based Java applet that lets you configure and monitor the software on network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management application designed to handle the needs of small and midsize companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key appliance processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 IP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for businesses with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring data from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to system processes and does not use any agent software on target devices. The application provides a rich set of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and event notification
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports technology, the application simplifies setup, deployment, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. The application offers a unified system view and permits IT administrators to employ its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-driven management techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible ways to manage appliances and security policies such as the option to manage the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated help for the new user to reduce training period
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to make sure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to build a common firewall rule database for Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based access control to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS to associate monitored data against related firewall rules to support faster decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each manager during the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to act together as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can show you how to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with an array of effective third-party applications to create a complete management strategy to keep your infrastructure running dependably, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign system resources effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management utilities to analyze and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to impose different throughput constraints on designated classes of processes based on the priorities you assign. By storing and queuing data packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to develop a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and repair problems rapidly to keep your network in business.

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