Network Management Solutions ExpertiseAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at helping businesses develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create powerful tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring important router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and license-based management utilities to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can help IT administrators to understand current network utilization and intelligently prepare for future capacity increases. Network management utilities can also be used to identify poor or improper utilization of network resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive and limited network resources. A well designed network management strategy can also enable companies to make intelligent choices on wide and local area network enhancements after they understand the amount of system resources actually needed at specific times.

Putting an effective network management system in place beforehand is critical to prevent severe disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of effective tools that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Used in combination with the top third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by improving important areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that lets you configure and monitor the management utilities on security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco device, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager continuously monitors key device parameters on voice/data environments used by five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of key device parameters on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 basis and periodically polls and gathers inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not deploy any agent software on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have up to 40 switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Network Assistant offers a unified system view and allows network managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for managing all aspects of device configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution efficiently handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-based management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family firewalls, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile methods to manage appliances and security policies including the option to administer the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive video help for the novice operator to speed up training time
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a single firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection control to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with security MARS to correlate monitored data against corresponding firewall rules to support faster management decisions and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to assign specific tasks to each manager during the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; allows the security and network operations staff to act in sync as a single group with efficient coordination
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management consultants can show you how to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a selection of powerful open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive network management solution to keep your network operating dependably, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose system hardware intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By buffering and sorting excess packets above your contracted volume, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

For more information concerning Progent's engineering assistance for Cisco networking products, pick a topic:

In order to contact Progent about engineering help for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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