Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping companies design network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful tools for tracking network utilization and network latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use available services.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a rich range of open source and license-based management solutions to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to be aware of current system utilization and intelligently plan for future traffic increases. Network management tools can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper utilization of network resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network resources. A well planned network management plan can also enable organizations to arrive at informed decisions on system enhancements after they appreciate the amount of system bandwidth actually required at any one time.

Having an efficient network management solution in place in advance is vital to prevent major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of effective tools that should form the foundation for any management solution. Used in combination with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web utility that lets you set up and operate the software built into security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network device, and enables you to set up, track, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution designed to address the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager actively scans important appliance processes on voice and data networks used by five to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of key device parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and allows IT administrators to employ its functions across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of appliance set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and IPS. The solution effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control large-scale systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-based management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family firewalls, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign new security policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile methods to control appliances and policies such as the capability to administer the security environment visually on a topology image
  • Extensive video help for the novice operator to accelerate training period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient versatility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a single rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection control to appliances and administration functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to help with faster management decisions and increased network availability
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to each manager in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to act together as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with a selection of powerful third-party programs to develop a comprehensive management solution to keep your network running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network hardware effectively and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to impose different bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By storing and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to create an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use advanced network management technology to isolate and repair trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To learn additional details about Progent's professional help for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about engineering support for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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