Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are expert at assisting businesses design network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create effective mechanisms for understanding network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich range of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to manage Cisco infrastructure. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to understand existing system usage and effectively prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or inappropriate utilization of system services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up expensive and scarce network resources. An efficiently crafted network management solution can also aid companies to make intelligent decisions on wide and local area network improvements once they understand the amount of network resources really required at specific times.

Having an effective network management system in operation ahead of time is essential to prevent major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can leave the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to find the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides an array of powerful tools that should be the basis for any management strategy. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for organizations of all sizes by improving key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and monitor the management utilities built into network devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to meet the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously tracks important appliance parameters on voice and data networks used by five to 250 workers and with up to 250 VoIP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 Series for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-tracking data from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. The application provides a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports technology, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and permits network managers to deploy its features among Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to manage large-scale systems with thousands of appliances. Scalability is achieved through intelligent policy-based control techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides 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 video help for the novice operator to speed up training period
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, while offering optional flexibility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a single firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies within the rule base
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection control to devices and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS system to associate events with related security appliance rules to promote quicker management decisions and increased system availability
  • Capability to allocate specific tasks to every manager during the deployment of a rule, with structured change management and tracking; allows the security and systems operations team to act in sync as a single unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management tools alongside a variety of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive management solution to keep your network running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network hardware effectively and economically as your organization evolves.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management tools to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce different throughput constraints on certain types of activity based on the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your contracted volume, and by giving priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use the latest network management technology to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

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To contact Progent about technical help for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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