Network Management Solutions ConsultantsAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are expert at helping businesses develop network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to create effective tools for tracking network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and devices that use available services.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich selection of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, 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 tools can allow IT administrators to be aware of existing network utilization and effectively prepare for downstream capacity increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or improper uses of system resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable and scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management plan can also help companies to make informed choices on network upgrades after they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth actually needed at various times.

Having an efficient network management platform in place beforehand is critical to prevent severe problems that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created an assortment of effective tools that should form the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that allows you to configure and monitor the software built into network appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application designed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager actively checks important device parameters on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date tracking of key appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 for organizations with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and performance-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to system operations and does not use any agent software on target appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Device operations tracking
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and event notification
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco-based networks. It offers a unified network view and permits IT managers to employ its functions across switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of appliance set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of appliances. Scalability is achieved via intelligent policy-driven control procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in just a few steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile methods to manage appliances and policies including the capability to administer the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new user to accelerate learning time
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while offering sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to create a single rule database for all Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate events against corresponding firewall rules to help with quicker management decisions and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to allocate specific tasks to each manager during the implementation of a policy, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and network operations team to act cooperatively as a cohesive group with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's network management tools alongside a selection of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a complete management toolkit to keep your network functioning smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network resources effectively and affordably as your company evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce different throughput restrictions on certain types of processes based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by assigning priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network management tools to isolate and fix problems rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

To find out more information about Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco products, select a topic:

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

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