Network Management Solutions ExpertiseAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping companies design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build effective tools for understanding network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing network resources.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a rich selection of open source and proprietary management solutions to manage a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to be aware of existing network usage and effectively plan for future traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or improper uses of network resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. A well planned network management solution can also aid organizations to arrive at intelligent choices on wide and local area network upgrades after they appreciate how much network resources really needed at various times.

Having an effective network management platform in place beforehand is critical to avoid severe disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, if not virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of effective tools that should form the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as system utilization, throughput, resilience, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that lets you set up and operate the management utilities built into network devices. ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application designed for the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans important device processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date tracking of key appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and collects inventory and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to system operations and does not use any agent on managed devices. The application offers a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing companies with up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports technology, the application streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing management and support of Cisco networks. It provides a unified network view and allows IT administrators to deploy its features across switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control enterprise systems composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: define and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile methods to manage appliances and security policies such as the option to manage the security network visually on a topology map
  • Extensive video training for the new operator to accelerate training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a common rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to devices and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS system to correlate events against related firewall rules to enable quicker management decisions and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to allocate particular tasks to each administrator during the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to work together as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management consultants can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of effective third-party programs to create a complete management solution to keep your network functioning smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to impose a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated types of processes based on the priorities you assign. By storing and queuing data packets above your committed rates, and by giving priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to isolate and repair problems rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.

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In order to ask Progent about technical support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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