Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at helping businesses design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing available services.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad range of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help IT administrators to be aware of existing network usage and effectively prepare for future traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper uses of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up expensive or scarce network resources. A carefully designed network management solution can also assist organizations to make informed decisions on system upgrades after they appreciate how much network resources historically needed at specific times.

Putting an effective network management solution in operation beforehand is critical to prevent major disruptions that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can leave the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of effective utilities that should form the basis for any network management solution. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by helping with key areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web Java applet that allows you to set up and monitor the software on security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended to handle the needs of small and midsize businesses. Monitor Manager actively scans key device parameters on voice/data networks serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with up to 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and operations-monitoring information from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to IT processes and does not use any agent on managed devices. The application offers a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations with up to 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application streamlines configuration, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and permits IT managers to employ its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of device configuration and security policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Cisco Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments with no more than than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise systems with thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled via intelligent policy-driven control procedures that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer versatile ways to control appliances and policies including the ability to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive video training for the first-time operator to speed up learning period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a common 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 interfaces with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to devices and administration services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data against related firewall rules to promote faster decision making and increased system availability
  • Capability to allocate particular tasks to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to work cooperatively as a single group with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can show you how to use Cisco's management utilities alongside an array of powerful third-party programs to create a complete network management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, consolidate expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to expand or reassign system resources intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on certain types of processes based on the priorities you assign. By buffering and sorting excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to create an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and repair problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To learn more information about Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco technology, pick a topic:

To get in touch with Progent about engineering help for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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