Network Management Solutions ConsultingAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are expert at assisting companies design management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective tools for network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and devices that use network services.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to understand existing system utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or improper utilization of network resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and scarce network resources. A well crafted network management strategy can also assist organizations to arrive at informed decisions on system improvements after they understand the amount of system bandwidth actually needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management system in operation beforehand is vital to avoid major disruptions that can follow DoS attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of effective utilities that should form the basis for any management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that allows you to set up and operate the software on network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to configure, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application intended to handle the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively monitors important appliance processes on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 cycle and periodically touches and collects inventory and performance-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to IT operations and does not use any agent on managed appliances. The application provides a rich set of valuable features including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, the application streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. The application offers a centralized network view and allows network managers to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all aspects of device set up and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution efficiently manages even small networks with no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale networks composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled through smart policy-based management techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer versatile methods to manage devices and security policies such as the capability to manage the security environment graphically on a topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the novice operator to reduce training period
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional appliances to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing optional flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a single rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies within the rule table
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection management to devices and management functions
  • Integration with security MARS to correlate events against related firewall rules to help with faster management decisions and enhanced system up time
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to every administrator during the implementation of a policy, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to act cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside an array of powerful open source and proprietary applications to create a comprehensive management solution to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, consolidate valuable resources, protect your data, recover quickly from equipment failure or deliberates attacks, and enable you to scale or repurpose network resources intelligently and affordably as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to enforce different throughput restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By storing and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by giving preference to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix trouble quickly to keep your network productive.

For more details about Progent's professional support for Cisco products, choose a topic:

In order to ask Progent about professional assistance for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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