Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at assisting companies design management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use available resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and proprietary management products to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to be aware of existing network utilization and effectively plan for downstream capacity expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper utilization of network services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up expensive and scarce network resources. An efficiently designed network management strategy can also help organizations to arrive at informed decisions on network enhancements once they appreciate the amount of system resources really needed at any one time.

Putting an efficient network management system in operation in advance is essential to avoid major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses. Such assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of effective tools that should be the basis for any management solution. Used in conjunction with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by helping with important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that lets you configure and operate the software built into security appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application intended for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously tracks important device parameters on voice and data networks serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date tracking of important appliance processes on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 basis and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to IT processes and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Appliance performance tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management application designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and allows network administrators to deploy its features among Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise systems composed of thousands of appliances. Scalability is achieved via smart policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible ways to manage devices and security policies such as the ability to manage the security environment visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the novice user to accelerate training time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a single rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data against related firewall rules to enable quicker management decisions and enhanced system up time
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each manager during the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants can show you how to utilize Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of effective third-party applications to develop a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from equipment failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign system resources intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management tools to analyze and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on certain types of activity according to the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage charges from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can help you to create an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and repair trouble quickly to keep your IT system productive.

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