Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at helping companies develop management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a rich range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to be aware of existing system usage and effectively prepare for future traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be used to detect inefficient or improper uses of system services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network resources. An efficiently planned network management solution can also enable organizations to make informed choices on wide and local area network upgrades once they appreciate how much network bandwidth historically needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management system in operation in advance is vital to avoid major disruptions that can follow DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of powerful utilities that should form the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that permits you configure and monitor the software on security devices. ASDM is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to handle the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager actively tracks important appliance parameters on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for companies with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock basis and periodically polls and collects identification and performance-tracking information from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. The application provides a rich set of useful features including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Device operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding businesses with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports, the application simplifies configuration, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Network Assistant offers a unified network view and allows network managers to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution effectively handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise networks with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is achieved through intelligent policy-driven control procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile ways to control devices and security policies such as the option to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive video training for the new operator to reduce training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering optional versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule database for Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to compare monitored data with related security appliance rules to promote faster decision making and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to assign specific tasks to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations staff to act together as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of powerful third-party programs to develop a complete management toolkit to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, secure your data, recover quickly from equipment failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to expand or repurpose network hardware intelligently and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to set up Cisco routers to impose different throughput constraints on certain classes of activity based on the priorities you assign. By buffering and sorting data packets that exceed your committed volume, and by assigning preference to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate problems rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

For more information concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

In order to contact Progent about technical support for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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