Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at assisting companies develop network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create powerful mechanisms for understanding network utilization and network latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a broad selection of open source and proprietary management products to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to understand current network utilization and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify inefficient or improper utilization of network resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste expensive and limited network resources. An efficiently designed network management strategy can also assist organizations to arrive at intelligent decisions on system enhancements once they understand how much network resources actually needed at various times.

Having an efficient network management system in operation beforehand is vital to avoid severe disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These assaults can render the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed an array of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of any size by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web utility that allows you to set up and operate the management utilities built into network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans important appliance processes on voice/data environments serving five to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a 24x7 basis and periodically touches and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to system operations and does not deploy any agent on managed appliances. Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses that have up to 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports, the application streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant provides a unified network view and allows IT managers to employ its functions across switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise systems with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based management procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible methods to manage appliances and policies including the option to manage the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video training for the novice operator to accelerate learning time
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a single rule database for Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to devices and management services
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to correlate events against corresponding firewall rules to help with faster management decisions and increased system availability
  • Ability to assign specific tasks to every manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change control and tracking; allows the security and systems operations team to work cooperatively as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of powerful third-party programs to develop a complete management solution to keep your network running smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to expand or reassign system resources effectively and economically as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management tools to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to impose a variety of throughput constraints on designated types of processes according to the importance you assign. By storing and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can help you to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and remediate trouble quickly to keep your IT system productive.

To find out more details about Progent's engineering assistance for Cisco technology, select a topic:

In order to ask Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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