Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at assisting companies design network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build effective tools for understanding network utilization and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad range of free and proprietary management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to understand existing system usage and effectively plan for future capacity increases. Management tools can also be used to highlight poor or improper uses of network resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management solution can also help businesses to make intelligent choices on wide and local area network enhancements after they understand the amount of network bandwidth actually required at various times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place in advance is vital to avoid major problems that can be due to Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed an array of powerful tools that should form the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that lets you configure and monitor the management utilities on network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network device, and allows you to configure, track, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to address the requirements of small and midsize companies. Monitor Manager continuously checks important appliance parameters on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 IP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key device parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-tracking information from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not use any agent on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and permits IT managers to employ its features across Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for managing all facets of device set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with no more than than ten devices, but also expands to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-based control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer versatile ways to control devices and security policies such as the ability to manage the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video training for the first-time user to speed up training time
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPSec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection control to devices and management functions
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to associate monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to promote faster decision making and increased system up time
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to every manager during the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to act cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management utilities alongside an array of powerful third-party programs to develop a comprehensive management strategy to keep your network operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or repurpose system hardware intelligently and economically as your company evolves.

Progent can also show you how to use network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce different throughput constraints on certain classes of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by giving priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can help you to create an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and fix trouble quickly to keep your network running smoothly.

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To get in touch with Progent about professional expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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