Network Management Solutions ConsultantsA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are experienced at assisting businesses develop network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for tracking network utilization and network latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing network services.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad range of open source and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can help IT administrators to understand current network usage and effectively plan for downstream capacity increases. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight poor or inappropriate uses of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up expensive or limited network resources. A carefully crafted network management solution can also aid companies to make informed choices on system upgrades once they appreciate the amount of network resources historically required at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management solution in operation beforehand is essential to avoid major problems that can be due to DoS attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of powerful utilities that should be the foundation for any management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with important 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 lets you configure and monitor the management utilities built into security devices. Cisco ASDM is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to configure, monitor, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management application designed to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager continuously monitors important appliance parameters on voice/data environments serving five to 250 users and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date tracking of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and performance-tracking data from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely invisible to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations that have up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco networks. The application offers a centralized system view and allows network administrators to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution efficiently handles even small networks consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise systems composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible methods to control devices and policies including the ability to manage the security network graphically on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive video help for the first-time operator to accelerate learning period
  • Globally call out which policies are common and inherited by new devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a single rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN links with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare events against related firewall rules to support quicker management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to every manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; allows the security and systems operations staff to work together as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's network management utilities in combination with a variety of powerful open source and proprietary applications to create a complete management solution to keep your network running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign system resources intelligently and affordably as your organization grows.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated classes of activity according to the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets above your committed rates, and by assigning preference to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and remediate trouble quickly to keep your network running smoothly.

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If you wish to ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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