Network Management Solutions ExpertiseAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses develop management solutions utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create powerful mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich selection of open source and license-based management tools to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to understand existing network usage and effectively prepare for future capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper uses of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management plan can also enable businesses to make intelligent choices on network improvements once they recognize the amount of network resources actually needed at specific times.

Having an effective network management platform in place ahead of time is essential to prevent major problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has developed a selection of powerful utilities that should be the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web Java applet that allows you to configure and operate the management utilities on network devices. ASDM is installed by the Cisco device, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution developed to address the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager actively scans important device parameters on voice and data environments used by five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time tracking of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring information from the monitored devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely invisible to system processes and does not use any agent on target appliances. Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with up to 40 switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified system view and permits IT managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise systems with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security image, ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer flexible ways to control devices and security policies such as the ability to administer the security network visually on a topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the novice user to speed up training period
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, while providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to associate events with corresponding firewall rules to promote faster management decisions and increased system up time
  • Capability to allocate particular jobs to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; allows the security and systems operations team to work in sync as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's management utilities in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete network management solution to keep your network operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, protect your information, recover quickly from equipment failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign system resources intelligently and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management applications to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce different throughput restrictions on certain types of processes based on the importance you assign. By buffering and sorting excess packets that exceed your committed volume, and by assigning priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network management tools to identify and remediate problems rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.

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If you wish to get in touch with Progent about technical help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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