Cisco Network Management Solutions ConsultantsA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping businesses develop network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a broad range of open source and license-based management solutions to maintain a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to understand current system utilization and intelligently plan for downstream traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper utilization of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up expensive and limited network bandwidth. A well designed network management solution can also aid companies to arrive at intelligent decisions on WAN and LAN upgrades once they recognize how much system bandwidth actually required at various times.

Having an efficient network management platform in operation ahead of time is critical to avoid severe disruptions that can be due to Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, and in some cases practically impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of powerful utilities that should be the basis for any management solution. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor products, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web Java applet that allows you to set up and operate the management utilities on network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network appliance, and enables you to configure, track, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to address the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously checks important device processes on voice and data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for businesses with up to 50 users
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently touches and gathers inventory and performance-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to system operations and does not deploy any agent on target appliances. The application offers a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations that have up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco networks. The application provides a unified system view and permits network administrators to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise systems with thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled via intelligent policy-driven control techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible methods to control devices and policies including the ability to manage the security network visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the novice user to accelerate training period
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection management to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to correlate events against related firewall rules to support quicker decision making and increased network availability
  • Capability to allocate particular jobs to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to work in sync as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities in combination with an array of powerful third-party programs to create a complete network management toolkit to keep your network operating dependably, conserve valuable resources, protect your information, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to expand or reassign system hardware effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also show you how to use network management applications to monitor and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure routers to impose different bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of activity based on the importance you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed volume, and by giving priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network management tools to isolate and repair trouble rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

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If you wish to contact Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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