Cisco Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at assisting companies design management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad range of free and proprietary monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help IT administrators to understand current network usage and effectively prepare for future traffic expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to identify poor or improper utilization of network resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up expensive and limited network resources. A well designed network management strategy can also assist companies to arrive at intelligent decisions on system improvements after they understand the amount of network resources actually required at specific times.

Having an effective network management system in place in advance is essential to prevent severe problems that can be caused by DoS attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can render the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of effective tools that should form 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 networks for companies of any size by improving key areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based Java applet that lets you configure and monitor the software on network appliances. ASDM is loaded by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and control the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to address the requirements of small and midsize companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks important device parameters on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important appliance processes on SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 cycle and periodically polls and gathers inventory and performance-tracking data from the monitored appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Cisco device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified network view and permits IT administrators to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance set up and security policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with fewer than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to threats: define and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer versatile ways to control appliances and security policies such as the option to manage the security network graphically on a topology image
  • Extensive animated training for the first-time operator to speed up training period
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, at the same time providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Capability to build a single firewall rule database for Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to devices and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to associate monitored data with related firewall rules to promote quicker decision making and increased system availability
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to every administrator during the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and network operations staff to act together as a single unit with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants can help you to use Cisco's network management tools in combination with an array of powerful third-party programs to develop a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, conserve expensive resources, protect your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or reassign network hardware intelligently and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on certain classes of processes based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your contracted rates, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can assist you to create an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and repair problems quickly to keep your network productive.

To learn more details about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco products, select a topic:

In order to get in touch with Progent about engineering support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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