Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create effective tools for network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing available services.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad range of free and license-based monitoring and management solutions to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand current system usage and effectively plan for future capacity increases. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper uses of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up expensive or scarce network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management solution can also assist companies to make intelligent decisions on system improvements once they appreciate how much network bandwidth historically needed at any one time.

Having an effective network management system in operation beforehand is critical to avoid major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers a selection of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any network management solution. Utilized in combination with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by dealing with key areas such as system utilization, throughput, resilience, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities on network appliances. Cisco ASDM is installed by the network device, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application developed to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously scans key appliance parameters on voice and data networks used by five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on target appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Device operations monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management application designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports, the application streamlines setup, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified system view and permits network managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Cisco Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign new security policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide versatile ways to control appliances and policies including the option to manage the security network visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the new user to speed up training period
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, at the same time providing optional flexibility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Capability to build a common firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to appliances and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS to correlate monitored data with related security appliance rules to promote faster decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Ability to assign particular jobs to each manager in the course of the implementation of a policy, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and systems operations staff to work cooperatively as a single unit with efficient coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can help you to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a selection of effective third-party programs to develop a complete network management toolkit to keep your network functioning dependably, consolidate expensive resources, secure your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose system resources effectively and economically as your business grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management tools to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to enforce different bandwidth restrictions on certain types of activity according to the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage charges from spinning out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can show you how to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your network productive.

To learn additional details concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:

In order to ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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