Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at assisting companies design network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective mechanisms for network utilization and latency, monitoring key router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use available resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad range of open source and license-based monitoring and management products to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand current system utilization and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight inefficient or inappropriate utilization of system services, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management plan can also aid organizations to make informed decisions on network upgrades after they recognize how much system bandwidth actually needed at specific times.

Having an effective network management solution in operation in advance is vital to avoid major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, if not virtually impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of effective tools that should be the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of any size by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that allows you to configure and monitor the software on security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to address the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously scans important appliance processes on voice and data networks serving 5 to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key device processes on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 basis and frequently touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely transparent to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. It offers a unified system view and permits network administrators to employ its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution effectively manages even small networks consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to control enterprise networks with thousands of devices. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-driven control techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer versatile ways to manage appliances and policies including the ability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the first-time user to speed up learning period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to make sure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Ability to build a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPSec, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate events with corresponding security appliance rules to enable quicker decision making and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to act together as a cohesive group with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can show you how to use Cisco's management utilities in combination with a variety of effective third-party applications to create a complete management toolkit to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, consolidate valuable resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or malicious assaults, and enable you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated types of activity according to the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets that exceed your committed volume, and by giving priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and remediate problems quickly to keep your IT system in business.

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