Network Management Solutions ConsultingAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping companies develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing network services.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad selection of open source and license-based management solutions to maintain a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of current network usage and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or improper utilization of network services, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. A well designed network management strategy can also assist companies to arrive at informed decisions on network upgrades once they understand the amount of system bandwidth historically required at various times.

Putting an effective network management solution in place in advance is vital to avoid major problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of powerful tools that should form the basis for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that permits you set up and monitor the software built into network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network device, and enables you to set up, track, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management application intended for the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously monitors key device processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 IP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time scanning of important device parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for companies with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 basis and frequently touches and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent software on managed devices. Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Device operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and allows IT administrators to employ its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for managing all facets of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is enabled via smart policy-based control procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in just a few steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible ways to manage devices and security policies such as the option to manage the security network graphically on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated help for the new user to reduce training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Capability to build a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPSec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection management to appliances and management functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to compare events with related security appliance rules to help with faster decision making and increased system availability
  • Capability to assign particular jobs to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and logging; allows the security and network operations staff to act in sync as a single unit with efficient coordination
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of powerful open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your network functioning dependably, consolidate valuable resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or malicious attacks, and enable you to expand or repurpose network resources effectively and affordably as your company evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput constraints on designated types of processes based on the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can keep ISP excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to isolate and remediate trouble rapidly to keep your network in business.

To find out more details concerning Progent's engineering help for Cisco networking products, pick a topic:

To contact Progent about technical assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.
















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