Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping businesses design network management strategies based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective tools for network utilization and network latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad selection of open source and proprietary monitoring and management tools to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help organizations to understand existing network utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Network management tools can also be used to identify poor or improper uses of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive and limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management plan can also assist organizations to make intelligent decisions on wide and local area network upgrades after they recognize how much system resources historically needed at various times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place beforehand is vital to prevent major problems that can follow DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be time consuming, if not virtually impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco provides a selection of powerful tools that should form the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in combination with the top third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web Java applet that lets you configure and operate the management utilities on security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application designed for the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager actively checks key appliance processes on voice and data environments used by five to 250 users and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and gathers identification and operations-monitoring information from the managed devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely transparent to system operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Device operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based network management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing businesses that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized network view and allows network administrators to deploy its features among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution efficiently handles even small environments with no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer flexible ways to manage appliances and security policies including the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated help for the new user to speed up training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule database for Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to appliances and management services
  • Integration with security MARS to correlate monitored data with related firewall rules to enable faster management decisions and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to every administrator during the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to work together as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a complete management solution to keep your network running dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose network hardware effectively and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to analyze and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up Cisco routers to enforce different throughput restrictions on designated types of processes based on the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and remediate trouble quickly to keep your network productive.

To learn more details concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco products, select a subject:

To ask Progent about professional support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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