Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other vendors underscores the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses design network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create powerful tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist businesses to deploy a rich range of open source and license-based management tools to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to be aware of current system utilization and intelligently plan for future traffic expansion. Network management tools can also be used to detect inefficient or improper utilization of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste expensive and limited network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management plan can also aid companies to arrive at intelligent decisions on WAN and LAN upgrades once they understand the amount of network resources really required at various times.

Putting an effective network management solution in place in advance is critical to prevent major problems that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the source of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of powerful tools that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that lets you configure and operate the software built into network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and control the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager actively tracks important device parameters on voice/data networks serving 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for businesses with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to system processes and does not use any agent software on target appliances. The application offers a variety of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Device performance monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, the application simplifies setup, deployment, and continuing management and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant offers a centralized network view and allows IT administrators to employ its features among switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small networks with no more than than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise systems with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-driven control techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply new security policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible ways to control devices and policies including the option to administer the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive animated help for the novice user to reduce learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, at the same time providing optional flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and administration services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare monitored data against corresponding security appliance rules to enable faster management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Ability to assign specific tasks to every administrator during the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and logging; allows the security and network operations team to work cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with a selection of powerful third-party applications to create a comprehensive network management strategy to keep your network running dependably, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network hardware effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also show you how to use network management applications to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated types of processes according to the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your committed rates, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can show you how to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and repair trouble quickly to keep your IT system in business.

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To get in touch with Progent about technical expertise for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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