Network Management Solutions ConsultingA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are experienced at helping companies design network management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build effective tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of open source and license-based management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to be aware of current system usage and effectively prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Management tools can also be used to detect poor or improper uses of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up expensive or scarce network bandwidth. A well crafted network management solution can also aid businesses to arrive at intelligent decisions on wide and local area network improvements after they recognize how much network resources actually required at various times.

Putting an effective network management solution in place ahead of time is vital to prevent severe disruptions that can result from DoS attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to identify the location of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of effective tools that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by improving key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and monitor the software on security appliances. ASDM is installed by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager actively scans key device processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent on managed appliances. Monitor Manager offers a variety of valuable features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Cisco device operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a unified system view and allows network managers to employ its features among switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for managing all aspects of device configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-based control procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to threats: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible methods to manage appliances and policies including the capability to administer the security network visually on a system topology image
  • Extensive animated training for the novice operator to speed up learning time
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are configured consistently, while offering optional versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a single firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data against related firewall rules to help with faster decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to assign specific jobs to every manager during the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; allows the security and network operations staff to work in sync as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside an array of powerful open source and proprietary programs to create a complete management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve valuable resources, protect your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose network hardware effectively and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management tools to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to impose different bandwidth restrictions on certain types of processes based on the importance you assign. By storing and sorting data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can assist you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and repair trouble rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

To find out additional information about Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

In order to contact Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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