Network Management Solutions ExpertiseAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at assisting companies develop management solutions utilizing on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a broad range of free and proprietary management solutions to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can help IT administrators to be aware of existing system usage and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or inappropriate uses of network resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and scarce network bandwidth. A well designed network management solution can also assist organizations to make informed choices on system improvements after they understand how much network resources actually needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management system in operation in advance is vital to prevent major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and without appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides an array of effective utilities that should form the basis for any management strategy. Used in conjunction with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that permits you configure and operate the management utilities built into network devices. ASDM is installed by the adaptive security device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management solution intended for the needs of small and midsize businesses. Monitor Manager continuously tracks important device parameters on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date tracking of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects identification and operations-tracking data from the managed appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not deploy any agent software on target appliances. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, the application streamlines setup, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified network view and permits IT managers to employ its functions across switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage large-scale networks with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile methods to control devices and security policies including the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a topology map
  • Extensive animated help for the new operator to speed up learning period
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing sufficient versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a common firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to appliances and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to associate events against related security appliance rules to support faster management decisions and enhanced system up time
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to every manager during the implementation of a rule, with structured change control and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to act in sync as a cohesive unit with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside an array of powerful third-party programs to create a complete management toolkit to keep your network functioning smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose system resources intelligently and economically as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management utilities to analyze and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on certain classes of activity based on the importance you assign. By buffering and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent ISP excess usage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix problems quickly to keep your network in business.

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If you wish to contact Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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