Network Management Solutions EngineersAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are experienced at assisting businesses develop management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create effective mechanisms for network utilization and network latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a rich range of open source and license-based monitoring and management tools to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand current network usage and effectively plan for future capacity expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to highlight poor or inappropriate uses of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up valuable or limited network resources. A well planned network management strategy can also assist companies to make intelligent choices on system enhancements after they understand how much network resources historically needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place in advance is critical to prevent major problems that can be due to Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers an array of powerful utilities that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with the top third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of any size by improving important areas such as system utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that allows you to set up and operate the software built into network devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to configure, monitor, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution developed for the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively monitors important device processes on voice/data environments serving five to 250 users and with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 basis and frequently polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely transparent to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on target appliances. The application provides a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Cisco device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing management and support of Cisco networks. It provides a centralized system view and permits network administrators to employ its features across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution efficiently manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also expands to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of devices. Scalability is achieved through smart policy-based control techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Respond more quickly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer flexible ways to control devices and security policies such as the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive video help for the novice user to accelerate training time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to make sure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a common firewall rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection management to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to promote quicker decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to assign specific tasks to every administrator during the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to act together as a cohesive group with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with a variety of powerful third-party applications to develop a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, conserve valuable resources, protect your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign system hardware effectively and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to impose different bandwidth constraints on designated classes of processes based on the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can show you how to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

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If you wish to ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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