Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at assisting companies design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create effective tools for tracking network utilization and latency, monitoring important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and appliances that use network services.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad selection of open source and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand existing network utilization and effectively prepare for future capacity expansion. Management tools can also be used to identify poor or improper uses of system services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management plan can also enable companies to make informed choices on wide and local area network enhancements once they understand how much network bandwidth really required at any one time.

Having an effective network management solution in operation ahead of time is vital to prevent severe problems that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These events can render the network unusable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of effective utilities that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that permits you configure and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. ASDM is installed by the network device, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to meet the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager actively tracks key appliance parameters on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 appliance for organizations with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 basis and frequently polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT operations and does not use any agent on target devices. Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco networks. The application provides a centralized network view and allows IT administrators to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of device set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small networks with no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to control large-scale networks with thousands of devices. Scalability is achieved through intelligent policy-driven management techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible methods to control appliances and security policies including the capability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the novice operator to reduce training period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to create a common rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN connections by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to devices and management functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to associate events against related security appliance rules to enable quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Capability to assign particular tasks to each administrator during the implementation of a rule, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to act together as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of effective third-party programs to develop a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, guard your data, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the priorities you specify. By buffering and sorting data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and fix trouble quickly to keep your network running smoothly.

To learn additional information about Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco products, select a topic:

To ask Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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