Network Management Solutions ConsultingA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at assisting companies develop network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and appliances utilizing available services.

Progent can help customers to deploy a rich range of open source and proprietary management solutions to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to be aware of existing system utilization and effectively plan for downstream traffic increases. Network management tools can also be used to identify poor or inappropriate utilization of network services, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network resources. An efficiently crafted network management strategy can also aid organizations to make informed choices on wide and local area network upgrades after they understand the amount of system resources really needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management solution in place ahead of time is essential to avoid severe problems that can follow DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to identify the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of effective utilities that should be the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by improving important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that lets you configure and monitor the management utilities on network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco device, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application intended to handle the requirements of small and midsize companies. Monitor Manager continuously monitors key appliance processes on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 users and with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of important appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 basis and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. The application provides a rich set of useful features including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and process views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Device operations monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based network management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations with up to 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a unified network view and permits network managers to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is achieved through smart policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer flexible methods to control appliances and security policies such as the capability to manage the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video training for the new operator to accelerate learning period
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, while offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection management to appliances and management functions
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to compare events against corresponding firewall rules to promote quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Capability to allocate particular jobs to each manager in the course of the deployment of a rule, with structured change control and tracking; allows the security and systems operations staff to act cooperatively as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants can show you how to use Cisco's management utilities alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or malicious attacks, and enable you to scale or reassign network resources intelligently and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to analyze and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain types of activity based on the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your contracted volume, and by giving priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or avoid lost productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can help you to create an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and fix problems rapidly to keep your network running smoothly.

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To get in touch with Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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