Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at helping businesses develop management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to build effective mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad range of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of existing network usage and intelligently prepare for downstream capacity expansion. Management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or improper utilization of network services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable and scarce network resources. A carefully crafted network management plan can also enable businesses to arrive at informed choices on network improvements once they recognize the amount of system resources historically needed at specific times.

Putting an effective network management platform in operation ahead of time is essential to avoid major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses. These events can leave the network unstable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to find the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed a variety of powerful utilities that should form the basis for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and operate the software built into network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended to meet the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager continuously checks key device processes on voice and data environments used by five to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of key appliance parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock basis and frequently polls and collects identification and performance-tracking information from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely invisible to system processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Monitor Manager offers a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding organizations with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. Network Assistant offers a unified system view and allows IT managers to employ its functions across switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. The solution efficiently manages even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise systems with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is enabled via intelligent policy-based control procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide flexible ways to manage appliances and policies including the option to administer the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Comprehensive animated training for the novice operator to speed up training time
  • Globally call out which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, while providing sufficient versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to create a common rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule base
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based connection control to devices and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to correlate events against related firewall rules to support quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Ability to assign particular tasks to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to act together as a single group with efficient coordination
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with a selection of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive management strategy to keep your network functioning smoothly, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or repurpose system resources intelligently and affordably as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to monitor and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to impose different throughput restrictions on designated types of activity based on the importance you assign. By buffering and sorting excess packets above your committed volume, and by giving priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage charges from spinning out of reach and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and repair problems quickly to keep your network in business.

To see additional details concerning Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco solutions, select a subject:

If you wish to contact Progent about engineering support for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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