Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are expert at assisting companies design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective mechanisms for tracking network utilization and latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices that use network services.

Progent can help customers to utilize a broad selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management products to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to understand existing system usage and intelligently prepare for future capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or inappropriate utilization of system services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or limited network resources. A well crafted network management solution can also aid companies to arrive at intelligent decisions on wide and local area network upgrades once they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth actually needed at various times.

Having an effective network management system in place in advance is critical to avoid severe problems that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses. These events can render the network unusable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of any size by dealing with important areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that lets you configure and operate the software on security devices. Cisco ASDM is installed by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application designed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager continuously scans key device processes on voice and data environments serving five to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time tracking of important appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and collects identification and performance-tracking information from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely transparent to system processes and does not use any agent on managed appliances. Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a unified system view and allows network managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale networks composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-based management techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond more quickly to threats: define and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer versatile methods to control appliances and security policies including the ability to manage the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the novice operator to reduce training time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are configured consistently, while offering sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a single rule table for Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and administration functions
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to correlate events against corresponding firewall rules to support faster decision making and increased network availability
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to every administrator during the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; allows the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities in combination with a selection of powerful third-party applications to develop a comprehensive network management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, consolidate valuable resources, guard your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to analyze and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on certain classes of processes according to the priorities you assign. By storing and sorting excess packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to create an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize the latest network management tools to identify and fix problems quickly to keep your network in business.

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

To contact Progent about professional help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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