Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies develop management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build effective mechanisms for network utilization and network latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a broad selection of free and license-based monitoring and management products to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can help organizations to understand current system usage and intelligently plan for future traffic increases. Management tools can also be used to identify poor or inappropriate utilization of system resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up valuable and limited network resources. A well crafted network management strategy can also enable companies to arrive at intelligent decisions on wide and local area network enhancements after they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth actually needed at specific times.

Having an effective network management platform in operation ahead of time is critical to prevent major disruptions that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created an assortment of effective tools that should form the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and operate the management utilities built into network appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks important device processes on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key appliance parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and gathers inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to IT operations and does not use any agent software on target devices. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified network view and permits network managers to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for managing all facets of appliance configuration and security policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments with no more than than ten devices, but also scales to manage enterprise systems composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-based management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible methods to manage devices and policies including the option to manage the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Extensive animated training for the first-time operator to reduce training period
  • Globally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while offering sufficient versatility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to build a common rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and management services
  • Integration with security MARS to associate events with related security appliance rules to support quicker decision making and increased system availability
  • Ability to assign specific jobs to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and tracking; allows the security and systems operations team to act cooperatively as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can show you how to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a selection of effective third-party programs to create a complete management strategy to keep your infrastructure running dependably, conserve valuable resources, guard your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose network hardware intelligently and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to enforce a variety of throughput constraints on certain types of activity according to the priorities you assign. By storing and sorting data packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can help you to develop 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 consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and repair trouble quickly to keep your network in business.

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If you wish to get in touch with Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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