Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are expert at helping companies develop network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful mechanisms for understanding network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing available services.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad selection of free and license-based management utilities to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can help organizations to be aware of existing system usage and effectively prepare for future traffic expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to highlight poor or inappropriate utilization of network services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and scarce network resources. A carefully designed network management solution can also help businesses to make informed choices on WAN and LAN enhancements after they recognize how much network resources historically needed at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management solution in place ahead of time is essential to avoid severe problems that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. These events can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides a selection of effective tools that should be the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

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

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to address the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively tracks key appliance processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and collects inventory and performance-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent software on target appliances. Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations that have up to 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. The application offers a unified system view and allows IT administrators to deploy its functions among switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for managing all facets of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution effectively handles even small environments with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of devices. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-based control techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer versatile methods to control devices and security policies including the ability to administer the security network visually on a topology image
  • Extensive video training for the novice operator to accelerate learning time
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Capability to build a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to devices and management functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data against related security appliance rules to promote quicker decision making and increased network up time
  • Ability to allocate specific jobs to each manager in the course of the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to work in sync as a single group with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management utilities in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete management strategy to keep your infrastructure running dependably, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose network hardware intelligently and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management utilities to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput constraints on designated classes of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets above your committed volume, and by giving priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, 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 isolate and remediate problems rapidly to keep your network productive.

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