Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the importance and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping businesses design network management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing network services.

Progent can help customers to deploy a rich range of free and license-based monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to understand current network usage and effectively plan for downstream capacity expansion. Management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or inappropriate utilization of system resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network bandwidth. An efficiently planned network management plan can also aid businesses to make informed choices on WAN and LAN enhancements after they understand how much system resources really needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management solution in place ahead of time is vital to prevent severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can render the network unusable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to identify the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides a selection of effective utilities that should be the basis for any management solution. Used in combination with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that allows you to set up and monitor the software built into network appliances. Cisco ASDM is installed by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager continuously tracks important appliance processes on voice and data networks used by 5 to 250 users and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for organizations with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-monitoring information from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not deploy any agent software on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a centralized system view and allows IT managers to employ its features across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with no more than than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled through intelligent policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond more quickly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that offer versatile methods to control appliances and policies such as the capability to manage the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new operator to speed up training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured consistently, at the same time offering optional versatility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Ability to create a single firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based access control to devices and management services
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate monitored data with related firewall rules to promote faster decision making and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to allocate particular tasks to each manager during the implementation of a policy, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to work together as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-qualified network management engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management tools alongside a selection of effective third-party programs to develop a comprehensive network management solution to keep your network running smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your business grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to monitor and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to impose a variety of throughput restrictions on certain classes of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing data packets above your committed rates, and by assigning preference to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can help you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network management tools to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your network productive.

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If you wish to ask Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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