Network Management Solutions EngineersA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at assisting businesses develop management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build effective mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a broad range of free and license-based monitoring and management products to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand current network utilization and intelligently prepare for future capacity increases. Management tools can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper uses of network resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. A well planned network management strategy can also enable companies to make intelligent choices on wide and local area network upgrades after they recognize the amount of network resources historically required at various times.

Putting an effective network management platform in place beforehand is critical to prevent severe problems that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can leave the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of powerful tools that should be the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for organizations of all sizes by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and monitor the management utilities on network devices. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to address the needs of small and midsize companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously tracks important appliance processes on voice and data networks used by 5 to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 IP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for businesses with up to 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the network on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently touches and collects inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is completely invisible to system processes and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. Monitor Manager provides a rich set of useful features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based network management application designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses with as many as 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, the application streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized network view and permits network administrators to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of device set up and policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise systems composed of thousands of devices. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-based control procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide flexible methods to control devices and security policies such as the capability to administer the security environment visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the first-time operator to accelerate training period
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a single rule database for Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and administration services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare monitored data with related firewall rules to help with quicker decision making and increased system availability
  • Capability to allocate specific tasks to each manager during the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to work together as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with a selection of effective open source and proprietary applications to create a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve expensive resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and enable you to expand or repurpose network hardware intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to impose a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated classes of processes according to the importance you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your committed volume, and by giving priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and remediate trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

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To get in touch with Progent about professional help for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.