Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies develop management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a rich range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management solutions to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (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 IT administrators to understand existing network usage and intelligently plan for downstream traffic expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or inappropriate utilization of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. A well planned network management solution can also assist companies to make informed choices on wide and local area network improvements after they recognize how much system bandwidth historically needed at any one time.

Having an efficient network management platform in place in advance is essential to avoid severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unusable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of powerful tools that should be the basis for any network management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by helping with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that allows you to configure and monitor the management utilities built into network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network device, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application designed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key appliance parameters on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time tracking of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 basis and periodically polls and collects identification and operations-tracking data from the managed appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on target devices. The application offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Device operations tracking
  • VoIP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations with up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-based networks. The application offers a unified network view and allows IT managers to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for managing all facets of device set up and security policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to manage enterprise systems composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled through smart policy-based control procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer versatile methods to manage appliances and security policies such as the option to manage the security environment graphically on a topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the novice operator to reduce training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to create a single firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based connection management to devices and management services
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to compare monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to support quicker decision making and enhanced system up time
  • Ability to assign particular tasks to each administrator during the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations staff to act together as a single group with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a selection of effective third-party programs to create a complete management solution to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your data, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and enable you to scale or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also help you to use network management tools to analyze and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce a variety of throughput constraints on designated classes of activity based on the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your contracted rates, and by giving preference to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate lost productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your network productive.

To find out more information concerning Progent's engineering help for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about consulting help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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