Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at helping companies design network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective tools for network utilization and latency, viewing important router and switch performance metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a broad range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to be aware of current network usage and effectively prepare for future capacity expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or inappropriate uses of system resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management strategy can also assist businesses to make intelligent decisions on wide and local area network upgrades once they understand how much system resources really needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management platform in place beforehand is critical to avoid major problems that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. These events can render the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of powerful utilities that should form the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that permits you configure and operate the management utilities built into security devices. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and allows you to configure, track, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended for the requirements of small and midsize companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks important appliance parameters on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance parameters on SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely invisible to IT processes and does not use any agent software on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing companies that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized network view and allows IT managers to deploy its functions among switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device configuration and policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution efficiently manages even small networks with no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-based control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Rich GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer flexible methods to control devices and security policies such as the option to administer the security network graphically on a topology image
  • Extensive video help for the novice user to accelerate training period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by new devices to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Capability to create a single firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to appliances and administration services
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to associate events against related security appliance rules to promote quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Ability to allocate specific jobs to every administrator during the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to work in sync as a single unit with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities in combination with an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a complete management strategy to keep your network running smoothly, conserve valuable resources, protect your information, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose network hardware intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to impose different bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the importance you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage charges from spinning out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can help you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use the latest network management technology to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

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