Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the importance and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses develop management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and license-based monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to understand current network utilization and intelligently plan for downstream capacity expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or improper utilization of system resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management strategy can also aid organizations to arrive at informed choices on wide and local area network enhancements once they recognize the amount of system resources historically required at various times.

Having an efficient network management solution in operation in advance is essential to avoid major problems that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can leave the network unstable and without proper tools it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to discover the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any management strategy. Used in combination with the top third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and operate the management utilities on network appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to configure, monitor, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application designed to handle the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively tracks key appliance processes on voice and data networks serving five to 250 users and with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of key device processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and collects identification and operations-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to system operations and does not deploy any agent on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Device performance tracking
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding companies that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant offers a unified network view and allows IT managers to deploy its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for managing all facets of device configuration and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). The solution efficiently handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten devices, but also expands to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-based management techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series security appliances, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible ways to manage devices and security policies including the option to administer the security network visually on a topology map
  • Comprehensive video help for the first-time user to accelerate training time
  • Globally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing optional versatility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Ability to create a common rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection management to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to help with quicker management decisions and enhanced network up time
  • Capability to allocate particular jobs to each administrator during the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to work in sync as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities in combination with a variety of powerful third-party programs to develop a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign system resources effectively and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management tools to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to impose different throughput constraints on designated classes of processes based on the importance you assign. By buffering and sorting data packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and repair problems rapidly to keep your network in business.

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If you wish to ask Progent about consulting assistance for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.