Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at assisting companies develop network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build powerful tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices utilizing network services.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a rich selection of open source and license-based monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to understand current network usage and effectively plan for future capacity increases. Management tools can also be used to detect inefficient or inappropriate utilization of network resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste expensive and scarce network resources. A carefully crafted network management solution can also enable businesses to arrive at intelligent decisions on system enhancements after they recognize the amount of network bandwidth historically required at various times.

Having an effective network management platform in place beforehand is essential to prevent severe problems that can result from DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. These events can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, if not practically impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides a selection of powerful tools that should be the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by dealing with important areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management solution designed to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager continuously scans key device processes on voice/data networks used by five to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 IP phones. The application offers:

  • Real-time scanning of important appliance processes on SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for businesses with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently touches and gathers identification and performance-tracking data from the monitored appliances in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Device operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management application designed for for LANs and WLANS for growing companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified system view and permits network managers to employ its features across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of device configuration and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Security Manager effectively manages even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale networks composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-driven control procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and assign new security policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide versatile methods to manage devices and policies such as the capability to administer the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Extensive animated help for the novice user to speed up training time
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new appliances to make sure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, while offering optional versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to create a single firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection control to devices and management services
  • Integration with security MARS to compare events with corresponding firewall rules to support quicker decision making and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to allocate particular tasks to every manager during the deployment of a rule, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to work together as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can show you how to use Cisco's management tools alongside an array of powerful third-party applications to develop a comprehensive management solution to keep your infrastructure running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign system resources intelligently and affordably as your organization grows.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management utilities to monitor and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated classes of activity based on the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by brute force policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize advanced network management technology to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To learn more information about Progent's engineering expertise for Cisco products, select a topic:

If you wish to contact Progent about technical support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.