Network Management Solutions SupportA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping businesses design management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build powerful mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad selection of free and proprietary management tools to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help IT administrators to be aware of existing system usage and effectively prepare for future capacity expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to detect poor or inappropriate utilization of network resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and scarce network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management plan can also enable organizations to make intelligent decisions on WAN and LAN enhancements once they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth actually needed at various times.

Putting an efficient network management system in operation in advance is vital to prevent major problems that can be due to DoS attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and without proper tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers an array of effective utilities that should form the basis for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor products, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that lets you configure and operate the management utilities built into security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application designed to meet the needs of small and midsize businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager actively checks important device parameters on voice and data networks serving 5 to 250 users and with up to 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of key device parameters on SMB-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock basis and periodically touches and collects inventory and operations-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to system processes and does not use any agent software on target devices. Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Device operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-based networks. Network Assistant provides a unified system view and allows network administrators to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Security Manager effectively handles even small networks with no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale networks with thousands of appliances. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-driven control techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer versatile ways to control devices and security policies such as the ability to manage the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive animated training for the novice user to reduce training period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, at the same time providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a common rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection management to appliances and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to support faster decision making and enhanced system up time
  • Ability to assign specific jobs to each administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with structured change control and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to act cooperatively as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's management utilities in combination with a selection of effective third-party programs to create a comprehensive management strategy to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose network hardware effectively and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to analyze and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to configure routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on designated types of processes according to the importance you assign. By storing and sorting excess packets above your contracted volume, and by giving priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control 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 professionals can help you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and remediate problems rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

To find out additional information about Progent's professional support for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:

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

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