Cisco Network Management Solutions ConsultingAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses design management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful tools for tracking network utilization and latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist businesses to deploy a broad selection of open source and license-based monitoring and management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to be aware of current system utilization and intelligently prepare for future capacity increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or improper utilization of system services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and scarce network bandwidth. A well planned network management strategy can also aid businesses to arrive at intelligent decisions on network enhancements once they appreciate how much network resources really needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place beforehand is critical to prevent major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can leave the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to discover the location of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in combination with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for organizations of all sizes by helping with key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that lets you configure and operate the software built into security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco device, and allows you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended for the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks important device processes on voice/data networks used by 5 to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of key appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 basis and frequently touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to IT processes and does not use any agent on target devices. The application offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Device operations tracking
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a unified system view and permits network managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for managing all facets of appliance set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small networks with no more than than ten devices, but also scales to manage large-scale networks with thousands of appliances. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-based control procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer versatile ways to manage devices and security policies including the option to manage the security environment visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive video training for the novice user to speed up training time
  • Globally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to create a common rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based access management to appliances and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS to compare monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to promote quicker decision making and enhanced system availability
  • Ability to allocate specific jobs to each manager in the course of the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; allows the security and systems operations staff to work together as a cohesive group with efficient coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a selection of powerful open source and proprietary applications to create a complete management solution to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, consolidate expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to expand or repurpose system hardware effectively and economically as your company grows.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management applications to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to enforce different throughput restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets above your committed rates, and by assigning preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to create an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network management tools to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your network running smoothly.

To learn additional information about Progent's engineering assistance for Cisco solutions, pick a topic:

To ask Progent about consulting support for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.