Network Management Solutions ConsultantsA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the value and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are experienced at helping businesses design network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use available services.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad selection of free and license-based monitoring and management products to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable IT administrators to be aware of current network utilization and effectively plan for future traffic expansion. Management tools can also be deployed to identify inefficient or inappropriate utilization of system resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management strategy can also assist companies to make informed choices on wide and local area network improvements once they understand how much system resources historically needed at specific times.

Having an effective network management system in place beforehand is critical to avoid severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unstable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco offers a selection of effective utilities that should form the basis for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of any size by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web Java applet that lets you configure and monitor the software on security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution designed to address the needs of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively monitors important device processes on voice/data networks serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for organizations with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and performance-monitoring data from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to system processes and does not use any agent software on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with up to 40 switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports technology, the application streamlines configuration, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-based networks. It provides a centralized system view and permits network administrators to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device configuration and security policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise networks with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-based control procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 Series security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide versatile ways to manage appliances and policies such as the capability to administer the security network visually on a system topology image
  • Extensive animated help for the first-time operator to reduce learning time
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are implemented consistently, while offering optional flexibility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Ability to build a common rule table for Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access control to devices and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS to associate monitored data against related firewall rules to enable quicker management decisions and increased network up time
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to every manager during the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and network operations team to work together as a cohesive group with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with a variety of powerful open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive management strategy to keep your infrastructure running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, protect your information, recover quickly from equipment failure or malicious assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign system hardware effectively and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to enforce different throughput restrictions on certain types of activity based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and repair trouble rapidly to keep your network in business.

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