Network Management Solutions ConsultingA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping businesses design management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful mechanisms for tracking network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and appliances that use available services.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a rich selection of open source and license-based management tools to maintain a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can help organizations to understand current system usage and intelligently plan for future traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper uses of network resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable and limited network resources. A carefully designed network management plan can also enable companies to make informed choices on network enhancements once they appreciate how much system bandwidth historically required at various times.

Having an effective network management platform in place in advance is essential to prevent major problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of powerful utilities that should be the foundation for any management solution. Used in combination with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that lets you set up and operate the management utilities on network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application intended to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously monitors important appliance processes on voice/data networks serving five to 250 users and with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time tracking of important device processes on SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently touches and collects inventory and operations-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent software on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a rich set of useful features and benefits including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Appliance performance tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized system view and allows IT administrators to deploy its features among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and IPS. Security Manager efficiently handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control enterprise systems with thousands of devices. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide flexible methods to manage devices and security policies including the ability to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the novice operator to accelerate learning time
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by new appliances to make sure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to build a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to appliances and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to correlate events with corresponding firewall rules to enable faster management decisions and increased system up time
  • Capability to assign particular jobs to each manager in the course of the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to act cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can help you to use Cisco's network management tools in combination with a selection of effective third-party programs to create a comprehensive management toolkit to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your company evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management tools to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to enforce different throughput constraints on designated types of activity based on the priorities you assign. By buffering and sorting data packets that exceed your committed volume, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or avoid gaps in productivity caused by brute force policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To find out additional details about Progent's professional expertise for Cisco technology, choose a subject:

To contact Progent about technical assistance for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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