Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping businesses design network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build powerful mechanisms for understanding network bandwidth usage and network latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and appliances that use available services.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management solutions to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable IT administrators to be aware of current system usage and intelligently plan for downstream traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or inappropriate utilization of system services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste valuable and limited network resources. A carefully crafted network management strategy can also aid organizations to arrive at intelligent choices on system upgrades after they appreciate the amount of network bandwidth historically needed at various times.

Having an effective network management platform in place in advance is critical to prevent severe disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. These assaults can render the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to identify the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has developed an array of powerful utilities that should be the foundation for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by addressing key areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web utility that allows you to set up and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. ASDM is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to handle the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively checks important device parameters on voice and data networks serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance parameters on Cisco SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and gathers inventory and performance-tracking data from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to IT operations and does not deploy any agent software on managed appliances. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. The application offers a unified system view and permits IT administrators to employ its functions among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small environments with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control large-scale networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-based control procedures that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and assign new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide flexible ways to control devices and policies such as the ability to administer the security network graphically on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive video help for the first-time operator to reduce learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to make sure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while providing sufficient versatility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based access management to appliances and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS to correlate events with related security appliance rules to promote faster management decisions and increased system availability
  • Ability to assign particular jobs to every administrator during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; allows the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside a variety of effective third-party programs to develop a complete management solution to keep your network operating smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and enable you to scale or reassign system hardware intelligently and economically as your company evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to analyze and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to enforce different throughput constraints on certain types of activity according to the importance you assign. By storing and queuing data packets above your committed volume, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate lost productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network management tools to identify and repair trouble rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To find out more details about Progent's engineering support for Cisco products, pick a subject:

To get in touch with Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.