Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are expert at assisting companies develop network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create powerful tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices utilizing available services.

Progent can assist businesses to deploy a rich selection of open source and license-based monitoring and management solutions to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable IT administrators to be aware of current system usage and effectively prepare for downstream traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be used to highlight poor or improper utilization of system resources, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up expensive and limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management solution can also enable organizations to make intelligent choices on WAN and LAN upgrades once they recognize the amount of network bandwidth historically needed at any one time.

Putting an efficient network management solution in operation beforehand is essential to avoid major disruptions that can follow DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can render the network unstable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed an array of powerful utilities that should form the foundation for any network management solution. Used in combination with appropriate third-party tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by improving key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that permits you configure and monitor the software on security appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the adaptive security device, and allows you to set up, monitor, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution designed for the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Monitor Manager continuously scans key appliance parameters on voice and data networks used by 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time scanning of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for companies with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and collects identification and operations-tracking information from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to IT operations and does not use any agent software on target appliances. The application provides a variety of useful features including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding businesses that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports, the application simplifies configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. Network Assistant provides a centralized network view and allows network managers to deploy its features across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all facets of device configuration and security policies for firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager effectively handles even small environments with fewer than ten devices, but also scales to control enterprise systems with thousands of appliances. Expansion is achieved through smart policy-based control techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 Series security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile methods to manage appliances and policies including the option to administer the security network graphically on a topology image
  • Comprehensive animated help for the first-time user to speed up training time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient versatility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a common firewall rule database for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection control to devices and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS to associate events against corresponding security appliance rules to enable faster decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Capability to assign specific tasks to each administrator in the course of the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to act in sync as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network consultants can show you how to use Cisco's network management utilities alongside a selection of effective open source and proprietary applications to create a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, conserve valuable resources, guard your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management tools to analyze and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated types of activity based on the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your network productive.

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If you wish to get in touch with Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.