Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build effective tools for understanding network utilization and latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing available services.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a rich selection of free and license-based monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to be aware of current network utilization and effectively prepare for downstream traffic increases. Management utilities can also be used to identify poor or improper uses of system resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network resources. An efficiently designed network management plan can also help organizations to arrive at informed choices on system improvements once they understand the amount of system bandwidth really required at various times.

Having an efficient network management system in place ahead of time is vital to prevent major problems that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can render the network unstable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, if not virtually impossible, to discover the location of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of powerful utilities that should form the basis for any management solution. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that allows you to configure and monitor the software built into network appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management application developed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager actively tracks key device processes on voice/data networks used by five to 250 users and with up to 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key device parameters on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for companies with as many as 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically touches and gathers identification and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system operations and does not deploy any agent software on managed appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alerts and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding businesses that have up to 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports, the application streamlines configuration, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant provides a centralized system view and allows network administrators to employ its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of device configuration and policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Security Manager efficiently handles even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of devices. Scalability is enabled through intelligent policy-driven control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security services modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign new security policies to many hundreds of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible ways to control appliances and security policies including the ability to administer the security network visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the first-time user to reduce training period
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a common firewall rule table for all Cisco platforms with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces with a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access control to appliances and management services
  • Integration with security MARS to associate events with corresponding security appliance rules to enable faster management decisions and increased network availability
  • Ability to assign specific tasks to each administrator during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and logging; allows the security and systems operations staff to act together as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with a selection of powerful open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive network management solution to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, protect your data, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and enable you to scale or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management utilities to analyze and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to impose different bandwidth constraints on designated types of activity based on the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your committed volume, and by assigning preference to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent ISP overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can help you to create an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network management technology to identify and fix trouble rapidly to keep your network productive.

To see additional information concerning Progent's engineering assistance for Cisco technology, select a topic:

To ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.