Cisco Network Management Solutions ConsultingA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other vendors underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping companies design network management solutions based on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build effective mechanisms for network utilization and network latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices that use network services.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich range of free and proprietary management tools to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help organizations to be aware of existing network utilization and effectively prepare for downstream capacity increases. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect inefficient or inappropriate utilization of system resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up expensive or limited network resources. A well planned network management strategy can also help organizations to arrive at informed choices on system improvements after they appreciate how much system resources really required at specific times.

Having an effective network management platform in operation in advance is vital to avoid severe problems that can be caused by DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the location of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers an array of effective tools that should be the foundation for any management strategy. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by helping with important areas such as system utilization, throughput, availability, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that permits you set up and monitor the software on network appliances. Cisco ASDM is installed by the network appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution designed for the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously monitors key appliance parameters on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important device parameters on SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and gathers identification and operations-tracking data from the monitored devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and service level views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notices
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding businesses that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports technology, the application simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. The application provides a unified system view and permits network administrators to employ its functions among switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for managing all facets of appliance configuration and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution effectively handles even small networks consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to control large-scale networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is achieved through intelligent policy-based control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers configured with an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign new security policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer versatile methods to control devices and security policies including the option to manage the security network visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video training for the novice operator to reduce training period
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a single rule database for Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to devices and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS to compare events against related firewall rules to support faster management decisions and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to every manager in the course of the deployment of a rule, with structured change control and tracking; allows the security and network operations team to act in sync as a cohesive group with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management tools alongside a selection of effective open source and proprietary applications to create a complete management strategy to keep your network running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, protect your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of activity based on the priorities you assign. By storing and queuing excess packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and fix problems rapidly to keep your network productive.

To see more information about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco products, select a topic:

In order to ask Progent about professional support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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