Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping companies design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to create effective tools for tracking network utilization and latency, monitoring important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a rich selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help organizations to be aware of current network utilization and effectively prepare for future traffic expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or inappropriate utilization of system resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste expensive and limited network bandwidth. A carefully planned network management strategy can also assist companies to arrive at informed choices on WAN and LAN improvements once they understand the amount of system bandwidth actually required at various times.

Having an efficient network management platform in operation ahead of time is vital to avoid major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and in some cases practically impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides an array of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any network management solution. Used in combination with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web utility that allows you to set up and monitor the software on security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, monitor, and control the device.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution developed to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans important appliance processes on voice and data networks used by five to 250 workers and with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key device parameters on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 for companies with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a 24x7 basis and periodically polls and gathers identification and operations-tracking information from the monitored devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely transparent to system processes and does not deploy any agent software on target devices. The application offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Device operations monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized system view and allows IT managers to deploy its features among switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for managing all aspects of appliance configuration and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager effectively handles even small environments with no more than than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-based management procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series firewalls, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile ways to control appliances and policies such as the capability to manage the security network visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive video training for the new operator to accelerate training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to create a common rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule table
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based connection management to devices and management functions
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to correlate events with corresponding firewall rules to enable faster management decisions and enhanced system up time
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each manager during the implementation of a policy, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and network operations team to act in sync as a single unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of effective third-party applications to develop a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and enable you to scale or repurpose network hardware intelligently and affordably as your organization grows.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to enforce different throughput constraints on certain types of activity according to the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent ISP excess usage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize the latest network management technology to identify and fix problems quickly to keep your network running smoothly.

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To contact Progent about professional help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.