Network Management Solutions Consulting FirmAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are experienced at helping businesses design management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build powerful tools for network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a rich selection of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable IT administrators to be aware of current network usage and effectively prepare for future traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or inappropriate uses of network services, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive or limited network resources. An efficiently crafted network management plan can also enable companies to arrive at intelligent choices on WAN and LAN enhancements after they recognize how much network bandwidth actually needed at any one time.

Putting an efficient network management system in place beforehand is critical to prevent severe problems that can result from DoS attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. These assaults can leave the network unstable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to find the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides an assortment of powerful tools that should form the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for organizations of all sizes by dealing with important areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that allows you to configure and operate the software on security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution developed to address the needs of small and medium-sized companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously monitors important device parameters on voice and data networks serving 5 to 250 users and with up to 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently touches and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not use any agent software on target appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide inventory logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Cisco device performance tracking
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports technology, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. It offers a centralized system view and permits network administrators to deploy its features among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for managing all facets of appliance set up and policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to manage large-scale networks with thousands of devices. Scalability is achieved through smart policy-driven management procedures that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and apply updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide versatile methods to control devices and policies including the ability to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology image
  • Extensive video training for the first-time operator to speed up training period
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while providing optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to create a common rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection control to appliances and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS system to compare monitored data with related firewall rules to promote quicker management decisions and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to every manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to work cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with a variety of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete management solution to keep your infrastructure functioning smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose network resources intelligently and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management tools to analyze and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to program Cisco routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of activity based on the importance you assign. By storing and sorting excess packets that exceed your committed volume, and by assigning preference to the most important applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize advanced network management technology to identify and repair trouble rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

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If you wish to ask Progent about technical help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.