Network Management Solutions SupportA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are experienced at assisting companies design management strategies based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to create effective mechanisms for tracking network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use network services.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a broad selection of free and proprietary monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable IT administrators to understand existing network utilization and effectively prepare for future capacity expansion. Management tools can also be used to detect poor or inappropriate utilization of system resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or limited network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management strategy can also help companies to make intelligent decisions on network upgrades after they appreciate how much system resources really required at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management platform in operation ahead of time is critical to prevent major disruptions that can follow DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can render the network unstable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to identify the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of effective tools that should form the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web utility that lets you configure and monitor the management utilities built into security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management solution intended to meet the requirements of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key device processes on voice and data environments used by five to 250 workers and with up to 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time tracking of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to system processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Cisco device operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with up to 40 switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified network view and permits IT managers to deploy its functions across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for managing all aspects of device configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks, and IPS. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small environments consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also scales to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of devices. Scalability is achieved via intelligent policy-driven management techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide versatile methods to control devices and policies including the ability to administer the security network graphically on a topology map
  • Extensive animated help for the first-time operator to accelerate learning time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional appliances to make sure corporate policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to create a single firewall rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate events with corresponding firewall rules to help with faster management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to allocate particular jobs to every manager during the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations staff to work together as a single unit with efficient coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with an array of powerful third-party applications to create a complete network management solution to keep your network operating smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and enable you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and affordably as your business evolves.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management applications to monitor and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated types of processes based on the importance you specify. By storing and sorting data packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid lost productivity caused by brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can help you to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix trouble quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To find out additional details concerning Progent's consulting support for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

In order to ask Progent about engineering help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.