Cisco Network Management Solutions ConsultingAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich range of open source and proprietary management solutions to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to understand existing system utilization and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Management tools can also be deployed to highlight poor or improper utilization of network resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently crafted network management solution can also enable organizations to make intelligent decisions on wide and local area network enhancements once they recognize the amount of system resources really needed at various times.

Having an efficient network management solution in place ahead of time is critical to avoid major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco ASDM is a web utility that permits you configure and monitor the software built into network devices. ASDM is installed by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management solution designed for the needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key device processes on voice/data networks used by 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Up-to-date tracking of important appliance processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and gathers inventory and operations-monitoring information from the managed appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not use any agent software on target devices. Monitor Manager provides a rich set of valuable features including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Device operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding businesses that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports technology, the application simplifies setup, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. The application provides a centralized system view and allows network managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of appliance set up and policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also scales to manage large-scale networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved via intelligent policy-based control techniques that can streamline administration. Highlights of Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to thousands of devices in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer versatile ways to manage devices and policies including the option to administer the security environment visually on a topology map
  • Extensive video training for the new user to speed up training time
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional appliances to make sure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to build a common rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies within the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection control to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS to compare events with related firewall rules to help with faster management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Ability to allocate specific jobs to each administrator during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and tracking; permits the security and network operations staff to work in sync as a cohesive unit with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of powerful third-party applications to develop a complete network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose system resources effectively and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management utilities to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on designated types of processes based on the importance you specify. By buffering and sorting data packets above your committed rates, and by giving preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by brute force policing of your network traffic volume limits during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to identify and fix trouble quickly to keep your network productive.

For additional details about Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco products, select a topic:

In order to ask Progent about engineering help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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