Network Management Solutions EngineersA wealth of network management products from Cisco and third-party suppliers underscores the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are expert at helping businesses design network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create powerful mechanisms for tracking network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a broad range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco network. Tools used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can help organizations to be aware of current network usage and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Management utilities can also be used to highlight poor or inappropriate utilization of network services, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive or scarce network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management solution can also assist organizations to make intelligent decisions on network enhancements once they appreciate the amount of system resources really needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management platform in place ahead of time is critical to avoid severe disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. These events can leave the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, if not practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created a selection of powerful tools that should form the foundation for any management strategy. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of networks for organizations of any size by dealing with important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that allows you to set up and monitor the management utilities built into security appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application designed to address the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively tracks key appliance parameters on voice/data networks serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a 24x7 basis and periodically touches and collects identification and operations-tracking information from the monitored devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to system processes and does not use any agent on target devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a variety of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and process views of Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco-based networks. It offers a centralized network view and allows network managers to employ its functions across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate solution for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks, and IPS. The solution effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled through intelligent policy-driven control techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible ways to control appliances and security policies including the ability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the first-time operator to accelerate training time
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to make sure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, while offering sufficient versatility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a common firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to devices and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS system to associate monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to help with quicker decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Capability to allocate particular tasks to each administrator during the deployment of a policy, with formal change control and tracking; permits the security and network operations staff to work in sync as a cohesive group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management tools alongside a variety of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your network operating smoothly, conserve valuable resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and enable you to scale or repurpose network resources effectively and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management applications to analyze and classify system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to impose different throughput restrictions on certain classes of processes based on the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets above your contracted volume, and by giving preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network management tools to isolate and repair trouble quickly to keep your IT system in business.

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

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about technical assistance for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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