Network Management Solutions ExpertiseAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping companies develop management solutions based on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and network latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and appliances that use available resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad range of open source and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to be aware of existing network usage and intelligently plan for downstream traffic increases. Network management tools can also be used to detect inefficient or improper uses of system resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up valuable or limited network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management solution can also aid companies to arrive at informed choices on wide and local area network enhancements once they understand the amount of system bandwidth historically required at any one time.

Having an efficient network management platform in operation beforehand is critical to prevent major problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. These events can leave the network unstable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers an assortment of effective utilities that should be the basis for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based Java applet that permits you set up and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the adaptive security device, and enables you to set up, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application designed for the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively checks key device processes on voice and data networks serving 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 small and midsize business-class network appliances, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Ability to manage the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 basis and frequently polls and collects inventory and performance-monitoring data from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to IT operations and does not deploy any agent on target devices. Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Cisco device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a desktop-based management application designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified system view and permits IT administrators to employ its features across switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Security Manager effectively manages even small environments with no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to control enterprise systems composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled through smart policy-driven control procedures that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: define and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible methods to control appliances and policies including the capability to administer the security network visually on a topology image
  • Extensive animated help for the first-time user to accelerate training period
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time providing optional flexibility to customize policies at the local appliance level
  • Ability to create a single firewall rule database for Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule base
  • Easily configure location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to appliances and administration services
  • Operation with security MARS to compare monitored data with related security appliance rules to help with quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to every administrator during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a single unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management consultants can help you to use Cisco's management tools in combination with a variety of powerful open source and proprietary programs to develop a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your network running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or repurpose system hardware effectively and economically as your company evolves.

Progent can also help you to utilize network management applications to monitor and classify network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to impose different throughput restrictions on designated classes of processes according to the importance you specify. By buffering and sorting excess packets above your contracted rates, and by giving priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in productivity resulting from brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can help you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

To learn more details concerning Progent's professional expertise for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

To get in touch with Progent about consulting help for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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