Network Management Solutions ExpertiseA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other vendors highlights the value and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective tools for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices utilizing available services.

Progent can assist businesses to deploy a rich selection of open source and license-based management tools to maintain Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help organizations to understand current system usage and intelligently prepare for future traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be used to detect poor or improper utilization of network resources, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can eat up valuable and scarce network bandwidth. A carefully designed network management plan can also aid businesses to make intelligent decisions on network upgrades after they understand how much network bandwidth historically needed at any one time.

Having an effective network management system in place beforehand is essential to prevent major problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the location of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed an array of powerful tools that should be the basis for any network management solution. Used in combination with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by helping with key areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that allows you to configure and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. ASDM is installed by the Cisco appliance, and allows you to configure, monitor, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application intended to handle the needs of small and midsize businesses. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously scans key device processes on voice and data environments used by five to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. The application offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important appliance processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the network on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently polls and collects inventory and performance-tracking information from the managed devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not use any agent software on managed appliances. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Cisco device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Connection status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Setup archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-hosted network management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding companies with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By running Cisco's Smartports technology, the application streamlines setup, deployment, and continuing management and support of Cisco-powered environments. It offers a unified network view and allows network administrators to deploy its features across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use application for managing all facets of device configuration and security policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution efficiently handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to control large-scale systems composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-based control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible ways to manage devices and security policies such as the capability to manage the security network graphically on a topology map
  • Extensive animated training for the novice user to speed up learning time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to make sure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while providing optional versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to create a single rule database for Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access control to devices and management services
  • Operation with security MARS system to correlate events against corresponding security appliance rules to promote quicker management decisions and enhanced system availability
  • Capability to assign particular jobs to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a rule, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to act cooperatively as a single group with efficient coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can assist you to use Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a complete management toolkit to keep your network functioning smoothly, consolidate expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and enable you to scale or reassign network hardware intelligently and affordably as your business grows.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to enforce a variety of throughput constraints on designated types of activity according to the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting data packets above your committed rates, and by giving priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use the latest network management technology to identify and remediate problems rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

For more information concerning Progent's engineering help for Cisco technology, select a subject:

To contact Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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