Network Management Solutions ConsultingAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's Cisco qualified network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies develop management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and appliances utilizing available resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a broad range of free and license-based management products to manage Cisco infrastructure. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to understand current network usage and intelligently plan for future capacity expansion. Management tools can also be used to highlight poor or inappropriate utilization of system services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up expensive and scarce network bandwidth. An efficiently crafted network management solution can also help companies to arrive at intelligent decisions on wide and local area network improvements once they appreciate how much system bandwidth historically required at various times.

Putting an effective network management system in place in advance is critical to prevent major problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be time consuming, if not practically impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco provides an assortment of effective tools that should form the foundation for any network management solution. Used in combination with the top third-party applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of any size by improving important areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based utility that permits you set up and monitor the management utilities on network devices. Cisco ASDM is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application developed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Monitor Manager actively tracks important device processes on voice and data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with as many as 250 Voice over IP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for companies with up to 50 workers
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and performance-tracking information from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to system operations and does not use any agent software on managed devices. Monitor Manager offers a variety of valuable features such as:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Appliance performance tracking
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Setup archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding organizations with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, Network Assistant simplifies configuration, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. It offers a centralized network view and allows IT managers to employ its features among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for managing all aspects of device configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution efficiently manages even small environments consisting of fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control enterprise systems with thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is achieved via smart policy-driven management techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 Series sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: define and assign new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide flexible ways to manage devices and policies including the option to manage the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Extensive video training for the first-time user to reduce training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional appliances to ensure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, while offering sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to create a single firewall rule table for Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect anomalies within the rule table
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to appliances and administration functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to associate events with corresponding security appliance rules to promote faster management decisions and enhanced network availability
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to every manager in the course of the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to act together as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a complete management solution to keep your network operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign system hardware effectively and affordably as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated types of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your contracted rates, and by giving preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or avoid lost productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person network experts and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can utilize the latest network management technology to identify and repair problems rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

For additional details concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

In order to get in touch with Progent about consulting assistance for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.