Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at helping businesses design network management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create effective tools for network utilization and network latency, viewing important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, processes, and appliances utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a broad selection of free and license-based management products to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities used by Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to be aware of existing system usage and intelligently prepare for future capacity expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to highlight poor or improper utilization of network services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste valuable or scarce network resources. A well crafted network management strategy can also enable businesses to arrive at informed choices on system enhancements after they recognize how much network bandwidth actually required at any one time.

Having an efficient network management platform in place in advance is vital to prevent severe disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper utilities it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has created an assortment of powerful utilities that should form the foundation for any management solution. Used in combination with the top third-party tools, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based utility that permits you configure and operate the management utilities built into network appliances. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network device, and allows you to configure, track, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to address the needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively scans important appliance parameters on voice/data environments used by five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date scanning of key appliance parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for businesses with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock basis and periodically touches and collects inventory and operations-tracking data from the managed devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to system operations and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification logging and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, deployment, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized network view and allows network managers to employ its features across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of device set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Security Manager effectively handles even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to manage enterprise networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is enabled via smart policy-driven control procedures that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to attacks: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that offer versatile ways to manage devices and security policies including the option to administer the security environment graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive animated training for the novice user to reduce learning period
  • Centrally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to ensure company-wide policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to build a common firewall rule table for all Cisco platforms with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine anomalies in the rule table
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and management services
  • Operation with security MARS system to correlate events with related firewall rules to enable quicker decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to every manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations staff to act cooperatively as a single unit with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with an array of powerful open source and proprietary programs to develop a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or malicious attacks, and enable you to expand or repurpose network hardware intelligently and affordably as your company grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management utilities to analyze and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to impose a variety of bandwidth constraints on designated classes of processes based on the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning preference to the most important processes, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or avoid gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can help you to develop an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and fix problems rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

To learn additional details concerning Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:

To ask Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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