Network Management Solutions ConsultantsAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses develop network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to build powerful mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring key router and switch operational characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use available resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a rich range of open source and license-based monitoring and management solutions to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help organizations to understand current system utilization and effectively prepare for future traffic expansion. Network management tools can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper utilization of system services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive or limited network bandwidth. An efficiently planned network management plan can also enable organizations to make intelligent choices on system enhancements after they understand how much system resources actually required at any one time.

Putting an effective network management platform in operation ahead of time is essential to avoid major disruptions that can be due to Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. Such events can leave the network unstable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, and in some cases practically impossible, to find the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has developed a selection of powerful utilities that should form the foundation for any network management solution. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by dealing with key areas such as resource utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web utility that lets you set up and monitor the software on security appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management application developed to address the needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously checks key appliance parameters on voice/data networks used by five to 250 workers and equipped with up to 250 VoIP phones. Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date scanning of key device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock basis and frequently touches and collects inventory and performance-monitoring information from the managed devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on target devices. The application provides a rich set of valuable features such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Physical and service level views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Appliance operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing businesses with as many as 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, installation, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-based networks. It provides a centralized network view and allows IT administrators to deploy its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate application for managing all facets of device set up and policies for firewalls, VPNs, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise systems with thousands of devices. Scalability is achieved via smart policy-based management techniques that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 firewalls, PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond more quickly to threats: specify and apply updated policies to many hundreds of devices in just a few steps
  • Rich GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile ways to manage appliances and policies including the ability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the novice operator to accelerate training time
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional devices to make sure company-wide policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to create a single firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule table
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based access management to devices and administration services
  • Integration with security MARS system to associate monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to promote quicker management decisions and enhanced network up time
  • Ability to allocate specific jobs to each administrator during the deployment of a rule, with formal change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations staff to work in sync as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management engineers can show you how to utilize Cisco's network 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, consolidate expensive resources, guard your information, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to expand or repurpose system hardware effectively and affordably as your company evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to analyze and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on certain classes of processes based on the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting data packets that exceed your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to business-critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent Internet Service Provider overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security consultants can assist you to create an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support experts and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use the latest network management tools to isolate and remediate problems rapidly to keep your IT system productive.

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If you wish to contact Progent about engineering support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.