Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management products from Cisco and other vendors highlights the value and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are expert at helping companies develop network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to build effective mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring important router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic profiles, applications, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can help customers to deploy a rich range of open source and license-based monitoring and management products to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow IT administrators to be aware of existing system utilization and intelligently prepare for future traffic increases. Management utilities can also be used to highlight poor or improper utilization of system services, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive and scarce network resources. An efficiently crafted network management strategy can also enable businesses to make informed choices on system enhancements once they appreciate the amount of network resources actually needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management platform in operation beforehand is critical to prevent severe problems that can be due to DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can leave the network unusable and without proper tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the location of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created an array of powerful tools that should form the foundation for any network management strategy. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of network infrastructures for companies of all sizes by improving key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based utility that allows you to configure and monitor the management utilities built into security devices. Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network appliance, and allows you to set up, monitor, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Monitor Manager continuously scans key device processes on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date tracking of key device processes on SMB-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and gathers inventory and performance-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely invisible to IT operations and does not deploy any agent software on managed appliances. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide inventory logging and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable operation
  • Device performance monitoring
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted network management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding businesses that have up to 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports, Network Assistant streamlines configuration, installation, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-based networks. Cisco Network Assistant offers a unified network view and allows network managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all aspects of device configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Cisco Security Manager efficiently handles even small networks with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale systems with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved via smart policy-driven management techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich GUI offers exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible methods to manage appliances and policies such as the ability to manage the security network graphically on a topology image
  • Extensive video help for the novice user to accelerate learning period
  • Globally call out which policies are common and automatically inherited by new devices to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, while providing optional flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to create a single rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based connection control to devices and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to compare monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to help with quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Capability to allocate particular tasks to every administrator during the deployment of a rule, with structured change control and tracking; allows the security and network operations team to act together as a cohesive unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management utilities alongside a selection of powerful open source and proprietary applications to create a comprehensive network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure operating smoothly, consolidate valuable resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware failure or deliberates attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign system resources intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management tools to monitor and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to program routers to impose a variety of throughput constraints on designated types of processes based on the importance you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by assigning priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider overage charges from spiraling out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network management tools to isolate and fix trouble rapidly to keep your network productive.

To learn more details about Progent's engineering support for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:

If you wish to ask Progent about professional support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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