Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the importance and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco qualified network management engineers are expert at helping companies design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to create effective mechanisms for understanding network utilization and latency, viewing important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing available resources.

Progent can assist customers to deploy a rich range of open source and license-based management utilities to maintain a Cisco network. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand current network usage and effectively prepare for downstream traffic expansion. Management utilities can also be used to identify inefficient or inappropriate uses of system resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can waste valuable or limited network resources. A carefully designed network management solution can also assist businesses to arrive at informed choices on wide and local area network enhancements after they recognize how much network resources historically required at various times.

Putting an effective network management solution in operation beforehand is critical to avoid severe problems that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses/Trojans. Such assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and in some cases virtually impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of powerful tools that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by improving important areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and monitor the software on security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network device, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application developed to handle the needs of small and medium-sized organizations. Monitor Manager actively scans key appliance parameters on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date tracking of key appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager scans the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and gathers identification and performance-tracking data from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is entirely transparent to IT processes and does not use any agent on target appliances. Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features such as:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Physical and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable communication
  • Device operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding organizations that have up to 40 switches and routers. By using Smartports, the application simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. The application offers a centralized system view and allows IT managers to deploy its features among Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for managing all aspects of device set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution efficiently handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise systems composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family firewalls, Cisco PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of devices in just a few steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible ways to manage appliances and security policies including the capability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive video training for the first-time operator to reduce learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to make sure company-wide policies are configured consistently, at the same time offering optional versatility to modify policies at the local device level
  • Ability to build a common rule table for all Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to appliances and management functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to associate events with related security appliance rules to help with quicker decision making and increased network availability
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to every manager during the implementation of a rule, with formal change control and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to work cooperatively as a cohesive unit with efficient coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management tools alongside an array of effective third-party programs to develop a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your information, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and allow you to expand or repurpose system resources intelligently and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to analyze and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce different bandwidth constraints on certain types of processes according to the priorities you assign. By buffering and queuing excess packets above your committed rates, and by assigning priority to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by indiscriminate enforcement of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support specialists 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.

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In order to get in touch with Progent about engineering help for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.