Cisco Network Management Solutions ConsultingAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and complexity of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are expert at assisting companies develop management strategies utilizing on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective tools for understanding network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch performance characteristics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing network resources.

Progent can assist customers to utilize a broad selection of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools used by Progent's engineers include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco 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 IT administrators to understand existing network usage and intelligently plan for future traffic increases. Management utilities can also be used to highlight inefficient or improper uses of network resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or limited network bandwidth. An efficiently planned network management plan can also aid companies to make intelligent decisions on network enhancements once they recognize how much system bandwidth actually needed at various times.

Having an effective network management system in operation in advance is critical to avoid severe problems that can result from Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. These events can leave the network unusable and without proper tools it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to discover the location of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides a variety of powerful utilities that should form the basis for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by dealing with 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 web utility that allows you to configure and operate the management utilities on security appliances. ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to set up, monitor, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to handle the needs of small and midsize organizations. Cisco Monitor Manager actively tracks key device parameters on voice and data environments used by 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device parameters on small and midsize business-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for organizations with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a 24x7 cycle and periodically polls and collects inventory and performance-tracking information from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to system processes and does not deploy any agent software on managed devices. Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and service level looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and reliable operation
  • Device operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and event notification
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-hosted management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding companies with as many as 40 switches and routers. By using Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. The application offers a centralized system view and allows IT administrators to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Security Manager is a feature-rich but simple to operate solution for managing all facets of appliance set up and security policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Security Manager efficiently manages even small networks with no more than than ten appliances, but also expands to control enterprise systems composed of thousands of appliances. Scalability is achieved via intelligent policy-based control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco router platforms running an IOS security image, ASA 5500 Series firewalls, Cisco PIX firewalls, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile methods to control appliances and security policies such as the capability to administer the security environment visually on a system topology map
  • Comprehensive animated training for the novice user to speed up learning time
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new devices to ensure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time offering sufficient versatility to modify policies at the local appliance level
  • Capability to create a common firewall rule table for all Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to detect anomalies in the rule base
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for granular role based access management to devices and management services
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare events with related security appliance rules to help with faster decision making and increased system up time
  • Ability to allocate particular tasks to each manager during the implementation of a policy, with formal change control and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to work cooperatively as a single group with effective coordination
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can help you to use Cisco's management utilities in combination with a selection of effective open source and proprietary programs to create a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure running dependably, consolidate expensive resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management applications to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure routers to enforce different bandwidth restrictions on designated types of activity according to the priorities you specify. By buffering and sorting excess packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage charges from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can assist you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises support experts and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and repair trouble rapidly to keep your network productive.

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To ask Progent about professional support for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.