Cisco Network Management Solutions EngineersAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers highlights the importance and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping companies develop management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective tools for network utilization and latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, applications, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can assist businesses to utilize a broad range of open source and license-based management tools to manage a Cisco network. Utilities familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management tools can help organizations to be aware of existing system usage and intelligently plan for future capacity increases. Management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or improper uses of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up valuable or scarce network bandwidth. A carefully crafted network management plan can also assist businesses to arrive at informed choices on WAN and LAN upgrades after they appreciate how much system resources historically required at specific times.

Having an effective network management solution in operation ahead of time is critical to avoid major problems that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can render the network unusable and without proper tools it can be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to identify the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco offers an array of effective utilities that should be the basis for any management strategy. Used in conjunction with appropriate third-party products, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of networks for organizations of all sizes by helping with important areas such as resource utilization, performance, availability, protection, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web utility that lets you set up and operate the management utilities on network devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to configure, monitor, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution intended to handle the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager actively scans key appliance parameters on voice/data networks used by five to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of important device parameters on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with up to 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically touches and gathers identification and operations-tracking data from the monitored appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to IT processes and does not use any agent on target devices. Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and process views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide device identification logging and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Device performance tracking
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-based network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, the application simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco-based networks. The application provides a unified network view and allows network administrators to employ its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a powerful but simple to operate application for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and policies for PIX and ASA firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. The solution efficiently handles even small environments with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage enterprise networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-driven control procedures that can streamline administrative overhead. Highlights of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 family security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Respond more quickly to attacks: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich GUI provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple views that provide versatile ways to manage appliances and policies such as the capability to administer the security network visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive video training for the novice user to accelerate training time
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and inherited by additional devices to make sure company-wide policies are configured regularly, while offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a single rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule base
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network connections with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to appliances and administration functions
  • Operation with Cisco security MARS to correlate monitored data with corresponding firewall rules to enable quicker management decisions and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to assign particular jobs to every administrator during the implementation of a policy, with structured change control and logging; permits the security and systems operations staff to act in sync as a cohesive group with effective teamwork
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's management tools alongside a variety of powerful open source and proprietary applications to develop a complete management toolkit to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, consolidate valuable resources, secure your data, recover quickly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose system resources effectively and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management tools to analyze and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program Cisco routers to enforce different throughput constraints on designated classes of processes based on the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets that exceed your committed rates, and by assigning preference to critical processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage penalties from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate lost worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can show you how to develop a comprehensive security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site network specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and fix problems quickly to keep your network in business.

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