Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other vendors highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design network management strategies utilizing on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful tools for network utilization and latency, monitoring key router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing available services.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich range of free and license-based monitoring and management solutions to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to be aware of current system utilization and intelligently plan for downstream traffic expansion. Network management utilities can also be deployed to detect poor or inappropriate utilization of network resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can waste expensive or limited network bandwidth. A well crafted network management plan can also assist companies to arrive at intelligent decisions on system upgrades after they recognize how much network bandwidth really required at various times.

Having an efficient network management system in operation beforehand is critical to prevent severe disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and malicious viruses. These events can leave the network unstable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the location of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco has created an assortment of effective tools that should be the foundation for any management solution. Used in conjunction with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the competitive value of networks for companies of any size by helping with key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that permits you configure and monitor the software built into security appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to set up, track, and control the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring solution designed to address the requirements of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager continuously monitors important device parameters on voice/data networks used by 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time scanning of important appliance parameters on SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with up to 50 users
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and gathers identification and performance-tracking information from the monitored devices in the network. Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based application and is entirely invisible to IT operations and does not use any agent software on target appliances. The application offers a rich set of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory logging and reporting
  • Highly secure and reliable operation
  • Appliance operations tracking
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration archive

Cisco Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool designed for for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations that have up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, installation, and continuing administration and maintenance of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized system view and allows network managers to employ its features across switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. Cisco Security Manager efficiently handles even small networks consisting of fewer than ten devices, but also expands to control enterprise networks composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled through smart policy-driven control procedures that can simplify administration. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to attacks: define and apply updated policies to many hundreds of devices in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that offer flexible methods to control devices and security policies such as the option to administer the security network visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the novice operator to reduce learning period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and automatically inherited by additional appliances to ensure corporate policies are configured consistently, while providing sufficient versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Ability to build a common rule database for Cisco platforms with smart analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule base
  • Easily configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to appliances and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS to associate events with corresponding security appliance rules to enable quicker decision making and enhanced network availability
  • Capability to allocate particular tasks to every administrator during the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to act cooperatively as a single unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network consultants can assist you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities alongside a selection of powerful third-party programs to create a comprehensive network management solution to keep your network operating dependably, consolidate valuable resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from hardware breakdowns or deliberates assaults, and allow you to scale or reassign system resources effectively and economically as your organization evolves.

Progent can also show you how to utilize network management tools to monitor and categorize system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to program routers to enforce different bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing data packets above your contracted volume, and by giving priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network bandwidth limits during peak 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-premises network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To learn additional information concerning Progent's professional assistance for Cisco products, choose a topic:

If you wish to ask Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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