Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and other vendors underscores the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies develop network management solutions utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol, SYSLOG services, and Cisco Netflow protocols to build powerful mechanisms for tracking network utilization and network latency, monitoring key router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices utilizing available resources.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a rich range of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can allow organizations to understand existing network usage and effectively prepare for downstream capacity increases. Management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or improper uses of network services, for example streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file exchange, etc. that can use up valuable and limited network resources. A carefully designed network management strategy can also aid companies to make intelligent choices on WAN and LAN upgrades after they appreciate how much network bandwidth really required at any one time.

Putting an efficient network management system in operation beforehand is vital to avoid major disruptions that can be caused by Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can leave the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes virtually impossible, to discover the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created an array of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with the top outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management offerings can enhance the business value of networks for organizations of all sizes by improving important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, security, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities built into security appliances. Cisco ASDM is installed by the Cisco appliance, and enables you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a management and monitoring application intended to handle the needs of small and midsize companies. Monitor Manager continuously monitors key device parameters on voice/data environments used by 5 to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 Cisco Unified IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of key device processes on small and midsize business-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Support for the Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the system on a round-the-clock basis and periodically touches and gathers identification and operations-monitoring information from the managed devices in the system. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely nondisruptive to IT operations and does not deploy any agent software on managed devices. The application provides a variety of valuable features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level views of Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Device performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Real-time alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool designed for for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for growing organizations that have up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Cisco's Smartports mechanism, Cisco Network Assistant simplifies setup, deployment, and ongoing administration and support of Cisco networks. The application offers a centralized system view and permits IT managers to deploy its functions among Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and security policies for Cisco firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. The solution effectively handles even small networks with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control enterprise networks composed of thousands of appliances. Expansion is enabled through smart policy-based management techniques that can streamline administration. Key features of Security Manager include:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, ASA 5500 family security appliances, PIX security appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: define and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that offer flexible ways to manage appliances and security policies including the option to manage the security network visually on a topology image
  • Extensive video help for the first-time operator to reduce training period
  • Globally specify which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured consistently, at the same time providing optional versatility to customize policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to build a single rule table for all Cisco firewalls with smart evaluation of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet Virtual Private Network links by means of a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based connection management to appliances and administration functions
  • Integration with security MARS system to compare monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to help with quicker management decisions and increased network up time
  • Ability to allocate specific tasks to each administrator during the implementation of a policy, with structured change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to work together as a cohesive group with effective teamwork
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management utilities in combination with an array of powerful third-party programs to create a complete network management toolkit to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, conserve expensive resources, guard your information, recover quickly from hardware failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to scale or repurpose network hardware effectively and economically as your organization grows.

Progent can also show you how to use network management applications to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to configure routers to enforce a variety of throughput restrictions on designated types of processes according to the importance you assign. By buffering and queuing data packets that exceed your committed rates, and by assigning priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep ISP overage penalties from spiraling out of control and/or eliminate lost worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to develop an end-to-end security plan that encompasses your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use advanced network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and repair problems quickly to keep your IT system productive.

To see more details about Progent's professional support for Cisco products, select a topic:

To contact Progent about professional assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.