Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and other suppliers underscores the value and difficulty of supporting IT infrastructure. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design network management solutions based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build effective tools for network utilization and latency, monitoring important router and switch performance characteristics, and recognizing traffic profiles, applications, and devices that use network services.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad range of free and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage Cisco infrastructure. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow IT administrators to understand existing network usage and effectively prepare for future capacity expansion. Management utilities can also be deployed to highlight inefficient or inappropriate uses of network resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can waste expensive and scarce network resources. A carefully crafted network management solution can also assist companies to make intelligent choices on network upgrades once they understand the amount of system resources historically needed at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management platform in place beforehand is vital to prevent major disruptions that can follow Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses. These assaults can render the network unusable and in the absence of proper tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to find the source of the trouble.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has developed a selection of powerful utilities that should form the basis for any management solution. Utilized in conjunction with the top third-party products, Cisco's network management software can improve the competitive value of network infrastructures for companies of any size by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, resilience, protection, repair, and capacity planning. Cisco's most popular network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that allows you to configure and operate the management utilities built into security appliances. Cisco ASDM is loaded by the Cisco device, and allows you to set up, track, and control the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution designed for the requirements of small and medium-sized companies. Cisco Monitor Manager continuously checks key device processes on voice and data networks used by five to 250 workers and equipped with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of important device processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock cycle and periodically polls and gathers identification and operations-monitoring data from the monitored devices in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely transparent to system processes and does not deploy any agent on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of valuable features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and reliable communication
  • Cisco device operations monitoring
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alerts and notifications
  • Documentation
  • Configuration archive

Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations with up to 40 switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports technology, the application simplifies configuration, installation, and continuing administration and support of Cisco networks. Cisco Network Assistant provides a centralized system view and permits IT administrators to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for centrally provisioning all facets of appliance set up and security policies for firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager effectively manages even small networks with no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage large-scale networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is achieved through intelligent policy-driven management techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Key features of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: define and apply updated policies to many hundreds of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide versatile methods to control appliances and security policies such as the option to administer the security environment visually on a topology image
  • Comprehensive animated training for the novice operator to accelerate learning period
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to ensure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering sufficient flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a common rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN interfaces by means of a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for granular role based connection control to devices and administration functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to correlate events against corresponding security appliance rules to help with faster decision making and increased network up time
  • Ability to assign particular tasks to every manager in the course of the implementation of a rule, with structured change management and tracking; permits the security and systems operations team to act in sync as a single unit with efficient teamwork
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Premier network engineers can assist you to use Cisco's management tools alongside a variety of powerful open source and proprietary programs to create a complete network management solution to keep your infrastructure functioning dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or deliberates attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign network hardware intelligently and affordably as your company evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to monitor and classify network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up routers to enforce different throughput constraints on designated types of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and queuing excess packets above your contracted rates, and by assigning priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep Internet Service Provider excess usage charges from spinning out of reach and/or eliminate gaps in worker productivity caused by brute force enforcement of your network bandwidth limits during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can show you how to develop an end-to-end security strategy that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-premises support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use the latest network monitoring and analysis technology to isolate and remediate problems quickly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

To see additional information about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:

In order to ask Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.