Network Management Solutions EngineersAn abundance of network management products from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the value and complexity of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting businesses design management strategies based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco NetFlow to build effective mechanisms for tracking network bandwidth usage and latency, monitoring important router and switch operational characteristics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and devices that use network resources.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad range of free and license-based monitoring and management tools to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Tools familiar to Progent's consultants include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Advent and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to understand current network utilization and effectively plan for future traffic expansion. Management tools can also be deployed to detect inefficient or improper uses of network resources, such as streaming video, peer-to-peer sharing, etc. that can use up expensive or scarce network resources. An efficiently designed network management solution can also help organizations to arrive at informed choices on wide and local area network improvements once they appreciate how much network resources really needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management system in place ahead of time is critical to avoid major disruptions that can result from Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can render the network unusable and without proper utilities it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to find the location of the trouble.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco has developed an assortment of powerful utilities that should be the foundation for any management strategy. Used in combination with appropriate outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management offerings can improve the business value of networks for companies of all sizes by helping with important areas such as system utilization, throughput, resilience, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a browser-based Java applet that permits you configure and monitor the software on security appliances. ASDM is loaded by the adaptive security appliance, and enables you to configure, monitor, and manage the unit.

Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to address the requirements of small and midsize companies. Monitor Manager continuously checks key appliance parameters on voice and data environments serving five to 250 workers and with up to 250 Voice over IP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager provides:

  • Real-time monitoring of important appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers, switches, and voice gateways, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and Cisco Unified IP Phones
  • Support for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series communications appliance for companies with as many as 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager scans the network on a 24x7 basis and periodically touches and gathers identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Microsoft Windows-based utility and is entirely invisible to IT processes and does not deploy any agent on target appliances. Cisco Monitor Manager offers a rich set of useful features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and service level looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide inventory collection and documentation
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Device performance monitoring
  • VoIP Telephony monitoring
  • Connection status and traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based network management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for expanding organizations with up to 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, Network Assistant simplifies configuration, deployment, and continuing administration and support of Cisco-powered environments. Cisco Network Assistant offers a centralized system view and allows network managers to employ its features among Cisco switches, routers, and access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use solution for managing all facets of appliance set up and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, virtual private networks (VPNs), and IPS. The solution efficiently manages even small environments with fewer than ten appliances, but also expands to control enterprise networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled via intelligent policy-based management techniques that can simplify administrative overhead. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Allows control of Cisco routers running an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 security appliances, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign new security policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide versatile methods to control appliances and security policies including the ability to manage the security environment graphically on a topology map
  • Comprehensive animated help for the first-time operator to accelerate training period
  • Centrally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure corporate policies are implemented consistently, at the same time offering optional versatility to customize policies at the individual appliance level
  • Capability to build a common firewall rule table for Cisco platforms with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Easily set up site-to-site, hub-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco ACS for low-level role based access management to appliances and administration functions
  • Integration with Cisco security MARS to compare monitored data with corresponding security appliance rules to enable quicker decision making and increased system up time
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to every administrator in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations team to work cooperatively as a single unit with efficient coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can assist you to use Cisco's management utilities alongside an array of powerful third-party programs to create a comprehensive management strategy to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, conserve valuable resources, protect your data, recover rapidly from equipment breakdowns or malicious attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign network resources intelligently and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also assist you to utilize network management tools to monitor and categorize system data to enable traffic shaping, which permits you to configure Cisco routers to impose a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the priorities you specify. By buffering and queuing data packets above your contracted volume, and by assigning preference to critical applications, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage charges from spinning out of control and/or eliminate gaps in productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can assist you to develop an end-to-end security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-premises network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can utilize the latest network monitoring and analysis tools to identify and fix problems rapidly to keep your IT system in business.

To learn more information about Progent's professional help for Cisco solutions, pick a topic:

To get in touch with Progent about technical help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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