Network Management Solutions ConsultantsAn abundance of network management tools from Cisco and third-party vendors underscores the importance and complexity of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management consultants are experienced at helping companies design network management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Syslog, and NetFlow protocols to build effective tools for understanding network utilization and network latency, viewing key router and switch operational metrics, and recognizing traffic patterns, processes, and appliances that use network resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich range of open source and proprietary management tools to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities used by Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management tools can enable organizations to understand existing network utilization and intelligently prepare for downstream traffic increases. Network management utilities can also be used to detect poor or inappropriate utilization of system resources, such as streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can eat up expensive or limited network bandwidth. An efficiently designed network management plan can also help companies to arrive at informed decisions on system enhancements after they appreciate how much system bandwidth actually required at specific times.

Putting an efficient network management solution in place beforehand is vital to prevent severe problems that can be due to DoS attacks and dangerous viruses/Trojans. Such events can leave the network unusable and without appropriate utilities it can be difficult, if not practically impossible, to discover the location of the problem.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco offers a variety of effective utilities that should form the foundation for any management strategy. Utilized in conjunction with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can improve the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by addressing key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, resilience, protection, troubleshooting, and capacity planning. Cisco's most familiar network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that lets you set up and operate the software built into network appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the adaptive security device, and enables you to configure, track, and manage the device.

Monitor Manager is a management application designed to address the requirements of small and midsize companies. Monitor Manager continuously scans key device parameters on voice/data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with as many as 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date monitoring of key device parameters on SMB-class routers and switches, Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security devices, WAPs, and VoIP phones
  • Compatibility with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for organizations with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager tracks the system on a 24x7 basis and frequently polls and collects inventory and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is completely transparent to system operations and does not deploy any agent software on managed devices. Cisco Monitor Manager provides a variety of useful features including:
  • Voice and data network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Cisco Unified Communications deployment
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Highly secure and dependable communication
  • Cisco device operations monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Immediate alarms and event notification
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a PC-based management tool optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, the application simplifies setup, installation, and ongoing management and maintenance of Cisco networks. The application provides a unified network view and allows network managers to deploy its features across switches, routers, and WAPs.

Security Manager is a powerful but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all aspects of appliance configuration and policies for firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. The solution efficiently manages even small environments with fewer than ten devices, but also expands to manage large-scale networks composed of thousands of Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch services modules. Expansion is achieved through intelligent policy-based management procedures that can simplify administration. Highlights of Security Manager are:

  • Supports provisioning for Cisco routers configured with an IOS security software image, Cisco ASA 5500 firewalls, PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 security services modules
  • Reacts more quickly to threats: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of appliances in a few easy steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • Multiple looks that provide flexible methods to control appliances and security policies such as the ability to manage the security environment visually on a system topology image
  • Comprehensive video help for the novice operator to reduce learning time
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by new appliances to ensure company-wide policies are configured consistently, while offering optional flexibility to customize policies at the local device level
  • Capability to create a common rule database for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule base
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet Virtual Private Network interfaces with a few mouse clicks
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection management to devices and management services
  • Operation with security MARS to associate events against related security appliance rules to help with quicker management decisions and enhanced network availability
  • Ability to allocate particular jobs to each manager in the course of the deployment of a policy, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and network operations staff to work cooperatively as a cohesive group with effective coordination
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can show you how to use Cisco's management tools alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a comprehensive management strategy to keep your network operating dependably, consolidate expensive resources, protect your information, recover rapidly from hardware failure or malicious attacks, and allow you to expand or repurpose network hardware effectively and affordably as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management utilities to monitor and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to enforce different bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of processes according to the priorities you assign. By storing and sorting data packets that exceed your committed rates, and by giving priority to the most important applications, traffic shaping can keep ISP excess usage charges from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost worker productivity resulting from indiscriminate enforcement of your network traffic volume limits during peak use.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can assist you to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified engineers can use advanced network management technology to isolate and fix trouble quickly to keep your network in business.

To find out additional information concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

To get in touch with Progent about professional assistance for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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