Cisco Network Management Solutions Consulting and Support ServicesA wealth of network management tools from Cisco and third-party suppliers highlights the value and complexity of network management. Progent's seasoned network management engineers are expert at assisting companies design management solutions based on SNMP, Syslog, and Cisco IOS NetFlow to build effective tools for tracking network utilization and network latency, monitoring key router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic profiles, processes, and devices utilizing network services.

Progent can help businesses to utilize a broad selection of open source and license-based monitoring and management tools to maintain a Cisco-powered environment. Tools used by Progent's engineers include Cacti, Nagios, Paessler Router Traffic Grapher, Cisco Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager, Cisco Monitor Manager, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can allow organizations to understand existing system utilization and effectively plan for downstream traffic increases. Management tools can also be deployed to highlight poor or improper utilization of network services, for example streaming multimedia, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up valuable or scarce network resources. A carefully designed network management strategy can also enable companies to arrive at informed choices on system improvements after they appreciate the amount of network resources historically needed at various times.

Putting an effective network management system in operation in advance is critical to avoid major disruptions that can result from DoS attacks and dangerous viruses. These events can render the network unstable and in the absence of appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the source of the problem.

Network Management Tools from Cisco
Cisco has created a variety of effective utilities that should be the foundation for any network management strategy. Utilized in combination with the top outside vendor products, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for companies of any size by improving key areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, security, repair, and scalability. Cisco's top network management products include:

Cisco ASDM is a browser-based Java applet that lets you configure and monitor the management utilities on security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the Cisco device, and enables you to set up, track, and manage the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a comprehensive management solution designed to handle the needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Monitor Manager actively tracks key appliance processes on voice and data environments serving five to 250 users and with as many as 250 VoIP phones. Cisco Monitor Manager offers:

  • Real-time scanning of important appliance processes on small and midsize business-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, access points, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 appliance for businesses with up to 50 users
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the system on a round-the-clock cycle and frequently polls and gathers inventory and operations-tracking information from the monitored appliances in the system. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based utility and is entirely nondisruptive to IT processes and does not deploy any agent software on target appliances. Monitor Manager provides a variety of valuable features and benefits such as:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Unified Communications implementation
  • System wide device identification collection and reporting
  • Advanced security and dependable operation
  • Appliance performance monitoring
  • Cisco Unified IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Setup log

Cisco Network Assistant is a PC-based management application optimized for LANs and WLANS for growing organizations that have as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By utilizing Smartports, the application streamlines configuration, installation, and continuing management and maintenance of Cisco-powered environments. The application offers a unified network view and allows network administrators to deploy its functions across Cisco switches, routers, and wireless access points.

Cisco Security Manager is a highly functional but simple to operate application for managing all facets of device configuration and policies for firewalls, virtual private networks, and Intrusion Prevention Systems. Security Manager efficiently handles even small environments with no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled via smart policy-driven management techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager are:

  • Allows provisioning for Cisco router platforms configured with a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 firewalls, PIX security appliances, IPS 4200 family sensors, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and assign updated policies to thousands of appliances in a few simple steps
  • Rich graphical user interface provides superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of looks that provide flexible ways to manage appliances and policies such as the option to manage the security network graphically on a topology map
  • Comprehensive video training for the new operator to speed up learning time
  • Centrally call out which policies are common and inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are configured regularly, at the same time providing optional flexibility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to create a common firewall rule database for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly set up location-to-location, hub-and-spoke, full-mesh IPsec, or extranet VPN links with a VPN wizard
  • Integration with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for low-level role based connection management to devices and management functions
  • Operation with security MARS system to associate monitored data against related firewall rules to promote faster management decisions and enhanced network up time
  • Ability to assign particular tasks to each administrator during the implementation of a policy, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and network operations team to act cooperatively as a single group with effective coordination
How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Certified network consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's management tools in combination with a variety of effective open source and proprietary programs to develop a complete management solution to keep your infrastructure operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, protect your information, recover rapidly from equipment failure or deliberates attacks, and enable you to expand or reassign system hardware intelligently and economically as your business evolves.

Progent can also assist you to use network management applications to analyze and categorize network data to enable traffic shaping, which allows you to set up Cisco routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on designated classes of activity according to the priorities you assign. By buffering and sorting excess packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by giving priority to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage penalties from spinning out of control and/or avoid lost productivity caused by brute force policing of your network traffic volume restrictions during peak use.

Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can help you to create a comprehensive security strategy that incorporates your network management processes, and Progent's remote and on-site network specialists and Cisco CCIE-certified consultants can use advanced network management tools to isolate and repair trouble rapidly to keep your network in business.

For more information about Progent's professional support for Cisco solutions, choose a subject:

In order to ask Progent about consulting assistance for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.