Cisco Network Management Solutions ConsultingA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and third-party vendors highlights the importance and difficulty of network management. Progent's Cisco-certified network management engineers are expert at helping businesses develop management strategies utilizing on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and NetFlow protocols to build powerful tools for network utilization and latency, monitoring important router and switch performance metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, applications, and appliances utilizing available resources.

Progent can help customers to utilize a rich selection of open source and license-based management utilities to maintain a Cisco network. Tools familiar to Progent's engineers include MRTG, Cacti, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Cisco ASDM, Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, AlterPoint DeviceAuthority, Adventnet Netflow and Firewall Analyzer, Solarwinds Orion, and NetMRI.

Network management platforms can help IT administrators to understand existing network utilization and effectively prepare for downstream capacity increases. Network management utilities can also be deployed to identify poor or inappropriate utilization of system resources, such as streaming audio and video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up expensive or scarce network resources. An efficiently designed network management plan can also help businesses to arrive at intelligent decisions on system improvements after they understand the amount of network bandwidth actually needed at specific times.

Having an efficient network management platform in operation beforehand is essential to avoid major problems that can follow Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such assaults can leave the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible, to discover the source of the trouble.

Network Management Solutions from Cisco
Cisco provides an assortment of powerful utilities that should form the foundation for any management solution. Utilized in combination with appropriate outside vendor applications, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of networks for companies of any size by addressing important areas such as resource utilization, throughput, availability, protection, repair, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is a web utility that lets you set up and monitor the management utilities on security appliances. Adaptive Security Device Manager is installed by the network device, and enables you to configure, track, and control the unit.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution designed to address the requirements of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cisco Monitor Manager continuously scans key device processes on voice and data networks serving five to 250 users and equipped with up to 250 VoIP phones. The application provides:

  • Real-time scanning of key appliance processes on Cisco SMB-class routers and switches, Cisco Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Express, security appliances, WAPs, and IP phones
  • Compatibility with the Unified Communications 500 communications appliance for businesses with as many as 50 users
Monitor Manager monitors the system on a 24x7 cycle and frequently polls and collects inventory and operations-tracking information from the managed devices in the network. Cisco Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is completely transparent to IT operations and does not use any agent on target devices. The application provides a rich set of valuable features including:
  • Network discovery and physical topology
  • Device and process views of Unified Communications deployment
  • Networkwide device identification collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Cisco device operations tracking
  • IP Telephony tracking
  • Interface status and data traffic monitoring
  • Real-time alarms and notices
  • Documentation
  • Configuration log

Network Assistant is a desktop-based management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding businesses that have as many as 40 switches and routers. By running Smartports, Cisco Network Assistant streamlines setup, deployment, and ongoing management and support of Cisco networks. Network Assistant offers a unified system view and permits IT managers to employ 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 set up and security policies for Cisco firewalls, VPNs, and IPS. Cisco Security Manager effectively manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise networks with thousands of routers, switches, and firewalls. Scalability is enabled through smart policy-driven management procedures that can streamline administration. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Allows control of Cisco router platforms running a Cisco IOS security image, Cisco ASA 5500 adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 family security modules
  • Reacts more quickly to attacks: specify and apply new security policies to many hundreds of appliances in just a few steps
  • Intuitive graphical user interface provides exceptional ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide versatile ways to control devices and policies including the ability to manage the security network graphically on a system topology image
  • Extensive animated help for the first-time operator to speed up training period
  • Globally specify which policies are common and automatically inherited by additional devices to ensure company-wide policies are implemented regularly, at the same time providing optional versatility to modify policies at the individual device level
  • Capability to build a common firewall rule table for all Cisco firewalls with intelligent evaluation of firewall policies to detect conflicts in the rule table
  • Quickly configure site-to-site, hub-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN connections 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 to compare events against related firewall rules to help with faster decision making and increased system availability
  • Capability to assign specific jobs to each manager during the deployment of a policy, with structured change management and logging; allows the security and systems operations staff to act in sync as a single group with efficient teamwork
How Progent Can Help You with Network Management
Progent's Cisco-Certified network management consultants can help you to utilize Cisco's network management utilities alongside an array of effective open source and proprietary applications to develop a comprehensive management solution to keep your infrastructure running smoothly, conserve valuable resources, secure your data, recover rapidly from hardware failure or deliberates assaults, and allow you to expand or reassign network hardware effectively and affordably as your organization evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management applications to monitor and classify system data to implement traffic shaping, which allows you to configure Cisco routers to enforce a variety of bandwidth restrictions on certain classes of processes based on the importance you specify. By storing and queuing data packets that exceed your contracted volume, and by giving preference to business-critical processes, traffic shaping can prevent service provider excess usage charges from spiraling out of control and/or avoid lost productivity resulting from brute force policing of your network traffic volume limits during periods of heavy demand.

Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can show you how to develop an end-to-end security plan that incorporates your network management solution, and Progent's remote and in person support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified engineers can use the latest network management technology to identify and remediate problems rapidly to keep your network productive.

For additional details concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:

To contact Progent about professional support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.



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