Cisco Network Management Solutions ConsultantsA wealth of network management utilities from Cisco and other vendors highlights the value and difficulty of maintaining networks. Progent's seasoned network management consultants are experienced at assisting companies design management strategies based on Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SYSLOG services, and Cisco NetFlow to create effective mechanisms for network bandwidth usage and latency, viewing important router and switch operational metrics, and identifying traffic patterns, processes, and devices utilizing available services.

Progent can help businesses to deploy a broad range of open source and proprietary monitoring and management utilities to manage a Cisco-powered environment. Utilities familiar to Progent's consultants include MRTG, Nagios, PRTG, Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), Cisco Monitor Manager, Cisco Network Assistant, CiscoWorks, Cisco Security Manager, OpenView, Wireshark/Ethereal, Concord E-Health, Adventnet Netflow, Big Brother, Solarwinds Orion, and Necordia NetMRI.

Network management platforms can enable organizations to understand current network utilization and intelligently plan for future traffic increases. Management tools can also be deployed to detect poor or improper uses of system resources, for example streaming video, peer-to-peer file sharing, etc. that can use up expensive or scarce network resources. An efficiently crafted network management plan can also help organizations to arrive at informed choices on WAN and LAN improvements after they recognize the amount of network bandwidth really needed at various times.

Having an effective network management system in place beforehand is critical to avoid severe disruptions that can be due to Denial Of Service attacks and dangerous viruses. Such events can leave the network unstable and without appropriate tools it can be time consuming, and sometimes practically impossible, to identify the location of the problem.

Network Management Products from Cisco
Cisco provides a selection of powerful tools that should form the basis for any management solution. Used in combination with the top outside vendor tools, Cisco's network management software can enhance the business value of network infrastructures for organizations of any size by addressing key areas such as system utilization, performance, availability, security, troubleshooting, and scalability. Cisco's most familiar network management tools include:

Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is a web Java applet that permits you configure and operate the management utilities built into security devices. Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager is loaded by the network device, and allows you to set up, track, and manage the device.

Cisco Monitor Manager is a management solution designed for the needs of small and midsize companies. Cisco Monitor Manager actively monitors important device parameters on voice/data environments serving 5 to 250 workers and with up to 250 IP phones. Monitor Manager provides:

  • Up-to-date scanning of important device processes on SMB-class network appliances, Communications Manager Express, Unity Express, security appliances, wireless access points, and VoIP phones
  • Ability to manage the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series appliance for businesses with as many as 50 workers
Cisco Monitor Manager monitors the network on a 24x7 cycle and frequently touches and collects identification and performance-monitoring information from the monitored appliances in the network. Monitor Manager is a Windows-based application and is entirely invisible to IT operations and does not deploy any agent software on target devices. Monitor Manager offers a variety of useful features and benefits including:
  • Network discovery and topology
  • Device and process looks at Cisco Unified Communications implementation
  • Networkwide inventory collection and documentation
  • Advanced security and dependable communication
  • Device performance tracking
  • IP Telephony monitoring
  • Interface status and data traffic tracking
  • Immediate alarms and notifications
  • Reports
  • Setup log

Network Assistant is a desktop-hosted management tool optimized for wired and wireless LANs (WLANs) for expanding companies with as many as 40 Cisco switches and routers. By using Smartports technology, the application streamlines setup, installation, and continuing management and support of Cisco-powered environments. It provides a centralized network view and allows network managers to employ its features among switches, routers, and WAPs.

Cisco Security Manager is a feature-rich but easy-to-use application for centrally provisioning all facets of device configuration and security policies for Cisco PIX and ASA security appliances, VPNs, and IPS. The solution efficiently manages even small environments consisting of no more than than ten appliances, but also scales to manage enterprise networks composed of thousands of devices. Expansion is enabled via smart policy-driven management techniques that can streamline administrative overhead. Key features of Cisco Security Manager include:

  • Supports control of Cisco routers configured with a Cisco IOS security image, ASA 5500 family adaptive security appliances, Cisco PIX firewalls, Cisco IPS 4200 family inline security appliances, and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series security modules
  • Respond faster. more rapidly to threats: specify and apply new security policies to thousands of devices in a few simple steps
  • Intuitive GUI offers superior ease-of-use
  • A variety of views that provide flexible ways to manage appliances and security policies such as the ability to administer the security network graphically on a system topology map
  • Extensive video help for the new operator to accelerate learning time
  • Globally call out which policies are shared and inherited by new appliances to make sure corporate policies are implemented regularly, while providing sufficient flexibility to modify policies at the individual appliance level
  • Ability to build a common rule table for Cisco firewalls with intelligent analysis of firewall policies to determine conflicts within the rule base
  • Quickly set up site-to-site, hub-and-spoke, full mesh, or extranet VPN interfaces with a few mouse clicks
  • Compatibility with Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) for granular role based access management to devices and management services
  • Integration with security MARS system to compare events with corresponding security appliance rules to enable quicker decision making and enhanced system up time
  • Capability to allocate specific jobs to each manager during the implementation of a rule, with formal change management and logging; permits the security and systems operations team to work cooperatively as a cohesive unit with effective coordination
How Progent Can Assist You with Network Management Solutions
Progent's Cisco-Premier network management engineers can help you to utilize Cisco's network management tools in combination with an array of powerful open source and proprietary programs to create a comprehensive management solution to keep your network operating dependably, conserve expensive resources, secure your data, recover quickly from equipment breakdowns or malicious assaults, and allow you to scale or repurpose system resources effectively and economically as your company evolves.

Progent can also help you to use network management utilities to analyze and categorize network data to implement traffic shaping, which permits you to set up routers to impose different throughput restrictions on certain classes of processes according to the priorities you specify. By storing and sorting excess packets above your committed rates, and by assigning priority to the most important processes, traffic shaping can keep service provider overage penalties from spiraling out of reach and/or avoid gaps in productivity caused by indiscriminate policing of your network bandwidth restrictions during periods of heavy use.

Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can help you to create a comprehensive security plan that encompasses your network management solution, and Progent's remote and on-site support specialists and Cisco CCIE and CNA qualified consultants can use advanced network monitoring and analysis tools to isolate and repair problems rapidly to keep your IT system running smoothly.

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To contact Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.