Network management seeks to cover the methods, procedures, and tools that are required to operate, maintain, and administrate networks successfully. Network management tools consist of software and hardware products that are designed to aid the network system administrators in effectively managing the enterprise network. Some of the network operations include:
- Troubleshooting outages
- Monitoring of the network traffic
- Maintenance of network security
It is crucial to understand the basic components of your network management so that you can make sober and proper decisions on what you need and how to keep your business enterprise running smoothly. A well-functioning network management system should save the user’s time and be reliable.
What Is a Network?
The collection of devices connected to your business can be referred to as networks. A network is any device that is connected to the internet and is used for work purposes. Compared to the initial network that mostly referred to computers, current networks have become diverse, with many features.
Network complexity grows when a computer network transitions from a handful of machines to thousands of connected devices. Your network is composed of any device that is able to communicate with other devices together with the device that facilitates their communication. If you have devices connected to the internet that are also part of your work, you should connect them to your network to ensure their security.
Network monitoring is an essential element in successful network management, regardless of the size of your business. Network monitoring services help your business solve potential issues before they escalate and become bigger problems. Network monitoring involves using a system to constantly monitor a computer network for any failures or slowness and notify the network administrator to make the relevant adjustments.
With the network monitoring software market containing many monitoring tools, settling on the best monitoring service can be challenging. Before launching a network management system, ensure you have the required tools and relevant information pertaining network management system to make your easier and the overall launching process a success. Some of the best network monitoring tools include:
- ManageEngine OpManager
This is a tool that monitors switches, servers, and other virtualized network services.
It is a wide monitoring service that runs on a physical appliance or a Linux and is available in the free and paid versions.
Domotz is a SaaS platform that offers a range of network monitoring services from security scanning to SNMP and ensures all your network components are safe from potential risks.
How Does Network Management Operate?
Network management encompasses different aspects that ensure it works in the manner it should. These aspects include the following.
It covers the inventory and addition of network resources like switches, routers, servers, computers, and cables. Network administration also involves setting up network operating systems, management tools, and network software responsible for running the whole network and ensuring effective operation.
This ensures the configuration of network resources so that they can support a variety of services, including voice functions and other additional users. Network provisioning involves configuring and allocating resources so that they can be in line with the needs and wants of the organization.
Network security comes in handy in detecting and preventing security breaches capable of threatening the functionality of your network management. Moreover, it also ensures the maintenance of activity logs that are found on switches and routers. In case of a detected violation, the logs and network management resources help easily identify the offender.
Also, network security covers installations and effective maintenance of network protection software monitoring network behavior, tracking of endpoint devices, and the identification of unusual IP addresses.
Network automation seeks to level up responsiveness to known issues and reduce their cost. Network automation facilitates updating network device configurations and automatically provides reports on the automation status.
This addresses network upgrades, fixes, and repairs necessary in network resources, including transmission cables, servers, workstations, and routers. Network maintenance is made up of proactive and remedial activities that network administrators handle. These proactive activities range from updating access control, improving deice configurations, and replacing routers and switches.
Network Management Protocol
A network management protocol is a suite of network protocols responsible for the definition of procedures and policies for network management, maintenance, and the monitoring of a computer network. When the network protocols are executed, they give information on the status of a host network concerning the network latency, data loss, network errors, and other relevant information. A human network manager expert uses the network management protocol to troubleshoot and evaluate connections between a client device and the host. Some popular network management protocols include Simple Network Management protocols and Internet Control Message protocols.
Importance of Network Management
Your productivity levels can be affected if you are working with an outdated network management system. The easiest way to check your network capabilities is through regular and constant network maintenance. Through the management and maintenance administered by network specialists, you’re certain of achieving better results and giving your team the chance to stay ahead of potential setbacks and avoid problems that may alter productivity levels.
Business network scholars have commenced adopting an “ecosystem” approach to help in describing the co-evolution of contemporary enterprises and the increasing interdependence in innovation activities. Some of the importance of an effective network management system include:
- Virus and Malware Prevention
Your network security should work toward repelling threats and minimizing the chances of future attacks occurring. The management system should alert you and prepare you to tackle oncoming dangers that may threaten the functionality and existence of your network’s business. As a network expert and enthusiast, you should never let a preventable issue threaten your availability and operations.
- System Updates
You should ensure constant updates of your network systems, which guarantees you optimal performance and helps you save on the costs that could have been to make large repairs. When you constantly update your systems, you put your network in a better position to fight off future threats and increase productivity levels. A computer-optimized for modern usage is far better than one containing analog information and systems.
- Threat Detection
Due to harmful external agents, your network may be susceptible to threats that may affect its functionality and operation. A stable network can only detect threats like phishing and viruses, and the earlier they are detected, the easier it becomes to maneuver through danger. Staying ahead of threats helps you have a fully functioning and secure network.
- Maximum Efficiency
Constant network maintenance assures you of smooth IT operation and gives you the satisfaction that all the programs are operating as required. It does not matter how long your network operating system has been in service. You have a reason to be worried if your network is not accommodating your needs regarding speed, data storage, and accessibility. If that is the case, you need to consult the services of a professional and get the network operation system restored.
- Network Visibility
Network management provides visibility into the different components that make up the network and helps you monitor your progress since the launching date.
- Cost Control
With the technology innovations proving to be so costly, a network management system ensures you cut costs by seeing that all the operations are conducted in the required manner and augmenting your internal efforts.
Challenges Associated with Network Management
The success of your network management entirely depends on the understanding you have of your business needs and your solid planning. However, a few setbacks may threaten the functionality of your network management system. These include:
- Hybrid and Cloud Deployments
Modern digitized organizations use a mix of cloud services and on-premises services. The ability to control and put both network types under normal operation can challenge the organization.
- Ephemeral IP Addresses
In traditional times, the identification of users and modern devices was made through an IP address. The virtualized forms and computer-based applications require incorporating elastic IP addresses and ephemerals, which may pose a challenge.
- Multisite Network Administration
In network management, larger network operating systems span virtual deployments, which may be multiple and physical and which may prove to be a challenge to the user and network administrator.
Types of Network
Computer networks may be large or small but are still important regardless of the connected devices or the number of people using them. However, the size of a computer network usually indicates the type of network one is using. Smaller business enterprises can use a few devices located in the same office suite, but larger enterprises may need to have thousands of devices in different locations to enhance connectivity. These network types include:
This is a Local Area Network that helps connect devices found in the same proximity. The LAN network is ideal if your enterprise has employees in the same office suite.
WAN is a Wide Area Network that allows for connecting devices in a large area.
A Virtual Private Network offers options for sending safe encrypted data. VPN also allows members to operate remotely using the same security system that they would have used on a private or local network.
This Wireless Local Area Network operates similarly to LAN but uses wireless connectivity features. These wireless features are convenient in workplaces because they promote mobility in the workstation.
Characteristics of a Modern Network Management System
A modern network management system is digitized and contains interesting, advanced features. Some of the characteristics of modern network management systems include:
Network assurance features enhance user experience, security, and the network’s overall performance. These features are an important inclusion in modern network management systems and use application analytics, policy analytics, and network analytics, not forgetting AI and ML, which contributes to achieving complete network assurance.
Network automation is the process of automating the managing, configuring, testing, and effective operation of virtual and physical devices found within the network. When the daily network functions and tasks are automated, there is an improvement in the quality of network services, ensuring that repetitive procedures are managed and controlled as they should.
This software engine comes up with functional decisions that are important in upgrading the network’s performance. The engine compares preprogrammed operation models with the incoming data.
Functional Areas in Network Management
Network management contains five function areas, which the International Organization for Standardization designs. These areas include:
- Configuration Management: It is the process of maintaining devices and monitoring network configurations. These configurations need to be monitored because they change with new updates and programs.
- Security Management
- Accounting Management: Accounting management can also be referred to as administration and constitutes granting authority or access to relevant users.
- Performance Management: It keeps track of the available networks and devices and how they perform. Devices that portray slowness in operation could indicate a problem and the need for making updates.
- Fault Management: It identifies the errors present in the system and fixes them for regular operation. The fault management process includes identifying the problem, identifying the source of the problem, fixing it, and documentation.
Network management involves the provision, security, configuration, and measurement practices used by network operation teams to sustain efficiency in the company’s network infrastructure.
If you are an internal IT team, you urgently need to invest in network management services for stable network management. There are cloud-based network systems and on-premises systems. Compared to on-premises systems, cloud-based systems require low startup costs for users because they don’t require local servers to operate. Furthermore, they offer easy access to IT teams and enhance IT agility. On the other hand, on-premises systems offer increased performance for large campus networks, especially when components such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are involved.
However, on-premises systems are not the same caliber as cloud-based servers, as a VPN connection is needed to access the servers remotely. For more information, contact us or visit our website.