Network management is essentially the process of setting up, administering, maintaining, securing, and troubleshooting a network. At some level, all network devices require some management. Even the most simple devices have physical management needs as they are commissioned and connected to a power supply. But most devices need some form of configuration to tell them what role they are to play in the network and precisely how to behave.
Network Administrators must approach network management with an effective strategy and a suite of tools to allow you to do everything in one place. In this way, you have a better overall picture of your network, which makes it easier to track performance issues, spot security issues as soon as they arise, and perform more network-wide tasks automatically, rather than addressing each device individually. This reduces the downtime or potential downtime for your network, which maximizes the use of your time.
There are a number of things you need to do to manage your network effectively
Know Your Network
Understanding how your network normally behaves can help you to quickly spot any abnormalities or issues, which will help you to resolve them faster. Having clear baselines in your network management software can also help you to set appropriate alerts for when something goes beyond the normal range of expected behavior.
Appropriate Escalation Protocols
The next step when a problem arises is to make sure the right person is notified of and aware of the issue. Having one person responsible for security, another for firewalls, and another for systems or virtualization can help to speed up the resolution in each of these areas.
Make sure whatever network monitoring or management software you’re using can provide information and troubleshooting at each layer of the network (e.g., physical cables, IP address issues, transport protocol issues, etc.). This allows issues to be resolved quickly.
When you use network management and monitoring software, it’s normally installed on the network you are managing. This means when a problem with the network arises, the network management system can go down, too. The network should be structured in such a way the server or point at which the monitoring system is installed is accessible even in the event of a major network failure in another part of the network.
Appropriate Growth Planning
When you set up a network for your organization, always plan for it to grow. If you haven’t planned for the network capacity to increase, you’ll run into problems later when you try to expand the network. Use monitoring systems to ensure your network is running well within the capacity and look at components that may need to be extended in the near-term future.