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Network Management

Network Management

Network management covers the full spectrum of applications, equipment, and processes used in the provisioning, operation, administration, maintenance, and security of the network infrastructure. Network management enables administrators to manage and monitor the network to ensure reliability, availability, and performance while also allowing them to make configuration changes to remediate issues quickly and optimize network health.

To do this, the network administrator uses set processes or workflows to oversee the network correctly. Because workflows are constantly evolving because so many new technologies and connections are being introduced, the administrator needs to keep an up-to-date record of all the devices on the network, develop a protocol to assess how well they work, and manage the lifecycle of all the devices.

This is critically important as outdated devices that haven't been patched or maintained properly can pose an unnecessary security risk.

Network administrators must stay vigilant against emerging threats and vulnerabilities that could compromise the integrity of the network. With cyber threats evolving rapidly, it's essential to implement proactive measures such as regular security audits, vulnerability assessments, and timely patch management to fortify the network against potential attacks. Maintaining clear communication channels with vendors for timely updates and patches is vital to address any known vulnerabilities promptly. By staying proactive and vigilant, network administrators can effectively safeguard the network infrastructure and mitigate the risks associated with outdated devices and security vulnerabilities.

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Do I need Network Management?

Because a network unites anywhere from a few to a few thousand interacting components, network management safeguards against malfunctions, misconfigurations, and failures by allowing for the quick identification and deployment of tools needed to respond to these occurrences. The primary objective of network management is to ensure the network operates as designed to achieve the following business goals:

Network Management Minimizes Disruptions Network disruptions can be expensive to a business as downtime equates to both significant financial loss as well as damage to the business's reputation and customer relationships. The larger the organization, the more quickly those costs can add up. Furthermore, unresponsive and lagging networks build frustration in employees and will drive away existing customers.
Network Management Improves Security Effective network management helps ensure the implementation of best practices and compliance with necessary regulatory requirements. In addition, network management helps to identify and respond to cyber threats before they can impact your employee user experience. Increased network security also heightens network privacy which reassures users of the safe operation of their devices.
Network Management Increases Productivity From monitoring to security, network management covers multiple responsibilities simultaneously. Reducing downtime and network lag increases employee productivity as well as responsiveness to customer inquiries and needs. With effective network management in place, on-site IT staff can focus on other strategic technology initiatives.

Types of Networks

Computer networks scale in size from simple and small to impossibly large and complex based on how many people or devices are connected. For instance, small organizations may only have a couple of devices within the same office while global enterprises may have hundreds or thousands of devices connected across the world.

As a result, the types of networks used depend on the type of connection needed to enable secure and effective communication between all of those devices. Some common types of networks include:

  • LAN or Local Area Network that connects devices in the same local environment. This type of network might be chosen to connect all employee computers within a small office.
  • WLAN or Wireless Local Area Network is similar to a LAN but uses wireless connections which enable employees to utilize wireless devices on the network to improve mobility.
  • VPN or Virtual Private Network is a secure network allowing users to send data that's encrypted. Using a VPN is a great option for remote employees as they enjoy the same security measures that office employees experience within their local network environment.
  • WAN or Wide Area Network enables the connection of devices across large distances in the case of a large enterprise network, for example.

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