By: Satish Kumar V, Country Head at DMX India
In the age of cloud, distributed computing, Internet of Things and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), network management is getting complex than ever
Today, network management has become more than just inspecting the online availability of routers and switches. It typically involves a variety of devices such as PCs, workstations, file servers, printers, routers, hubs, firewalls, etc. Because networks these days can stretch across numerous physical sites and involve thousands of users and devices, effective network management has become a challenge for the managers. Network administrators are looking for the best solution/tool that can rewrite the rules of network management to deal with the dizzying array of technology and workplace trends.
There can be numerous whys and wherefores for a network administrator to look for an end-to-end network management tool. Out of those, following are some reasons that can explain the need and inevitability of network management in an organisation:
Monitors Around the Clock
Monitoring each and every device manually of networks is a hectic task. Reporting of network issues physically to the helpdesk and taking remedial action is the reactive approach. In contrast, a network management system may independently monitor the network proactively to detect faults on its own. When faults are detected, the network management system records it and may either take action on its own or alert the appropriate personnel who then decide what to do. This round the clock monitoring ensures that the IT staff is in the know of potential issues on the horizon, minimizing the impact on the users.
Tracks Changing Network Requirement
The networks are dynamic and keep changing every now and then with the changing and growing needs of organizations. The devices in the network are altered. They are either frequently added or old devices are replaced with newer ones. As more and more machines are added into the LAN, the LAN is often broken into segments which are connected by routers. Thus, keeping track of the altering network necessitates the use of sophisticated network management tools.
Supports Multi-vendor Collaboration
The devices on the network could be manufactured by different vendors and as a result, even the characteristics of similar devices could be widely different. Network management tools come with multi-vendor support simplifying the network component heterogeneity. Thus, it helps to maintain uniformity in the network with a cost-effective and flexible approach.
Minimizes Security Risks
Network security is of utmost importance for a network administrator. The network management system aids the task of enforcing network security to protect the company’s data from the increasing number of data breaches and hacking incidents. The company can establish a system of monitoring the devices and the device used, which would help them identify threats and patters that can be cause for concern.
Maintaining historical data of past network problems and the reasons for their occurrence can be useful in future planning. It can give in-depth insight retaining the performance of a network management system. For example, if a certain device seems to fail often, the IT team may decide to replace all such devices with an equivalent device from a different vendor.
Tracks Network and Component Failure
Reliability of network components is another imperative factor for better network management tools. Normally, large-scale or highly complex networks are built using communication links that traverse long distances. These communication links may fail due to hostile factors such as adverse weather conditions, accidental cable severing, hardware component failure or even machine crash due to error in operating system, etc. Whatsoever is the reason, tracking and rectifying the letdowns in the network and its components are vital.
With network management tools, organizations can also actively monitor and track the network functionality and get alerts instantly, ensuring uncompromised stability in the network. Thus, Network monitoring solutions are the invisible team members who keep you in the know.
The ability to access the network management system remotely is what an admin would always wish for. The network administrator may not always be able to access the network management system from its primary console; rather it is always useful to permit access from different locations, perhaps even from home. Thus, network management comes with concepts that not only facilitates centralized remote management of devices, but also interfaces that provide device specific view.
The adoption of integrated network management helps in constant monitoring of the components— detects faults, generates alerts for data security and allows remote access to the devices, thereby leads to less administrative headaches, and better data leverage with total cost of ownership benefits. Thus, makes network management system an easy, flexible and most importantly the right choice for safeguarding and promoting network performances.