Anyone with an office in the modern age will depend on a network of some kind. Whether you are a small enterprise or a larger company, you’re likely dependent on technology. But what happens when something goes wrong with that network? Do you know how to keep track of its different components and areas?
Corporate networking can be complicated. However, managing it properly is vital to make sure that you are hitting your KPIs. It’s also crucial to make sure you are providing the best possible service to your customers.
With that in mind, what exactly is network management? How can you manage your own networking for the better? In this guide, we will break down some basics for you.
What Exactly is a Network Management Software?
According to James D McCabe, network management software is the monitoring of resources. McCabe advises that it is all about bringing function to the different parts of a network. That may include different controls, co-ordination planning, and allocation.
It all adds up to maintaining a working infrastructure. It is simple to assume that you can just leave your network to run on its own. However, even with the most advanced technology available, careful management is still necessary.
It is easy to see how important network management is, based on a few stats and figures. The market for management is set to explode by the mid-20s. From a market value of $7 billion in 2019, we will likely see this increase to $11 billion by 2024.
Put simply; network management is an efficient way to make sure all your hardware and software is working correctly. However, it is not always so easy to manage a network on your own.
What are the Different Components of a Network Management Software?
As you might imagine, network management covers a broad scope. Consider all the essential features and pieces of hardware in your network. The best software is going to need to look after it all.
Let’s consider some areas network management tools cover:
Security is essential for all businesses in the modern age. Therefore, network security, which may include a firewall or malware protection, is crucial.
In fact, security management is one of the most popular network operation standards. By 2015, we were already spending $1 billion on corporate firewall resources. Thankfully, big business seems to care about security.
Efficient network security management can learn to spot and adapt to threats. Instead of having to manually spot and remedy problems, software can react to them on your behalf. With regular updates, network management tools will always know what to look for.
Network security can also cover privacy concerns as well as regulations. Running security management through network administration is simple and takes many legitimate worries off your plate. You’ll need to do more than install an antivirus suite.
Of course, managing and monitoring your network also helps to ensure everything is working as it should. Network operation, as it is sometimes known, may involve checking regular activities. It may also involve teaching software how to react to specific scenarios.
Network maintenance includes making sure that your components are performing as efficiently as possible. Can you be sure that your maintenance plans are working? Let’s look at this in a slightly different way.
Is your LAN working efficiently enough? Can your network handle numerous users at once? Is it able to process commands quickly during high-traffic periods?
Operation maintenance is rather like checking your network’s health. With software running checks for you, there is no need for you to check everything yourself. That is why using a scalable and flexible network management suite is so important.
When it’s time to upgrade your network, what do you do? The best thing to do is to plan ahead. This doesn’t just cover budgeting, but for practicality, too.
Upgrading a network can be complicated. Whether you add additional capacity for more users or enhance your speed, you need to take care. Network provisioning gives you an insight into how you can change and upgrade safely.
It’s important to know that provisioning doesn’t just mean upgrading. It also refers to changing the way your network runs. For example, to bring in new functions and hardware, you may simply need to change a few components around.
Network management software will show you how and where it is easiest for you to do this. The best network management software will also advise you if your upgrade is practical or even feasible.
How do you measure how your network performs? It seems easy to check your efficiency from PC to PC. However, performance management is not so simple when you have hundreds of different components. That is, of course, unless you have a suite or management software to assist you.
Analytics is a big word, as it covers plenty of bases. You could analyze regular network traffic. You could also choose to analyze performance uptime for specific devices. This side of network management could tell you which tools and facilities are working and which aren’t.
Network performance analysis will differ from software to software when it comes to what’s available. Therefore, a good idea is to either look for software with all the tools you need or customizable.
Scalable, customizable analytics may help you understand more clearly where things go wrong. They may also help you make bigger budget decisions.
Why is Network Management Important?
Think of your network to be a bit like your own body. To be able to do everything you want, you are going to need to feel healthy. For a long life, you will need to keep your body and your intake in check.
The same applies to your network. Network management is all about keeping your hardware and software working together, efficiently, and productively. In the years gone by, it was challenging to manage bigger networks by hand.
That’s one reason why network management software has exploded in the past few years. Technology is advancing. Customer service expectations are growing more flexible. Therefore, your network needs to be ready to react.
Network management can help you to automate maintenance and checks. You can set alerts and routines to make sure everything is working efficiently. There may be less and less need for you to intervene physically.
In the modern age, consistent performance is key. Whether you achieve this with artificial intelligence or automated services is up to you. What matters is that you keep an eye on how each piece of your network performs. Each part is crucial to a bigger puzzle and your overall performance.