Ultimate Guide to Network Management in the Enterprise
As a business owner, making sure that your day-to-day operations are running smoothly should be one of your top priorities. For modern businesses, this will also mean taking care of the IT side of your business, especially network management.
When your network is healthy and functioning, it minimizes disruptions and security issues while ensuring optimal day-to-day performance. The thing is, the complexity and size of a business network requires performing a large set of tasks. The manual efforts of a network administrator simply don’t cut it, which is when business owners find themselves trying to find the best network monitoring software for their businesses. Because this can be a tricky task, we’ve come up with the ultimate guide to network management in the enterprise. Let’s take a look.
What is network management?
Network management involves a set of processes aimed at monitoring and maintaining a particular network and everything in it, including a business’ software, hardware, and connections. According to the International Organization for Standardization or ISO, there are five conceptual areas for network management. These include configuration, accounting, performance, security, and fault management.
With the introduction of new connections and technologies comes the need for workflows to evolve. Without an effective monitoring strategy in place, even the smallest issues can bring a well-designed network down. For instance, not keeping up-to-date records of network devices (not patching or maintaining them) can lead to increased security risks. It can also result in network downtime, which can negatively impact business’ reputation, revenue, employee productivity, and Opex costs.
What is the role of network management?
One of the most common reasons companies relied on to justify not having an effective network monitoring system in place is that it required hiring a large number of skilled staff members. This allowed them to take a lighter approach to managing their networks. However, things have changed quite a bit since then. Nowadays, providing the network management support system that your business needs in order to operate, evolve, and grow successfully means outsourcing this important set of tasks to experienced technicians specializing in this field.
With network automation, businesses are able to minimize security risks and provision their new services more rapidly. They also get to reduce human errors that come with these labor-intensive tasks, allowing their IT department to concentrate on innovation and projects that support their business’ growth.
What are the best practices for managing networks?
Ensuring the optimal performance of network management means familiarizing yourself with the best practices and implementing them. For starters, make sure to keep track of network changes and make sure to add new technology. Not only will this allow your network to evolve, but it will also give you a competitive edge.
You also need to ensure an accurate topology of your network and update your documentation whenever a new device enters your network as this will help reduce security vulnerabilities. Businesses should also project their IT expenses by assessing their current network and planning future business growth. Other common network monitoring practices many enterprises implement include baselining network behavior, implementing a well-designed escalation matrix, using a configuration management system, and tackling capacity planning and growth.
What challenges does network management pose for enterprises?
There’s no doubt that implementing the best network management practices is important. However, even businesses with the best practices in place run into a couple of obstacles.
Sometimes, it will be the interconnectivity that will hinder business’ efforts to implement sound network management principles. Other times, it will be because of the complexity of network environments or due to relying on inefficient legacy networks. Overcoming these challenges is vital for ensuring growth and success of your business, and it all starts with finding reliable network management services that suit your individual business needs.
No matter how small or large your business is, the truth is, monitoring your servers is a must. A high-performing IT infrastructure is the cornerstone of a successful business, and both of them need to grow along. By understanding how a network functions and automating parts of it, you can keep yours in tip-top shape and make sure that everything is running smoothly.