What Is Network Management: A Complete Guide?

Network Management

Network management refers to two related concepts. The first is the configuration, monitoring, and management of a network’s performance. The second is the platform used by IT and NetOps teams to accomplish these ongoing tasks.

Network management systems have improved over the past 10 years to allow IT teams, to operate more efficiently. They now incorporate advanced analytics, machine learning, intelligent automation, and other features to continuously optimize network performance. These network management systems are becoming more popular in the cloud and hosted environments as organizations adapt to a distributed workforce.

What does network management software and what is its job?

Network management systems collect data about connected devices, such as switches and routers, access points, clients, and access points. These systems give network administrators fine-grained oversight of how these devices interact and operate with each other.

These devices collect data to identify potential performance issues, track security and segmentation, as well as speed up troubleshooting.

Also read: Network Infrastructure: Definition, and Challenges

What kinds of devices can a network management software control?

As a way of controlling LANs, many network management platforms were created. These management platforms grew in sophistication and variety as enterprise networks grew in complexity and variety. They also expanded their capabilities to SD-WAN, security, and IoT.

The best platforms combine sensors and devices into one view of network traffic. This makes it easier for IT to not only monitor, but also repair and protect against performance issues.

What is the best way for network elements to send data to the system

Network management systems gather real-time data from network components, such as routers and switches, as well endpoint devices such as desktops, mobile phones, and laptops. This data is used to give insight into the health and performance of the network.

The data is typically collected and sent to the system in one of these two ways:

  1. SNMP: Simple Network Management Protocol (or SNMP) is an open standard that has been widely adopted by many manufacturers of network elements ever since the 1990s. SNMP queries every element of the network and then sends the response to the network management software.
  2. Streaming Telemetry: A software agent is installed within a network element to allow for the automatic transmission and monitoring of key performance indicators. Streaming telemetry has been replacing SNMP because it is faster, more reliable, produces more data points, and is easier to scale. Telemetry standards like NETCONF/YANG are gaining popularity as a way to provide multivendor support similar to SNMP.

What are the most important network management capabilities?

If you are responsible for managing a highly distributed or complex network, The three most important capabilities of a network management platform are directly related to the ease with which it unites sites and remote workers.

First, the ease of deployment and adoption directly impacts the value of the tool will be useful for IT departments. Software as a Service (SaaS Adoption Is the New ROI”) is a common saying in software-as-a-service. The same applies to network management. It will soon fall by the wayside if it is difficult to use and deploy on a daily basis.

It is also important to choose a platform capable of managing the entire network, including access to WAN and IoT.

Finally, security, control, and treatment of network data must be given equal priority regardless of how much you deploy.

What are the top myths regarding network management systems?

As the number of applications and devices connected to networks grows, network operations become more complex. However, a simple network does not require a difficult-to-use management system. Network management systems today are flexible, extensible, and software-driven. They can be used to simplify and accelerate network operations, reduce costs, and lower risk.

These systems are powered by deep intelligence and integrated safety, and provide automation and assurance across all network segments, no matter how large or small. This results in greater efficiency and cost savings, as well as end-to-end visibility and automation.

Open APIs and standards like OpenConfig allow users to optimize their networks with the best solutions for their business goals.

How can network management systems meet the demands of hybrid work?

Organizations today face many new challenges in today’s hybrid workplace. These challenges include a mobile and highly distributed workforce, inconsistent quality connectivity options, and the need for rapid implementation of tools to support collaboration and business continuity.

Network management systems must be flexible, with intelligence and automation built in to aid decision-making and decrease errors. To ensure security from the edge to the core, networks, and devices must be prioritized and embedded.

Also read: What is Network Security Monitoring?

Operational models for network management systems

Cloud-based

Cloud-based network management systems can help you reach the people and places you need, whether you are preparing your central campus to become a hub for hybrid work or scaling up hundreds of branches. These platforms make it easy to access remote sites and provide monitoring and provisioning.

Cloud-based platforms offer a high degree of customization and configurability through open APIs, robust ecosystems, and a high level of customization. These platforms support advanced analytics, automation, and optimization through large data lakes. They also use cloud computing to power sophisticated machine learning apps.

On-premises

On-premises network management systems can be used to build large campus networks that are more complex and require higher performance. These advanced features include analytics, assurance, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI). On-premises network management servers are a great option for organizations that require sovereign operations. All data is stored locally.

Many times, Network management systems that manage larger networks can produce a lot more data than information gathered from telemetry or SNMP.

On-premises systems usually have larger servers that have sufficient power to process the data in a way that IT can use to provide the insight IT requires to manage the network. This is why an on-premises server is often located at the core of a network. It can be accessed via the internet but remote access is required to use a VPN connection.

Network management enhancements

Modern networks are becoming more complex and growing at an exponential rate. Many network management systems have been enhanced with advanced capabilities such as automation, monitoring, and assurance that use technologies AI/ML.

These advanced features make it easier to manage the network and help IT respond faster to changing and challenging situations.

These advanced capabilities are what you use?

  • Network automation refers to the ability to automate repetitive tasks, such as software updates and configuration. Network management systems automatically push new software updates and modified configuration files to save IT time and improve performance.
  • AI/ML is used to improve network assurance. IT can use it to gain better insight into the health and performance of clients, applications, and the network. IT can use it for issues such as poor client experiences or gaps in wireless coverage.
  • Cost-effective consumption. Software subscriptions are available from many vendors of network management software. You can subscribe to different tiers of software that deliver value when you need it.

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