Network management is defined as the process of managing a network for fault and performance, using various tools and technologies to align all the moving pieces in a network environment to the business requirements.
When managing a network, concerns such as reliability, efficiency, capacity, and security need to be addressed. A successfully managed network means the business can achieve more significant objectives, as the day-to-day activities and demands are supported by the network performance.
When choosing a network management partner, four key areas need to be considered for a successful solution:
Network Administration: This involves inventorying all the network resources such as switches, routers, and hubs. This can be represented in network diagrams where the logical connections between the parts are stated, facilitating tracking the performance of the multiple resources and their direct effect in the environment as a whole. Here is where network management software, network operating systems, and distributed software applications have a great deal of visibility as they are essential to a successful network administration.
Network Operation: To ensure uninterrupted network operations, Managed providers will continuously monitor the activities to quickly and efficiently address and fix problems as they occur, preferably before users are aware of the problem.
Network Maintenance: Proactive monitoring of your network environment is not only key in detecting operative issues, but also in preventive maintenance to ensure performance. Timely repairs and upgrades are essential to provide a digital-ready network that’s able to support the growing demands of your users.
Network Provisioning: This involves configuring network resources to support the requirements of a particular service; for example, voice services may require an increase in bandwidth to support more users. Highly innovative technologies allow for rapid provisioning, meaning your network administrators will spend less time configuring and supporting new resources.
When it comes to network management, a key component for detecting, isolating, and resolving issues without affecting the performance of the overall environment is fault management. The main goal of fault management is to identify, notify users of the issue, and automatically fix the problem keeping the network running efficiently.
Let’s remember that faults or issues in the network can cause downtime, preventing users from running processes or tasks associated to business success, this is why fault management is so essential when choosing a network management provider. How are they addressing preventive and proactive monitoring? What policies or procedures do they have in place for fault management? Make sure to ask those questions!
Effective Network Management Platforms
Network management platforms can be viewed as the primary console for network operations in detecting faults in the infrastructure. The ability to identify problems quickly in any network is critical. Network Management providers like Tekscape, rely on a graphical network map to display the operational states of essential elements of the network such as routers and switches.
Part of the engagement process when working with a network-managed service provider will include:
Topology mapping of network elements
Performance data collector and graph
Management of data
This provides a better understanding of your technology environment, making it more efficient to manage even when your business might have multiple geographically sites, they can all be added to the same view where every piece of technology is centrally managed. Learn more about this by reading our customer testimonial for Success Academy and how Tekscape was able to centralize the management console for all their locations making it more efficient for network administrators to manage it.
For business cases like Success Academy which has multiple locations across New York, Network Managed service providers like Tekscape have deployed a network management platform that’s capable of managing multiple geographically distributed sites. This is accomplished by exchanging management data between consoles at remote sites with a management station at the main site. The biggest advantage of a distributed architecture is that it reduces management traffic, providing a more effective usage of bandwidth. A distributed architecture also allows personnel to locally manage their networks from remote sites, which is essential in reducing overhead and reallocating internal resources for additional and more business-centric projects.
Tailoring a network management solution to your business
Making a business case for IT Managed services specially when managing your network is not easy. Perhaps the most important thing when choosing a network management provider is to make sure they understand your technology environment from a business outcome perspective. The key to business success is to accelerate business processes to achieve more significant results; technology needs to be an enabler of this. Increasingly, the agility of an organization’s network determines the readiness of the business. All too often, a rigid network holds back the organization’s ability to flourish in an era of change. Intent-based networking solutions are a great way to use contextual insights to make sure the network continuously responds to dynamic business needs.
Additionally, Managed Service providers like Tekscape have developed their approach to networking management to ensure three key elements are always present:
Automation: Simplify the design, provisioning, and configuration management of your entire network from a centralized policy-based dashboard
Analytics: Improve network assurance with rich contextual visibility and monitoring, network wide. Make sure the network is performing at its optimal level and following business goals
Open Platform: Deliver 360-degree extensibility with an open, intent-based networking platform that enables secure data and intelligence exchange with external applications and systems. Benefit from the resulting streamlined operations and unlimited IT and business innovation