What is Network Management?
Network management is the combined term to describe procedures, activities, and tools that are used in computer network systems for operations, provisioning, maintenance, and administration of network systems. It is necessary for command and control operations and the functions are implemented through a network operations center. Network management functions are commonly known as FCAPS which is the acronym for Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security. The different functions which are done under network management are planning, allocating, controlling, coordinating, monitoring and deploying the resources of a network. Other more complex functions include frequency allocation, configuration management, fault management, security management, bandwidth management accounting management, route analytics, traffic routing to support load balancing, cryptographic key distribution authorization and performance management. The data used in network management is gathered by using various mechanisms or agents installed on infrastructure, activity logs, synthetic monitors simulating transactions and real user monitoring.
Earlier network management systems primarily comprised of monitoring whether or not devices were up or down but now performance management is also a vital function of Information Technology systems and this brings with it many new hurdles mostly in global institutions.
- Operations - Involve keeping the network and its services up and functioning smoothly. The network is monitored to pick out problems as quickly as possible preferably before its users get affected.
- Provisioning - It works out how to configure the resources in the network in order to support a particular service. For instance it may be to set up the network for a new customer so that he/she can receive real time communications or voice services.
- Maintenance - It covers all repairs and upgrades in the network system in cases when any equipment needs to be replaced or if a router requires a patch for an operating system image or if a new switch has been added to the network. Maintenance also provides preventive and corrective options to manage and work the network system better by adjusting device configuration parameters, for instance.
- Administration - Helps to keep track of the resources in the network and how they are utilized or assigned. All the "housekeeping" required to keep the network functioning like a well-oiled machine, under control.
There are a number of methods of access in order to support networks as well as network management of devices. The access methods popularly used are the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), SNMP, command-line interface, Transaction Language 1, custom XML, Java Management Extensions (JMX), CMIP, CORBA and NETCONF. (ISP) a technology called ‘deep packet inspection’ is used by Internet service providers in regulating network traffic or network congestion and reducing internet bottlenecks. The WBEM, MTOSI and the Common Information Model are some of the schemas that are commonly used. In USA, Medical Service Providers have a niche marketing utility which is for managed service providers. New laws constantly demand knowledgeable service providers. Medical Service Providers are responsible for the security of their clients' personal information even in electronic world. This is why there is a requirement for managed service providers who can facilitate safe and secure infrastructure for movement of medical data.