Monitoring Network Management in an Organization

If you want to know the network management basics it is better to know something on network management architectures and the protocols used in the network management. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has identified five conceptual areas in network management. Knowing these conceptual areas of network management will give you a clear idea of what network management is.


Network management is an area of information technology in which many tools, applications and devices are used to monitor and maintain a network. We are talking about networks related to information technology. In the earlier days a single person would be using a protocol analyzer to monitor the network.

The network management architectures have the basic structure and a set of relationships. In simple terms, in a network management, workstations (managed devices) send alerts when they encounter any problems to the management entities. These management entities react to that alert by logging the event, notify the operator, shutdown the system or attempts automatically to clear the fault that has occurred. The management entities also poll the workstations or end systems to check periodically whether they are running properly. This polling can be automatic or user initiated. The responses got as a result of the polling are stored in the computer or a database for later analysis. The network management protocol is used to send and receive information to and from the managed devices. The most common protocol that is used in network management is the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and the Common Management Information Protocol (CMIP).

The five conceptual areas of the network management model are:

• Performance Management: This is to measure the various aspects of the network performance. Some of the performance parameters that are measured are network throughput, user response times, and the line utilization. The data of the performance variables are gathered and then analyzed with a reference data. If the received data is above the threshold value, it indicates that the network needs attention and appropriate corrective actions are taken.
• Configuration Management: This is to monitor the system configuration of the network computers and the various hardware and software that are used in the network. The systems for configuration management store this information in a database for later retrieval.
• Accounting Management: this is used to measure the network utilization parameters in such way that the users of the network are regulated properly. Such regulations lead to optimal utilization of the network resources which also plays a role in the performance management.
• Fault Management: This is a way to keep the network effectively. In this the faults are detected, logged, and the users of the network are notified of the fault. Sometimes measures are taken automatically to fix the fault. Fault management is very important in the network since this will lead to a resource being idle and will also lead to network degradation. Usually the symptoms of the fault are identified and the system that is generating the fault is isolated so that it does not affect the other systems and the production in the company. Then the problem is fixed and the actions logged for later reference.
• Security Management: This is used to control the access to the network based on the guidelines or rules provided. This is a very important part of the network management since we can’t allow all the users to access all the information on the network. Hence appropriate rights should be given to the users to access the resources that are needed by them only. Usually the network resources are partitioned for appropriate access. The access points in the networks are monitored and events logged.

Now-a-days there are many tools available for monitoring the activities of the network. Many companies have come out with excellent products for network management. It is the choice of the user to select a suitable product for their network.


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