Network Management Paper
Network management incorporates a wide range of procedures, activities, and tools designed to operate and maintain reliable performance and efficiency of the computer network systems. With the aim of catering for and maintaining the entire network and its assets, network management comprises three primary functions. These are security management, performance management, and asset management, with each function enabled by a variety of tools.
Network security management tools facilitate security in a network. Security management is an essential aspect of networking, especially with the high increase in cybercrimes and advancements in malicious online activities (Gaigole & Kalyankar, 2015). Corporations must, therefore, ensure they stay up to date with the best security management tools to protect their networks (Flamingo Project, 2013). Thus, network management tools are specially designed to protect a network from a wide range of cybersecurity risks.
There are different network security management tools infused with different attributes that make each, though designed to perform related functions, unique. One of the tools in this category is MailCleaner. The anti-spam software is installed between the company’s mail infrastructure and the internet. The tool protects the email account from viruses and malware before they reach the inbox. This function is accomplished with the aid of the latest online technologies (Pribanic, 2018). MailCleaner can be easily installed, used, and is applicable in any organization no matter the size, and significantly improves the security efforts of a firm. AVDS, on the other hand, is a vulnerability assessment tool, most applicable in networks with 50 to 200,000 nodes, in addition to offering security protection (Pribanic, 2018). This tool provides automated in-depth inspection in a network and reports all identified vulnerabilities and network security weaknesses while offering a quick fix to the problems while the company implements more comprehensive plans to cover for the same (Pribanic, 2018). In this case, AVDS can be seen as the best tool for security management due to the comprehensive functions it performs.
Performance management is concerned with what is happening in the network infrastructure and ensuring optimal level performance is maintained by the various components therein. In this role, network performance management accomplishes the tasks of troubleshooting, monitoring, and analyzing network performance with the aim of preventing bottlenecks in the system (Lin & Chao, 2015; Wilson, 2019). Therefore, performance management tools enable administrators to assess the performance of components of network infrastructure with the aim of facilitating optimal performance.
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor and OpManager are examples of tools used in performance management. SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a network performance monitoring software that enables users to quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve performance issues in a network (Wilson, 2019). The tool is easy to set up, and automatically detects and integrates network devices for analysis, making it one of the easiest tools to use in this category. Its interface can be easily changed owing to the product being customizable. In addition to the easy customization, it has a complex alerting system, forecast and capacity planning capabilities, and supports different OEM vendors (Wilson, 2019). On the other hand, OpManager is an end-to-end network management software application in large corporations. It provides comprehensive network monitoring capabilities to ensure one has visibility of the entire network, real-time analysis, and control over the network (Zoho Corp, 2019). Also, this software is easily customizable and allows for scaling according to the size of an enterprise without compromising reliability. In this category, OpManager is the best option, as it incorporates a wide array of functions and capabilities.
Asset management tools are used for managing a network’s hardware and software assets. These tools gather detail information on the network’s assets including software license compliance, user permissions, and other details related to the asset such as the date of purchase (Jacobs, n.d.; Rao, 2011). These tools are beneficial to the organization in that they save costs, reduce security risks, and play a significant part in thwarting asset-related disasters (Jacobs, n.d.). AssetExplorer and ServiceDesk Plus are examples of tools in this category. The two identified software tools perform similar tasks, with the only notable exception being in the pricing and owner convenience (Zoho Corp, 2019). AssetExplorer would be the best tool as apart from network asset management insofar as it also allows management of non-IT assets (Zoho Corp, 2019).
In network management, one tool can be used to manage more than one area. This is mainly because some of the management tools have been designed to have compound functionality, a feature that enables them to perform a wide array of functions. One of the tools identified in this category is OpManager. This is a comprehensive network management system, but also has features applicable in asset management (Zoho Corp, 2019). Its physical and virtual server monitoring capacity, for example, rely on hardware and software configurations of the system to establish their performance and status, a function incorporated in asset management(Zoho Corp, 2019).
Network management consists of tools for security management, performance management, and asset management. Security management tools protect the network from potential attacks and include MailCLeaner and AVDS. Performance management tools such as Network Performance Monitor and OpManager focus on monitoring, analysis, and troubleshooting of network performance to prevent and eliminate bottlenecks. Asset management tools, on the other hand, deal with the management of software and hardware assets of the network and include AssetExplorer and ServiceDesk Plus. However, although a majority of these tools are tailored to perform a single function, some provide comprehensive support across multiple areas.
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Rao, U. (2011). Challenges of implementing network management solution. International Journal of Distributed and Parallel Systems, 2(5), 67-76. doi: 10.5121/ijdps.2011.2506
Wilson, M. (2019). 10 best network monitoring tools & software of 2019. Retrieved from https://www.pcwdld.com/best-network-monitoring-tools-and-software
ho Corp. (2019). OpManager performance monitoring. Retrieved from https://www.manageengine.com/products/applications_manager/me-opmanager-monitoring.html