Just like any other business-critical technology, it’s important for enterprises to manage each network in their infrastructure. Network management policies ensure that a network team can strategically examine their network at every stage on a multi-layered level. Studying the efficiency of your network and adapting network administration, operation, and provisioning to meet your current business goals is essential for proper network performance. By managing their network, enterprises can meet all those criteria.
Network management practices help enterprises intelligently design and operate their networks. It encompasses a series of concepts and ideas that enterprises can employ to effectively maintain every network they operate. While the specific management functions your company focuses on will depend on your business needs, there are some aspects of network management that everyone should adopt. Below, we’ve listed 4 network management questions that your business needs to ask itself if it hasn’t already.
What is my network capable of – and what should it be capable of?
The backbone of managing a network is understand both what your network is able to do and what you want your network to do. Your enterprise should have a set of goals in mind in regards to how your network should perform. In essence, you want to know the minimum performance level your enterprise will accept. It should also know, through the use of network performance monitoring (NPM) tools, the actual performance levels your network is reaching – and the levels that it can reach. Knowing the answers to these questions helps determine if your network management strategies are working.
Do I understand the full scope and design of my network?
Enterprises networks can be exceedingly complex, and most will only continue to grow in size and intricacy. Network teams have a lot to manage, including devices, nodes, connections, and signal strengths for wireless networks. If an enterprise doesn’t know what the actual scope of their network is or what it looks like, then managing that network will be impossible. Many NPM tools come with network mapping features, which allow them to automatically create visual representations of your entire network. That way, your network team can easily understand your network’s entire reach at a glance.
Do I have full visibility into my network?
Performance is only one side of the network that your network team needs to know to for the purposes of network management. Your network team needs insights on your network’s security, blind spots, and design efficiency, among other things, in order to understand the full picture. NPMs are typically equipped with features that monitor not only performance, but other metrics that your network team needs to know about. Without these other metrics, your enterprise’s network management will be too narrow to be effective.
Am I prepared for my network’s future?
Managing your network isn’t just about solving your current problems and keeping your network operational. Your network managing strategy must also be looking to the future of your network to determine how your network needs to run. Through a combination of AI-driven network analysis and synthetic monitoring, your team can predict potential issues that will bring your network down. These can be figured into your network management strategy, allowing you to proactively deal with the issues before they happen.
Our Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top network performance monitor vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying.
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