A Network Management System (NMS) lets you manage your network components inside a framework. This system can save money and time as well as increase productivity. It’s easy to manage, provides direct access to data, and offers problem identification capability.
An NMS helps in network device discovery, monitoring, management, performance analysis, intelligent notifications, and customizable alerts. The NMS model includes five functional areas:
- Fault Management—Detect, isolate, notify, and correct faults encountered in the network
- Configuration Management—Configuration aspects of network devices such as configuration file management, inventory management, and software management
- Performance Management—Monitor and measure various aspects of performance so that overall performance can be maintained at an acceptable level
- Security Management—Provide access to network devices and corporate resources to authorized individuals
- Accounting Management—Usage information of network resources
How can you start developing a Network Management System?
Select a project and product development process, and using it, develop a plan. By planning your NMS, you’ll minimize all those fruitless hours of labor spent trying to manage it later. Your plan should answer questions such as:
- What’s the purpose of your NMS?
- What information do you want from your NMS?
- Who should get that information?
- When should they have it?
Glynn Meek, president and CEO of TriActive, Inc., offers a six-step planning process based on the above questions.
- Find out what you have. This will get you started knowing what you need to monitor. Auto discovery modules do this easily.
- Set monitoring limits. Since you probably don’t want to monitor everything on the network, limit yourself to monitoring events that have direct impact on business or on user productivity.
- Find the drivers on the critical business path. If something is happening off the critical path, it’s not nearly as important as something that will affect, say, the processing of an online order.
- Determine how often to monitor. You can’t bog down your network, but you need to know what’s happening. Discover the balance.
- Determine which IT people to send alerts to. Does the whole staff need to know? If not, keep the circle tight.
- Set up report reviews on a regular basis. When you review your reports, keep an eye out for trends so you can nip likely problems in the bud.
At that point, investigate the software and hardware tools you need. You’ll want to look for performance monitors, IP address managers, user trackers, VOIP quality managers, and much more. Recommended software companies include Solar Winds and IR.com. As you peruse the relevant products, ask yourself questions like:
- How is this product different from other products?
- What are its strength and weaknesses?
- Why would I buy it instead of products from competitors?
An NMS is a complex system and developing one takes plenty of time. With patience and proper planning, however, you can boost your company’s revenues and ease its frustrations.
If you aren’t up for the challenge by yourself, Wolf Technology Group is here for you. Wolf is prepared to tailor your support plan to match your businesss’s exact needs. Whether you’re interested in improving the bottom line during your day-to-day business operations or you’re looking for help after a disaster, we’ll ensure your plan reflects your needs and keeps your network online — no matter what.