The Basics of Network Management
In the computer world, networks are the primary means of inter-computer communications. The building and maintenance of a network is the responsibility of the network manager. The network manager must have the expertise to design and implement an appropriate network for his client. The proper design of a network is based on more than a few principles. However, the job of the network manager encompasses more than simply building a useable network, although that is the end result.
The network manager must have many characteristics in order to fulfill his job. After years of training, a network manager will know how to select the proper network topology for the client. After some investigation into the company’s needs, the topology should become more apparent. Being able to choose a configuration means nothing, however, if the network manager is unable to convince the client. Persuasion is a necessary trait, but a strong sense of ethics must also be present. If a network manager tries to sell something other than what the client needs legal proceedings may be close behind. Selecting a network topology and convincing the client of their needs are the technical functions of the job.
After selecting a network plan, the network manager needs to assemble a staff that is capable of implementing the network and maintaining that network. A crew with the appropriate training is a must, but the network manager has to find the best candidates. The network can grow to be a large and complex web. Job specialization will increase productivity and the total amount of knowledge available to the company. A network manager is also a personnel manager.
Most clients have a limited budget set aside for the building of their network. Costly errors could cause the project to run over the budget. Careful planning may help to avoid some problems. Reckless mistakes will cost the network manager their job. The ability to provide an adequate network for a company at the quoted price is necessary. A network manager is also a project financial manager.
The building of a network will involve dealing with numerous venders. Being able to negotiate the delivery of the proper equipment and services is essential. A network manager may also wish to get a second opinion from a consultant. After checking and double-checking the network plan, it may be a good idea to hire someone to offer suggestions. A network manager is also a network contractor.
A network manager may stay with the company to continue to watch over the network to insure the stability and reliability that was promised. Managing the new network requires extensive research in order to keep up with the newest techniques, regulations, and standards. Combined with becoming very knowledgeable of the current laws, regulations, and codes, a network manager should plan on spending about two or three hours per day in study. A network manager is also the company’s technical lawyer.
Before a network can be built, there is much planning that must be completed. The first step is developing a plan of action–that is, how the network plan will be derived. This plan comes only from the network manager’s own experience. A simple four-step approach includes: Specification of the needs, designing a configuration, installing the network, and testing the networks capabilities.
A network manager will need an office with some necessary equipment. A computer with a large memory and a spreadsheet program, word processing, and a graphics program; a printer or plotter, scanner, fax machine, and a modem connection. In order to conduct the necessary research, consulting, and designing this equipment needs to be available for the network managers’ use.
In preparation, the network manager must consider many variables, the hiring of a staff, the legalities, consultants, etc. The effort that is put forth in the beginning is called leverage. A high...
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