In this report, I will be explaining the functions of network management. There are many stages to creating a network, these are:
- Planning – planning is crucial, as you will need to map out what kind of network you want to create and what its purpose will be
- Research – researching what network devices and cabling will be required, also researching topologies to create a suitable network
- Design – design is essential as you will need to know what your network will look like before its made
- Preparation – begin creating your network, install the cabling and devices and connect them
- Development – Set up the devices in the network and make sure they are on and ready to communicate
- Testing – test the network and check that everything is up and running smoothly
- Maintenance – if any issues arise, troubleshoot the errors and make sure that the network is stable
- Evaluation – analyse and understand the network, if any problems occur, document them so it will be easier to troubleshoot in the future.
Task 1: Functions of network management – P4
Network configuration is necessary to allow computers in a network to communicate with each other. Configuration exists to control networks and allow troubleshooting or performance enhancements.
There are many devices used in a network. The most important medium are routers and switches. When configured correctly, it will allow them to communicate which then allows users to communicate with each other.
Fault management is compulsory in any network as it will detect problems and minimise failure. In case of failure, it will be prepared to troubleshoot the issues as quick as possible. By monitoring the networks, you can see if an error occurs it will ensure that the network is up for as long as possible.
Fault management could be approached from a remotely controlled centralised console, which will allow you to easily reboot or troubleshoot one or more computer.
Account management involves taking care of the users’ account and ensuring they can access all software easily. The admin will make user accounts for people in an office or school in order for the users to access their files at work. Account management groups together the users with the same rights on their accounts, which makes it simpler for the administrator as they can make a change to the entire user group rather than each account.
Account management is required in large networks like schools and organisations as it will allow the administrator to manage multiple accounts easily as it would be hard to install software or enable access to every single account separately.
The purpose of performance variables is to work out how key parts of the network are and have been performing. By checking this, it is possible to measure whether the performance is decreasing or increasing, this is crucial because if performance is decreasing, you will be able to see it.
Examples of performance variables are user response times and network throughput. Network throughput is how fast data is transferred through a network. User response times are how fast the network is for users. Line utilisation is the amount of data on the cabling, if too much data is loaded onto the cable it will alter performance.
Security is essential in any network in order to ensure safety; by implementing security in a network, you will prevent viruses and other threats such as hacking. It is possible to get viruses in many different forms such as files and documents on the internet, spyware, even physical issues can be a threat such as fires.
Because there are different types of threats to a network, there are different ways to deal with them all. Firewalls and antivirus software should be installed to prevent viruses from entering a network. If a virus is in a network, it can sabotage the performance of the network and put the company’s data in jeopardy. It is also very important to back up the files to another server in case of an attack so if any data is lost it can be restored effectively.
Data logging is recording all of the information that passes through a network, this will make it easier to identify problems in the network, as you will be able to look through the data and analyse where an error has occurred.
Logs are not usually kept permanently as they may not be necessary. It is useful to have data logs in parts of the network where errors occur to help you identify them as soon as possible.
Checking performance and traffic is essential to ensure that your network is performing as well as it can and clearing up traffic will improve performance.
Reporting is a management feature which documents performance and the data usage throughout the network to the admins. The reports are often taken using systems such as Windows Server which reports response time and performance of packets.
Task 2: Fault Management – M2
Fault management in networks is to locate and troubleshoot problems in the network. Fault management is important to keep the network running efficiently.
Why is fault management necessary in networks?
Fault management is essential, as it will allow the network to perform at its maximum capacity without being disrupted. If any errors occur, data in the network could be jeopardised so by troubleshooting errors as soon as possible it will allow the network to run with minimal errors. This should be carried out remotely as it will be time consuming to physically go to each device throughout the network.
The main goals of fault management in any network is to:
- Monitor the network remotely
- Enable alerts to warn the network engineer about any failures
- Create logs to see past failures and prevent future problems
One of the goals of fault management is to monitor the network remotely through a centralised device. This will allow the network engineer to control the network quickly and efficiently as they will not need to access each physical device which can be very time consuming. By monitoring performance, the network engineer can troubleshoot failure quickly.
Another goal of fault management is to enable alerts to warn the network engineer when there is a fault in the network immediately. By ensuring that the network engineer is notified about faults, the fault can either be prevented or solved as quick as possible. This will make sure that the effect on the performance is minimal.
Finally, creating logs of faults are essential as it will allow the network engineer to look back at it in the future and solve the problem quicker. This will also show how well the network is performing as you can see every fault that has previously occurred. If there is a recurring fault in the network, the engineer will be able to prevent it and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
If the network is affected by a failure, this can alter performance and could cause the network to crash. This will be atrocious for the company as it can prevent staff from communicating and doing their jobs.
Task 3: Routine performance management – D1
Routine performance management is scheduled routine maintenance. This means that the network will be checked on a regular basis to ensure that it is up to speed. This is crucial for any business as you will want to make sure that the network is running smoothly and the company’s information or data is not in jeopardy.
If a company’s network isn’t checked frequently, it could severely impact the company as they could be in danger of losing data or if a part of the network is down, they won’t be able to communicate which will end up losing the company money. There are many different types of risks ranging from physical issues to hardware issues, for example a fire which can endanger both lives and the hardware in the network and if a switch or router is overloaded which can cause it to fail or perform slowly which will also majorly affect the company.
There are a few tasks that the network manager must do to check and keep the network up and running efficiently.
Backups are extremely important in a network in case of data loss or failure. If any data is lost and the data hasn’t been backed up in a long time this will be a huge setback for the company as they will have lost important information. It is important to backup data at least daily or weekly to ensure that you have the latest data available to restore in case of any errors or failures in the network.
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Backups can be made to multiple places. The most common one is to a remote server which will hold the company’s data. This is efficient as the data is all stored in one place so it is easier to access and minimises downtime. Companies also often use redundant array of independent disks (RAID) hard drive systems. This is known as a live backup feature that backs up data as it is written. It has many hard disks that are interconnected that contain all the data. This is extremely useful and can also minimise downtime as it will allow the network engineer to restore the data very quickly.
User accounts are used in every organisation as employees will need their own personal accounts to access the network and do their jobs. Every user has a unique personal username which makes it easier to identify each user. All users have the same privileges and must change their passwords often due to security reasons. The network admin will have control over the user accounts and can help employees if they forget their password.
Users are usually put into groups of departments or services, for examples, Sales or Accounting. This makes it much easier for the network engineer to control each section of the network and can make changes to a group of people with ease. It is also more organised as people that do the same job will be in the same group. This gives everybody the same privileges and allows them to do their jobs efficiently.
Logon scripts are activated once someone logs onto a device in a network. It is very useful as it automatically carries out tasks. Scripts are developed in the command prompt with scripting languages.
This is useful as it can utilise commands such as ‘ipconfig’ and look through commands as soon as the device is up and running. If the network engineer had to manually carry this out every single time it would take very long.
Virus scans are crucial in any network to ensure network safety and efficiency. The network admin will run virus scans regularly on all devices on the network. If any viruses are found they will be logged in the virus software to clearly outline how many viruses have occurred since the last check. This is important as the network admin will be able to see viruses occur often which could show a weakness in the network.
Virus checkers in a network will differ from the ones in a home network. On a network when a virus is encountered, the network admin will be notified and will investigate the virus. Checking for viruses is very important as a virus can jeopardise data within the network which is why the administrator must be notified immediately and eliminate the threat. Whereas at home, people use an antivirus software and carry out scans to check their devices.
Frequent file clean ups are necessary to clear up space and organise data correctly. Any temporary files or old files should be deleted as it will not be necessary on the drives. This will free up space for files in the future which will be useful.
The network admin should frequently check if the users’ have enough space on their drives to ensure efficiency.
Task 4: Network Security Policy
Security is essential in every network, especially for Phoenix. There is a range of security policies that will need to be implemented in the network for it to run efficiently and securely. These procedures will keep sensitive information safe and protect client data. Below I have outlined and covered the security policies that are necessary in any network for it to run smoothly.
A firewall is a program that prevents viruses from entering the network. Firewall management is crucial in a network to stop attacks coming into the network. There are many types of attacks that can occur in a network, one type of attack is known as an access attack. This is when a stranger tries to gain information from the network and take control of the network. Another type of attack is a DoS (Denial of Service) attack, this type of attack will affect the systems in the network. This can block employees from accessing their systems which is a setback for the company.
ACLs are used to permit or deny access to users throughout the network. The network admin may want a specific group of users to access resources, by adding ACLs the admin can reject access from other groups within the network. This is necessary for Phoenix because it will prevent outsiders from accessing data within the network.
The devices in a network must be protected as they contain sensitive data. Hardening is making a device secure and reliable. There are many ways of hardening a device, one way this can be done is by enabling antivirus protection on each device to prevent it from viruses and malware. Another way a device can be more secure is having ACLs put on them, this will stop people from entering them without permission.
Securing your devices is crucial in every network to ensure efficiency and reliability. If the device goes down or is hacked it could risk data theft which will setback the company, in this case, Phoenix.
This involves reviewing the security policy frequently to ensure that the company is up and running securely. All the security policies are important to the network as they keep it up and running safely. A record should be kept of any threats so the network admin can look out for issues that have occurred in the past, and ensure that they don’t happen again. By reviewing all the policies, it will allow the network to run at its optimal performance.
Users should have the right permissions on their accounts. The network admin should check the users accounts once a week at least in case some users have rights that they aren’t supposed to have. This is important for Phoenix as it keeps the company organised and ensures safety by permitting the correct rights to users.
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