Effective Network Management
Effective network management services encompass a wide range of activities aimed at ensuring efficient and secure data transfer between network servers and all endpoints accessing the network. Network administrators, whether insourced or outsourced, use a variety of tools and processes to manage the network and achieve these objectives.
Managing Network Performance
Effective management of network performance includes continuous monitoring of network traffic and performance and responding proactively to signs of performance lag.
Network Monitoring Service – Effective network performance management includes continuous measurement of network KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Businesses can perform network-monitoring services remotely and automate KPI updates and reporting. This allows onsite personnel to remain focused on core business functions while remaining aware of network performance trends.
Problem Detection and Proactive Response – Continuous network monitoring service allows Network Managers to detect network performance issues quickly. They can initiate action to remediate small problems before they become significant and negatively affect production or business workflow. Network management services can configure network performance monitoring systems to push notifications when KPIs fall below the defined thresholds of acceptability.
Provisioning Network Security
Effective network management requires the provision of managed network security solutions. Unfortunately, meeting this important strategic objective can consume significant network management resources. This often distracts Network Managers from spending time on implementing other strategic managed IT service objectives. Outsourced network management services can supplement internal resources to effectively manage managed network security solutions and provide your Network Manager time to focus on meeting other strategic objectives.
Developing and Implementing Network Operating Procedures and Protocols
An effective IT support model includes the development and implementation of effective network operating procedures and protocols for network administrators, IT support staff, and network users. Network Managers can meet this important objective by several means:
Development – We recommend learning what other companies do to achieve superior network performance. A competent IT MSP with the relevant experience can help you understand the operating procedures and protocols employed by industry leaders. This information proves extremely valuable as you set about developing or updating your network operating procedures and protocols.
Training – Users need to understand the usage guidelines and policies that affect network performance and security.
Enforcement – Training alone may prove insufficient to get users to comply with operating procedures. Enforcement is necessary as well. The best enforcement methods include routine reporting of KPIs that highlight procedural compliance trends.
Managing Network to Endpoint Communication
When network performance lags, user proficiency declines, and productivity suffers. A poor endpoint to network communications can cause a similar productivity decline. To eliminate this loss of productivity, a Network Manager must ensure effective communication between the network and user endpoints. Ensuring good connectivity, proper device configurations, and optimum switch management all contribute to the enhancement of network to endpoint communications.
Ensuring Effective Network Resources
An effective network management strategy will include the provision and assignment of effective network resources.
Tracking Usage Trends – Network Managers should configure systems to automate tracking of usage trends for all components of the network, including hardware and software. Keeping track of usage trends permits Network Administrators to assess the utility of IT budgets on a continuous basis.
Network Management Services Models
This list of network management topics is not exhaustive. However, even this limited description of the scope shows that network management requires a wide ranging focus and considerable resources. Most SMBs cannot afford to cover the entire scope of effective network management in a cost-efficient manner if doing so only with internal staffing.
Fortunately, for those SMBs, a wide range of solutions exists to help them bridge their resource gaps at a reasonable cost. The key to success for those companies lies in choosing the right service model and the right service provider to meet their specific business and managed IT service needs. Below, we list a few options for you to consider in your quest to instill and maintain an effective network management solution.
At the highest level, Network Management models must consider whether to insource, outsource, or employ a hybrid option. Refer to ‘Managed IT Support Models’ for a generic description. Additionally, the difference between a MSP vs. Break Fix model should be considered.