What Are the Five Functional Areas of Network Management?

When it comes to network management, every business and industry has its own needs and configurations. However, thanks to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), there is a structured framework that all network management models follow.

Close-up of a row of network cables plugged into a server.

The ISO is an international nongovernmental organization that develops proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards. Comprised of representatives from various countries and standards organizations, the ISO defines five main types of network management solutions as the following:

  • Performance Management: Measure and monitor the different network components that impact the overall performance of your network.
  • Fault Management: Detect, isolate, and correct any non-normal network conditions.
  • Configuration Management: Monitor network configuration consistency, change control, and generate documentation to create redundancies and backup systems.
  • Accounting Management: Regulate network resources and allocate costs by tracking actions on a user-by-user basis.
  • Security Management: Prevent security and data breaches by analyzing security policies, security-related events, and access to network resources.

Each of these five functional areas plays a vital role in successfully implementing and maintaining an effective network management system. That’s why it’s essential to have the right strategy and tools to monitor and manage each of these network solutions. Let’s take a deeper dive into all five and uncover the best ways to maintain them.

Performance Management

Network performance monitoring software is an effective tool to quickly resolve issues and prevent future ones from occurring. This network security management solution controls and analyzes the utilization and output of your different network components — from the devices themselves to the pathways between them.

In many ways, performance management can give you insight into the overall health of your network by examining and assessing outputs. It strives to ensure all aspects of your network are functioning properly and safely, optimizing your business operations.

This network management solution analyzes metrics like link utilization, packet loss rates, and network response times, as well as the regulation of routers, servicers, LANs, SNMPs, and other devices connected by your network.

Performance management solutions empower your IT administrators to quickly parse data, so they can identify and resolve issues quickly, and in many cases in real-time. This helps your company focus on response time, quality, and consistency across the board.

Fault Management

The best network security management solutions also include keeping track of errors that occur across your entire network. If you can pinpoint exactly where the error occurs, you can discover the root cause more quickly and address the problem promptly. This is where fault management comes in.

This type of network management logs, detects, and responds to errors throughout the network. Your IT administrators immediately handle issues like link failure, host failure, or router hardware problems.

With fault management, you can repair, detect, and document faults that could disrupt network operations. While some errors could be very small, only impacting a few employees or systems, others can be catastrophic, shutting down your entire operations. A fault management solution works to protect you from both.

There are many options out there for fault management, as it is such a crucial and helpful aspect of network management. Be sure to choose one that is compatible with your current hardware and software, and integrates with important applications and systems.

Configuration Management

Many issues can be prevented with a configuration management model. This type of network management goes beyond just setting up routers, firewalls, switches, servers, or installing system software. It also includes the tracking, maintenance, analysis, and repairing of these devices and systems. This way you ensure there are no opportunities for threats to detect vulnerabilities in your data and security.

Configuration management tools help you get ahead of possible incompatibilities between devices and/or systems. This can help prevent interruptions of services, systems, software, and applications.

In addition, because of the frequency of software updates, manual configuration monitoring can be very cumbersome and often ineffective. This is true for both small businesses and large corporations, which makes configuration management a network monitoring solution that keeps business at all scales running smoothly, safely, and seamlessly.

Accounting Management

The distribution of hardware, software, and systems access privileges falls under the purview of accounting management. When you have clear documentation and regular tracking of who has access to what, it’s easier to identify bottlenecks and workarounds. More importantly, it’s also easier to resolve them.

In addition, accounting management software gives you a window into ways processes could be improved. It’s an endlessly useful tool for configuration management and price management.

A lot of wasteful spending can be found through an accounting management solution. You may be spending budgets on applications with seats no one is using or discovering that the wrong people have access. Plus, account management also helps prevent security threats and data breaches by tracking users, time, and location. This can provide information to your security admins that could help them stop a cybersecurity threat from interrupting your operations.

Security Management

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise — and no company is as safe as they think they are. With more and more companies shifting their operations into the digital realm, the opportunity for cybertheft increases. Breaches can happen in more than 93% of company networks, according to a report from Betanews.com.

Network management systems cannot be fully robust without a security management solution included. That’s why the ISO sees it as a critical part of their structured framework. You need a robust security system to protect your network from viruses, data breaches, shutdowns, password attacks, SQL injection, and other common network security threats.

Performance, fault, configuration, accounting, and security — all five of these functional areas, upon further inspection, play distinct, yet comparable, roles in network management. With the multitudes of tech out there, network management solutions provide businesses with a way to develop and implement a powerful IT management system.

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