Network management refers to the broad subject of managing computer networks. There exists a wide variety of software and hardware products that help network system administrators manage a network. Network management covers a wide area, including:
While there is no precise definition of the term due to it being such a broad concept, some of the main areas are summarized below:
- Network Administration: This involves tracking and inventorying the many network resources such as monitoring transmission lines, hubs, switches, routers, and servers; it also involves monitoring their performance and updating their associated software – especially network management software, network operating systems, and distributed software applications used by network users.
- Network Operation: This involves smooth network functioning as designed and intended, including close monitoring of activities to quickly and efficiently address and fix problems as they occur and preferably even before users are aware of the problem.
- Network Maintenance: This involves timely repair and necessary upgrades to all network resources as well as preventive and corrective measures through close communication and collaboration with network administrators. Example work includes replacing or upgrading network equipment such as switches, routers and damaged transmission lines.
- Network Provisioning: This involves configuring network resources to support the requirements of a particular service; example services may be voice capabilities or increasing broadband requirements to facilitate more users.