The demands of managing enterprise environments very often extends into network managers’ and engineers’ personal time: irate calls from colleagues about the email server having gone down, a failed switch renders late-shift staff unproductive, and you’ve got to drop what you’re doing, rush to the office, sort out the problem and make it home in time for dinner – a warm one, if you’re lucky. If only your network management system warned you about the looming crisis days before.
The list of disruptions from what resembles normalcy can translate into many caffeine induced nights for IT pros; staring into the bright light of your laptop LCD while the rest of humanity slumbers. And larger networks typically come with larger challenges. So IT pros need tools at their disposal that help keep staff and network needs in balance.
Networks spanning vast areas often rely on centralised NOCs, with lack of staff in each physical location that the business operates; adding more complexity to how IT departments function.
Enterprise managers need their fingers on the pulse of their environments, and few things will leave you feeling like you’re trapped in a web of technological confusion than an ill-designed and implemented network management system.
Examples of Negative Impacts Caused by a Network Management System:
- Overhead: Few things can have such a far-reaching implication for network managers than unnecessary overhead. With bandwidth-hungry network applications, unnecessary overhead can have a negative impact on networks. A network management system that creates unnecessary overhead, and requires extra processing by routers and switches may leave networks managers puzzled about the root cause.
- Inaccurate Reporting: Valuable and accurate reporting tools allow network managers to provide detailed feedback on uptime and return on investment to the ExCo. An NMS with tedious and complicated reporting tools will deny managers with accurate, detailed reporting that CFOs love.
- Complicated Interface and Navigation: A poorly designed interface and navigation tools means a steep learning curve for staff, translating into underutilisation of the product. Additional time spent on training leaves network managers with short-staffed operations and more cold dinners to come home to.
- Constant Upgrades\Patching: Systems that are inadequately planned, designed and implemented will invariably require constant upgrades that require downtime. Network managers who prefer not spending late nights in cold, unforgiving server rooms are well-advised to do thorough research before entering the buying process.
- Bad Auto-Detection: If an NMS does not detect new devices on the network intelligently, then it isn’t doing its job. Engineers need detailed views of their environments that allow them to track changes and manage growth.
An NMS Should Simplify, Not Complicate Your Network – or Your Life
A network management sytem can cause network managers more problems than what they resolve. With the inherent complexities of enterprises and ISPs, IT departments need tools that reduce the time spent on stressful troubleshooting processes, and create an environment that sees time utilised in proactive duties.
If your network management system isn’t a centralised, integrated solution that performs its duty unobtrusively, you may want to reconsider your investment. Being blindsided by unplanned downtime because you’re relying on an incompetent monitoring tool will see you on the back foot and lose the upper hand on your network.
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