Network Software: Build an Effective and Stable Network

By: Dmitriy Y. Stepanov

Usually, it is the task of the system administrator in the organization to make its network stable and reliable. His effective operation requires him to know all the information on network: number of hosts, where they are situated, quality of connections between them, their operation, and many other aspects. If he does not know every small detail of the company's network, if he does not have the whole picture in front of his eyes when problems arise, he might fight the symptoms of the problems and not the problems themselves.

It is not a big deal when the network consists of dozen of hosts. But multiply one host by 100 or even 200. What will happen with the administrator's schedule? How will he manage to cope with all the problems? He will be strapped for time by constant checking all the systems’ operation, solving users' problems, and trying to enhance the network he is responsible for. Automating this endless process will save his time, provide users and customers with a high quality service, and prevent possible network failures.

The key for creating is tied up in 3 parts:

1) Performing the network monitoring
2) Performing the network inventory
3) Organizing backup copies of important documents and data

All these 3 steps should be automated by using specialized network software. What network software should the system administrator use? Different programs solve different tasks.

1) The network monitoring software helps to keep an eye on critical services, bandwidth, hosts, ports, logs, processes, etc. Constant monitoring allows detecting network problems and solving them as fast as possible. Every manager knows that any downtime can irritate or even drive the customers off. So, any loss of time is inadmissible.

2) Network inventory programs perform automated software and hardware audit, generating reports on gathered data and notifying the administrator on changes. All this helps him to keep an eye on the remote PCs, keep the network organized, and make right decisions on purchasing new licenses, updates and upgrades.

3) Backup tools. Any company's manager knows that losing the data is, basically, like losing a customer. Important documents and corporate information - all these have to be backed up. There are plenty of tools that do this routine automatically, every day, or even twice, or a few times a day. This measure helps you to be sure of your data and your clients’ safety. Remember, if you happen to lose information once, you may lose your ties to your customers for ever.

There are much more software that helps the system administrator to perform his job more effectively. But you should remember that such kind of software is not "cure-all". Machines, automated services, and network software for system administrators will never be able to replace the human's operation. But it extremely enhances everything he does and gives him a chance to build effective, reliable, and stable network.

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