Network Management Components - The Basics of an Effective Management Strategy
This article will define a network management strategy for managing the network. It is
necessary to define how the equipment is going to be monitored and determine if the
current management strategy is adequate or if new applications, equipment, protocols and
processes must be identified. Management components are then integrated with
infrastructure and security. These primary elements comprise any well-defined management
strategy and should be considered when developing your strategy.
Network Management Strategy
• Network Management Groups
• SNMP Applications
• Monitored Devices and Events
Network Management Groups
This describes the pro-active monitoring of devices, circuits and servers for errors.
It specifies what events are monitored and thresholds for generating alarms. Once the
alarms are generated, there is an escalation process for addressing any errors. It could
be a circuit problem, a router interface or a server link. Service level agreements with
local loop providers and long distance IXC for circuit repair are important as is vendor
equipment repair contracts. Out-of-band router management allows troubleshooting and
configuration of routers with an attached modem.
The support technician doesn't rely on the primary circuit to reach the router. They
will utilize a separate analog dial line with a modem connected to the auxiliary port at
the router. Escalation support processes are defined that are used by the network
operations center (NOC) employees for effective problem resolution. These are some
typical support activities:
• Established Tier support levels with job responsibilities well defined for
each Tier group
• Defined severity levels and what Tier group is responsible
• Defined response times for severity levels
• Applications for trouble tickets
• Established troubleshooting procedures for employees
• Root Cause Analysis
• Survey support groups for skill levels, identify deficiencies and plan for
training programs to address that.
This describes the pro-active monitoring of device, circuit and server performance
levels. That translates to monitoring and reporting on trends with device CPU, memory and
link utilization, circuit bandwidth utilization, server CPU, memory and disk input⁄output
rate. As well campus segments and device interfaces should be monitored for collisions,
CRC errors and packet drops. Bandwidth capacity planning is an on-going process of
monitoring bandwidth utilization trends for the enterprise network and consideration of
business growth estimates.
That information is utilized for developing a provisioning strategy addressing company
bandwidth capacity needs. The dynamic nature of an enterprise network is such that new
locations, employees and application deployments will increase network traffic and
utilize available bandwidth. Trend monitoring tools are typically run from the network
operations center and focus on enterprise traffic patterns and performance of circuits,
routers and switches.