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The Roles of a Network Manager

by: Kenneth Tello | 10 Dec, 2010 23:30:24

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Know the general roles and functions of a network manager

With the current job salary trend favoring those in the Information Technology (IT) field, it is not surprising that the rate of students taking up computer courses dramatically increase in the past 10 years. And as organizations of all sector maximized their hardware and information resources through setting up computer networks or intranets, the demand for highly skilled Information Technology professionals called network managers boost up. And in order for the IT professionals to meet the standards and for companies hire the best network managers, world-leading network provider organizations like Microsoft (through Microsoft Certified IT Professionals (MCITP)) and Cisco (through Cisco Career Certifications Examination) offers certifications examinations of different level to assess the networking knowledge and skills of every individual who wants to become network manager.

But before you get attracted to the high salary of a network engineer (which I think you will) and rush on to the nearest examination centers and register, it is a must to know first what the roles of a network manager are in a corporate network? Remember that network management is a broad and very complicated task, so knowing the general tasks of network management is essential to your work success.

Basically there are five network management functions network management should perform, defined as:

  1. Configuration Management – as a network manager, you should have state of the art knowledge when it comes to configuration, changing, collecting, installing, management as well as restoring critical information about the different network devices such as bridges, routers, servers, switches, workstations etc. Network managers should perform these configuration management tasks regarding the size of the network. Configuration management is a highly critical task for misconfiguration of networking equipment can have harmful effects on the overall reliability of the network.
  1. Fault Management – network manager should also cover functions such as detection and isolation, determining the cause of failure, and monitoring system errors to perform automated fault recovery and proactive remedy, as well as to prevent possible faults and failures in the future. The main purpose of fault management is to increase network reliability and availability, reduce network failures, and to restore network quickly to its previous working state when a fault occurs.
  1. Performance management – network performance management functions includes monitoring networking response time, network capacity planning for traffic load as well as understanding the Quality of Service (QoS) of traffic, and to provide accurate reports about the networks based on different measurements; bandwidth utilization, RTT, packet delay, packet loss etc.
  1. Security Management – one of the most crucial network management tasks, network security management deals with the security features on the network and that includes providing access management to the network resources especially on the important data. This can be performed by setting access rights for each type of user on the network where they can only access data suitable for their access rights or authorization level. Other security management tasks include authentication of every network user and implementing software based security countermeasures such as firewalls and proxy servers to prevent illegitimate access on the network resources.
  1. Service Charge Management – probably not as technical as the abovementioned network management tasks, but service charge is also an essential network task. Network service charge management tasks include monitoring and analysis of information regarding the utilization of network resources and help the administrator and management decide on service charge to end-users,

But for the network manager performs these network management tasks perfectly; they need to install Network Management software to take full advantage of these networking functions.

These 5 tasks are the most crucial responsibilities that a network manager performs most of the time. The success of a corporate network relies on the hands of the network manager, on how well he or she manages the network.

Now that you know the general roles of a network manager, as well as how complicated the job is, the decision now is up to you whether you have the knowledge, skills and the guts to become a network manager. Taking and passing network certification examination such as CCNA and CCNP from Cisco, or MSCE for Microsoft could give you more advantage over the other IT professionals.

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