Unless you’re into computer networking, most business owners wouldn’t think to consider getting network management software. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this type of software, think of it like a beehive: A hive consists of a network of honeycomb channels for worker bees to distribute food and information to the Queen Bee. Likewise, in a network management solution the software consists of maintaining a network of computer systems to allow a fast and efficient channel of data between each system.
The worker bees can be interpreted as the data being transferred through networking channels (honeycomb channels), and your business acts as the Queen Bee who receives data and maintains order within the systems. Now with this analogy in mind, let’s go a little more in-depth into the software platform.
In a nutshell, network management software is a platform that uses tools and functions to operate, administrate and maintain your computer network systems. The platform does this by tracking all factors that affect your network efficiency such as maintenance for your servers, routers and transmission lines. In addition, it ensures the capability, efficiency and reliability of data transfer through multiple network channels.
Probably the most important area of coverage is network security. To put it simply, this ensures that your network is protected from any internal and external unauthorized users. You may think that there are no dangers in letting any employee access your network, but you are gravely mistaken. Not only is it risky, but it is a huge liability for the company.
For instance, if you were to allow every employee to freely access your network, they would have the power to change security measures, accidentally let a virus in or intentionally sabotage your network. Network management software essentially lets you choose which users you want to have access to your entire network. This typically involves your IT department and/or any reliable IT professional you hire.
If you want to learn more about network security, take a look at this article by Cisco where they go in-depth into everything related to network security.
Nobody likes a slow network. What a network management platform does for you is help maintain a high-performing and speedy network for operations. The software does this by eliminating bottlenecks in the network, speeding up troubleshooting, reducing downtime and resolving network outages.
Anybody with an internet connection has gone through a networking fiasco at some point. What’s even worse is that you can’t look up solutions to the problem online, because your internet is down. One way to prevent this is by adding multiple servers, so that if one server goes down you have another server as a backup. On top of that, a network management platform can assist you in monitoring all of your servers so that you won’t have a major outage again.
ComputerWeekly.com does a good job explaining how network monitoring works in their essential guide to network monitoring.
Not only is network reliability important, it can dictate how productive your business will be online on any given day. With the rise of ecommerce and online shopping, there’s a high probability that your business has an online presence and website. If you want to make a profit, then your site has to be up and running all day.
Having a reliable network ensures that you and your network are available to your users. Imagine going online to your favorite shopping e-tailer and seeing that their website has crashed. Without a doubt, you would look somewhere else to shop. As a business owner, you wouldn’t want your customers to leave your site and go to one of your competitors, right?
You may be thinking, “What does a network management platform have to do with my website’s performance?” Well, if your network is down, then surely your staff is unable to attend to your customers. Think of it this way: your staff can’t help a customer on the sales floor if they’re locked in the break room. Implementing a network management solution makes sure that your network and website are running efficiently during times of high traffic as well as off hours.
To learn more on reliability, check out this article by TechTarget where they explain in detail how to optimize performance and reliability in your network.
The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. For one, does your website generate a ton of online traffic? Second, does your company have or plan to implement a lot of servers? Lastly, is your business spread out nationally or even globally?
If you said yes to most of those questions, then network management software is the right solution for you. Without having a fast, high-performing and efficient network, you are hindering your business from making a higher profit and increasing productivity every day.
However, not every business needs a large networking manager. Small businesses that operate on a low-scale market can save on overhead costs by having a couple of servers and routers. If you work from home or in a small office, then a network management solution might be too grand for your business at the moment.
[Photo courtesy of Flickr user Karunakar Rayker.]