How to make managing a network easy with the right software

Having the right software in place can make IT jobs less expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, having software that provides real-time network inventory and asset service management can also keep you and your network up and running and allow you to execute changes and adjustment easily. And having an inventory of the critical infrastructure list can make finding and fixing issues quicker and easier—in that it can eliminate the need to manually Telnet/SSH to each device.

Network performance monitoring, configuration and change management software can help you manage your growing list of network devices and centrally manage, backup and configure routers, firewalls, switches, access points and end users on a regular basis. You can schedule automatic configuration backups, easily view backups and their history, archive the history of all and each device, and perform changes to configurations by groups, such as department, location, manufacturer or device properties. The backups can be scheduled to run whenever you choose or at a regular time daily, weekly or hourly. These backups can be stored in a relational database as well as in files that make them easy to view and understand. Scheduling tasks and managing routers and other network devices can be reported and available to as many users as needed. It can provide a summary of devices that are backed up or need to be backed up.

The network monitoring software should give real-time configuration change alerts which allow more control over issues, instantly showing problem areas and improve security. The alert should include instant notifications of device configuration changes, real-time changes and a notification from Syslog and SNMP Trap Server. Having a network configuration manager allows you to compare a new configuration to the baseline or last downloaded configuration and allow the problem to be isolated and eliminated quickly before it causes a network problem.

Additionally, a feature that can be invaluable for your network management software is a device end of life management capability. This part of your change management software can easily find end of sale and end of life dates for your Cisco and Juniper routers and switches, which can be used for replacing devices and creating reports for your budget. You will know which devices are unsupported and obsolete. Whether you have only tens or hundreds or even thousands of routers and switches, you will know which ones are under performing or out of compliance. You can tell ahead of time and justify replacing these devices in your budget. As you focus on business process management (BPM) procedures, your network performance monitoring software will assist you in driving network data in real time.

Configuration management software in your network monitoring system can help to identify and repair unauthorized and failed network configuration changes. It allows you to view the configuration history and track changes, compare the configuration of two routers or switches, allow a side by side comparisons, quickly fix unauthorized changes and rollback to a good device configuration with just a few clicks. The configuration manager software keeps you aware of what’s changing and allows you to create custom configuration types by templates or downloading. This can eliminate downtime and security risks. It also helps to maintain compliance through internal security policies and external regulatory standards such as PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, and NIST, to name a few. You can establish a compliant baseline and monitor changes, view compliance reports with policy violations, and easily update and restore to compliant and secure configurations.

This type of network performance monitor and configuration manager helps IT managers view the health, fault and performance of the entire network. Other features that could include change management capabilities that automatically scan the network and import discovered devices into the database. You have control over new routers and switches faster with less error through standardized device profiles that allows you to define access attributes including connection types, IDs, passwords and other attributes. Being able to make bulk configuration changes to a community string, modify access control lists and block a MAC address across devices are faster and easier ways of addressing issues.

All and all, the right network management software can track down the specific configuration or node causing network problems and allow you to correct them before network failure. By having the right network monitoring software and configuration manager, it can simplify IT management and keep you on top of all future problems and issues.

Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s most likely with his beautiful wife and three children.

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