Network Management System (NMS) is used to monitor and administer the various components on a computer network, such as servers, routers, and switches. A network management system may be installed on any type of computer for monitoring and managing the entire network.
NMS is an important tool that helps maintain the health of overall network in any organization or clusters of the networks across the organization. It is vital to carry out various operations within the organization. Network managers have to adopt different strategies to maintain a wider and bigger network effectively usually from a central computer using NMS. Recording information and communications across computer networks are the two vital components for appropriate network management.
Some NMS platforms are not just for managing networks but also for managing cloud-based services. An NMS is mostly used in large data centers because it is required to keep track of all components on the network, as well as data centers that are connected to them.
For an NMS to keep track of all components on a network, it needs two things: how many devices are connected (or how many computers or users) and what they do (data collection).
Advantages of an NMS
NMS are a broad family of computer software that supports networking devices such as routers, switches, access points, and remote controls. NMS systems are also known as network controllers because they are typically used to manage networks and other aspects of the network.
Some of the main advantages of network management systems include:
Control which devices can access the network.
Have a clear overview of all the connected devices on your network.
Monitor the network traffic in real-time.
Identify events that can lead to downtime.
Better capacity planning.
Retain log data for compliance.
Challenges in the absence of an NMS
The performance of network components can be quickly affected by instability. Without a NMS, diagnosing network issues is physically impossible, which hampers troubleshooting.
Without a NMS, organizations may encounter disruptions in delivering products, which will make it challenging to meet their service-level agreements (SLAs).
Erroneous network configuration and insufficiency network security can produce security risks, putting networks at risk of types of digital fraud.
Businesses may experience frequent network outages and be impacted by lengthy downtime with no network management system in place. This can cause revenue and production levels to drop. Additionally, not all companies have enough money to pay for the significant costs of downtime.
How NMS works?
Network administrators are responsible for managing the IT network of an organization. They do this by using tools such as NMS to manage their work.
An NMS typically operates as a centralized platform hosted on a server to gather network data from devices. The server can be located on premises, in a private cloud, or the cloud. Network devices, clients, and application information can be sent over the network to the server to update their status. Network administrators can check the status of the network by logging through a web browser or smartphone app.
An NMS will implement some type of monitoring of the network, such as packet loss, latency, bandwidth utilization, and more. It can also monitor servers or even mobile devices (mobile device management) connected to the corporate networks. An NMS can be programmed to monitor certain events such as firewalls or network traffic in real-time.
Network administrators use a network management system for a variety of purposes, some of them are as follows:
Performance monitoring: Track all your network device performances, such as server performance, switch performance, data center performance, router performance, etc. The performance metrics help you monitor packet loss and CPU and memory utilization. In addition, perform Syslog monitoring and trap alerts to get notified about any downtime with network performance.
Device monitoring: Enterprise networks can be enormous, with thousands of devices, servers, and machines. An NMS makes device discovery easy, along with managing their configurations. Furthermore, you can back up the network configurations that can be restored in the event of security breaches or data loss. Automate routine and maintenance tasks with the help of scripts, templates, and a Runbook.
Forecasting & Alerts: Downtimes are part of network administration; what is more important is how fast they are detected and resolved. An NMS detects any form of service disruption and notifies the network admin with the appropriate context. In addition, historical performance data also forecasts the potential operational behavior and help you make confident decisions. The forecasting ability keeps you one step ahead and lets you perform capacity planning and take prior actions about potential issues.
Reports & Dashboards: Generate customized reports for the key metrics that impact your overall network performance, such as downtime, CPU and memory usage, bandwidth utilization, etc., providing complete visibility across your network enterprise. In addition, NMS offers customized, pre-built, out-of-the-box dashboards based on your requirements. For example, it lets you display the top ten devices with various measured metrics from the entire network architecture.
Best Practices of NMS
Following the best practices while implanting a NMS into your network enterprise is advised. In addition, the essential strategies that network admins can implement in an IT organization are discussed below.
Identifying Network Architecture: It is very important to study and understand the core infrastructure of your network, the requirements, and the operations performed across your network. The admins need to identify how a NMS can help gain control over the network operations. This also involves meeting standard compliances like HIPPA and PCI, which are legal requirements for health and payment organizations.
Managing Network Traffic: Once the network infrastructure is identified, the next step can be to manage the network components such as security, network devices, and network design. Again, prioritizing these helps you prevent failures and disconnectivity.
Finding a perfect NMS for your Enterprise: A powerful NMS should be able to manage the network with different parameters such as device discovery, traffic flows, risk management, etc. As a result, it helps protect the enterprise from vulnerabilities, secure the network, and grow your business.
NMS with Motadata Network Observability
Network Observability by Motadata provides a complete insight into the structure of a company’s network through continuous data collection and AI-driven correlation. It processes multiple sources, including cloud networks, SD-WAN, hybrid networks, and many more.
Organizations can observe their performance across on-premises computer systems and cloud components with observability. It captures and isolates network events and will provide data from logs, events, traffic, and metric data to meet business objectives.
Here are some of the key highlights of the platform:
Monitor metrics, traffic, streaming, and logs data.
Baselining on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and traffic data.
Automated network topology mapping (network map) and analysis.