Network Management System (NMS) is a piece of software that 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.
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
Network management systems (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 network management system, diagnosing network issues is physically impossible, which hampers troubleshooting.
Without a network management system, 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 an NMS works?
Network administrators are responsible for managing the IT network of an organization. They do this by using tools such as network management systems (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: The use of a network management tool allows a network administrator to monitor network performance data indicators such as bandwidth utilization, packet loss, latency, availability, and uptime of routers, switches, and other equipment in the network.
- 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.
- Alerting: 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 appropriate context.
- Data collection: Without data, there is no visibility. One of the primary reasons to use an NMS is to collect operational data in the form of metrics through taps, protocols like SNMP, and agents.
How are elements in a network send data to an NMS?
Network elements usually send telemetry data to a centrally hosted NMS through either of the two ways:
SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a protocol that allows applications to act as remote administrators over TCP/IP networks when they come across data that needs maintenance or configuration changes.
A software-based agent installed in a network element allows for the automatic discovery and transfer of key performance metrics in real-time. Agent method is rapidly replacing SNMP, as it is more efficient, produces more contextual data points, and is scalable in a large network.
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.
- In-depth dependency data mapping.
- AI-driven correlation.
- Customizable dashboards.
- Built-in anomaly detection and forecasting.
- Built-in automation runbook engine.
- Extend capabilities with custom Plugins.
- Intelligent alerting.