the-best-steps-to-take-to-maintain-and-manage-your-business-networkA network management system is important for businesses, but it can be time consuming and expensive to implement. Network managers are faced with a lot of stress and many mistakes can be made. In order to properly set up a system that can be managed and maintained, remember the following before you install any network configuration management tools.

System Inventory Creation

The first step is to create a system inventory. You need to see what you have in order to figure out what you will need. A failure to do this can lead to problems in the future. Create an inventory and then see exactly what you have in order to determine what extras may be needed.

Create Change Control Processes

After taking inventory of the network system, you’ll want to implement an adequate change control process. Avoid copying a change control process that worked somewhere else, as each network system could have different protocols or configurations that are not applicable to your network.  Focus on the setting that the business is in for optimal results. Always keep change logs as they will help maintain control while changes are made.

Respecting Compliance Standards

Compliance standards should be a constant priority. A failure to do abide by compliance standards is not only illegal, It is  potentially dangerous for the employees and the system. Always consider PCI, HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, besides local regulations.

Analyze Dependencies

There are systems that will be dependent on other systems. For instance, when monitoring remote locations and a router failure occurs, alerts have to appear at all the devices monitored at that specific locations. See what dependencies exist and be sure that they will be properly taken care of.

Alert Systems

One of the most important parts of network management is setting up an alert system. The IT staff needs to know about a potential or existing problem as soon as it is identified in order to take swift actions to remediate or prevent problems.

Decide Necessary Security

Alerts are needed but this does not mean that you can rely on them to fix what happens. Implement a security system that is both physical and technical. Physical security systems can range from facility access controls to workstation-specific security. Technical security can be person/entity authentication to access control on specific software programs or information.  Focus on exactly the security that the network requires.

Supplemental Data To Make Important Decisions

Whenever you need to make decisions about important applications and systems, analyze as much helpful supplemental data as possible. Analyze logs to look at usage data in order to make the very best possible decision.

Network Perimeters

Sometimes managers put too much trust on filters and firewalls. You need to also see what network traffic goes in and out. Traffic flows have to be analyzed and IDS systems need to be implemented.

Track Devices And Users

The last recommendation is that, at all times, you track all devices and users. Be sure that network managers are capable of using the systems that you implement. A training period may be necessary for some users.