Even small companies can have complex computer networks that are a considerable investment. Multiple computers and servers, as well as routers and switches, are all interconnected and a problem in one can eventually spread throughout the network. One of the advantages of network management is that there is a system in place that can monitor every part on a constant basis; a problem with one component can be detected and resolved before most people even know about it. Network management often provides a means for security, access control, system upgrades, and policy enforcement.
Advantages of network management include the ability to monitor every piece of hardware as well as software. For network administration, this often means that the function of everything can be tracked, while system performance aspects such as data capacity and transfer speed are usually visible to administrators. System and software settings, for example, can be quickly adjusted to meet demands. The setting of policies is another one of the advantages of managing a network; alerts can be sent out at the administrative level if anyone accesses unauthorized files or resources, for example.
Productivity often depends on the response time of systems in a network. Performance management is typically crucial for network operation, while authorized users generally need to access software programs and devices in a reasonable amount of time. Administrators typically benefit from network management by being able to ensure all systems function as intended to. One can also determine exactly where a problem is so there isn’t significant time spent looking for a cause.
Security is one of the advantages of network management, and often includes protection against viruses, hackings, and other threats that can come from both outside and inside a company. The many interconnections between computers often create opportunities for someone to break in and harm equipment or data. Firewall systems can constantly look for signs of an attack, while software often helps identify and eliminate viruses and other forms of intrusion.
Centralized data access typically makes it convenient for users to find information when it is needed. Backup and disaster recovery are also advantages of network management that can protect data even if a major problem occurs or the system goes off-line. Adequate network maintenance often helps find problems while they are isolated to single computers or devices. These issues can usually be fixed before they affect the whole system, possibly causing it to fail.