Business network management represents the method by which a company creates a system to control its internal computer network. The increasing use of technology and advancements in both computer software and hardware make this task more important for many types of companies. The different methods of business network management include a local area network (LAN), virtual private network (VPN), and an intranet, among other potential types. Companies may start with one network type and then move to another as the business grows and expands. Other times, the selection of a network comes from the type of data in a company, technology currently in use, or security needs for information.
A local area network is typically among the most common types of business network management in place at small businesses and homes. It requires an Internet connection, modem, and router, which can create a wireless network for connecting many computers. In some cases, this option may not be the most secure as the network may be subject to use from unauthorized individuals, even if it is password protected. Large organizations tend to need bigger forms of a LAN, which results in wide area network, a big brother to the former network management system. This latter form carries the same benefits and drawbacks to the LAN in most cases.
A step-up in terms of business network management is a VPN, which allows for the creation of a private business network for Internet use. In this form, the company creates its own private network using hardware and some software packages through the Internet. Few individuals typically have access to this network or the information contained in the electronic management system. This business network management system may be less expensive than others due to its customization ability to bid services out to companies. Larger companies may receive more benefits from this network type than others.
An intranet is a large internal business network management type that allows a significant number of employees to access a company’s information. This network involves some of the pieces from the prior two network types, most often software and hardware that connect multiple computers to a server. Employees access data from their stations through the use of an internal Internet connection, which allows for the most security possible with many individuals working in a company. This network is also the most expensive in most cases. An option is to create an extranet, which allows outside users access to some information from the company.