A network management group is a company comprised of computer information systems professionals, including network administrators and systems engineers. This type of company will usually handle other organizations' information technology needs, such as network platforms, maintenance schedules, support and hosting services. With some exceptions, companies that specialize in telecommunications and networking infrastructure handle network management operations. Some companies choose to handle their own computer networking needs and will establish a separate network management or information technology department.
The purpose of a network management group is to figure out how to design an appropriate networking system that is made up of computer hardware, software, and telecommunications equipment. Several details go into the network planning process, such as the size of the organization, the locations that need to transfer data, the organization's technology budget, and what the network will be used for. For example, a company that operates two offices will generally have lower network capacity needs than a school district that supports multiple buildings and types of users. Besides overseeing the physical design and hardware selection, a network management group will usually be in charge of manipulating software and granting access to certain network features.
One of the primary responsibilities that a network management group undertakes is setting up a way for individual computer users to gain access to an organization's network. Some companies use both Internet and Intranet networks, while others rely on just one type. Local area networks (LANs) are usually designed to share information within an organization and internal users are granted access through a network function, sometimes referred to as an active directory. The directory is maintained and created by network systems engineers that set up login names, passwords, and permission settings for shared network folders and web browsing.
In some cases, a network management group may provide other companies with web hosting and domain services. A unique website address and name is created for the company and the management group may help design the site's visual appearance and structure. Domain hosting entails giving the company a certain amount of space to upload and transfer information on the network management company's server. Network administrators handle all of the technical aspects and functions of the website, including bandwidth, traffic monitoring, outages, and data recovery.
An important and often crucial part of network administration is data relocation and recovery. Since the systems engineers are in charge of deciding how and where data is located on the server, they are often aware of how to recover it if the network goes down or changes are made that affect users' abilities to access saved documents. Backup methods, such as saving data to an alternate server location, and anti-virus monitoring are typically part of a network management group's responsibilities as well.