A corporate computer network usually consists of many different electronic devices, power distribution systems, and work consoles. With centralized network management, all of these can be managed from a single control station or server. Businesses often to tend to add equipment and software to networks that can make them more complex; the number of systems to manage is sometimes so large there is a lack of connections between disparate parts. Centralized management usually makes user access, data storage, and troubleshooting more convenient.
Managing a network generally includes monitoring performance, but security, balancing of processor loads, and traffic management are usually important as well. A server can be centralized to monitor various operational parameters. It can react in response to particular actions or if certain levels of traffic or processing activity are reached. Operational and security policies can also be set in the system so that centralized network management can be performed efficiently.
Specialized software for centralized network management often helps to monitor, analyze, and manage all of the components. It can allow an administrator to set policies, assign network equipment for specific resources, and view the performance of individual components or the entire system on a graphical screen. These data can be applied to developing a model of the network, planning for additional capacity, and forecasting how certain variables will affect performance.
Network administration not only involves managing data and system operations. One must also be able to control who has access to what. Passwords and user permissions, as well as event logging, are often part of centralized management, too. On some networked systems, it can be possible to load software from remote locations, especially if there is a connection between data storage and a remote server.
There are many software programs that can be used and accessed throughout an enterprise. Centralized network management also enables these programs to be installed quicker, and for people to access them. If different parts of the network were disconnected from one another, accessing such systems is often difficult.
Centralized network management is typically useful when many applications running in the system interfere with performance. Services that work with voice, video, and data often face such problems, so administrators can adjust network functions to make things more efficient, like with a communications network, for example. By centralizing operations, administrators can better understand regular network functions and also predict how any changes or upgrades will impact the way things work.