Fault management is a term commonly used in telecommunications that refers to the process of detecting, identifying, and ultimately resolving any issues that are decreasing the efficiency of communications within a network. The idea is to correct the malfunctions as quickly as possible and restore the network to full functionality. This same basic concept can be applied to the management of an internal business network as well as a communications system that processes voice and data across a nation or group of nations.
There are a number of processes that aid in conducting effective fault management. Tools such as diagnostic software programs and sequence testing processes are two examples of proactive measures taken to isolate and correct malfunctions before users of the network are adversely affected. With a teleconference service, diagnostics on conference bridges can often identify a channel or port connected to the bridge that is compromised in some manner. This makes it possible to disable that port so the system does not select it as a point of termination for an inbound call. The port remains disabled and unavailable for use until the malfunction is corrected, preventing any customers of the conference call bureau from being inconvenienced.
Along with identifying and correcting telecommunications malfunctions, the process of fault management can also be effective in managing networks that are in operation as part of a company’s internal network. Here, the purpose of the fault management is to correct any issues that threaten to disrupt the ongoing tasks that allow the business to function. This includes managing and correcting faults associated with servers, workstations, or any other component that is a part of that network. Backups and regular diagnostics aid in resolving issues before they have the chance to interfere with the business operation, while tools such as log files make it possible to review events that do take place and temporarily disrupt the system. Error logs are especially helpful in isolating the origins of various types of exceptions or faults, and correcting them as quickly as possible.
Many fault management programs provide what are known as error detection notifications. This is simply a message delivered to an administrator that something is not working properly. Some management programs also include tools that make it possible to correct the fault immediately, after permission is granted by an administrator, a feature that also helps to limit the amount of downtime experienced due to some sort of malfunction.