Network installation management is an area of overall network management in which the administrators pay attention to all programs installed on various devices. Along with installing programs, network installation management is concerned with upgrading and removing programs as needed. There typically is a program that helps administrators with this task, but it can be done manually in smaller networks. The benefits of installation management include saving time and ensuring installation accuracy across the network.
The main task of network installation management is to make sure that each computer in a network has the proper programs installed. More than that, administrators must ensure that only authorized users and computers receive more sensitive programs. For example, a regular worker should not have access to a manager-level program, because this can compromise security and cause many other problems. If a program has various versions, such as worker-level and manager-level versions, then the administrators also will manage this.
After programs are installed, there are more tasks to be done in network installation management. Most companies that create software also release updates to fix issues or add features, and having an obsolete version can create various problems with the software. This means administrators must ensure that every installed program is up to date. When the programs no longer are needed, either because they serve no purpose or a better program is being installed, administrators also are charged with removing the programs.
Network installation management usually is performed or supplemented through an installation manager program. This program will check for updates for installed programs and keep a log of all programs installed on the network. For smaller networks, administrators can effectively perform this manually by going to each computer or performing the task through the host computer, but this becomes increasingly difficult as the network’s size increases.
If a manager program is being used with network installation management, then the main benefit to this is saving time, because going to each computer can take quite a while. Even with the manual approach, there are advantages to managing all the installed programs. Administrators can equip each worker with the programs needed for their workday, which ensures consistency among the network computers. Routinely checking installations also ensures that users have not somehow obtained a program that is beyond their security level. This also reduces network and software errors by ensuring all obsolete programs are immediately updated.