Networking has not gotten easier. With virtualization, cloud computing and an absolute explosion in data usage, managing a network definitely is a job that deserves its pay.
Here are five tips for network managers that would like to make their jobs a little bit easier—or maybe just keep up with the curve!
Look at systems from various perspectives. Traditional network management does not provide granular visibility down to end-systems, users and applications, which is why it is important to look at network issues from various perspectives.
IT should look at options beyond traditional networks designed to support a static wired access edge with applications running on dedicated physical servers, for instance, since old-school networks are simply not positioned properly to support the new computing environment that exists thanks to virtualization.
Work together as a system. Rather than looking at each person’s role as a set of individual responsibilities, the good network manager will look at the job from a holistic perspective that takes into account the role that each position plays in the larger project.
This means the person managing the hypervisors or the servers can see the same screens as the network engineers, for instance. Integrated management of virtual servers, storage arrays and the network infrastructure help network managers avoid finger-pointing and duplication of effort.
Focus on visibility. The large influx of data is making network visibility more important than ever. It is crucial for the network manager to have insight into the data center’s inner workings. Without visibility, it is hard to adjust.
The ability to see every conversation on the network ensures that IT knows when things aren’t working right or problems are on the horizon. Managers need to invest in software and visibility solutions that ensure that all angles of the network are visible.
Don’t neglect controls enforcement. Many times network management procedures are not enforced and steps can are skipped. This is all too common, unfortunately, but it can lead to situations such as where servers have gone online before the backups are configured. Controls exist for a reason, and it is crucial that policies be followed. If the policy isn’t workable, it needs to be changed. But whatever controls currently are in place needs to be enforced, or problems are inevitable.
Keep your house in order. Infrastructure is often overlooked as not strategic compared with software, but without well-oiled infrastructure the network cannot function well. CIOs need to be strategic, but without IT running smoothly, the executive team or Board will be spend their time discussing outages and performance issues. Therefore, it is critical to make sure that CIOs have their shop in order.
With these tips in action, network managers can stay ahead of the curve.
Edited by Blaise McNamee