Network management is a broad range of functions including activities, methods, procedures and the use of tools to administrate, operate, and reliably maintain computer network systems.
Strictly speaking, network Management does not include terminal equipment (PCs, workstations, printers, etc.). Rather, it concerns the reliability, efficiency and capacity/capabilities of data transfer channels.
While there is no precise definition of the term due to it being such a broad concept, some of the main areas are summarized below:
Network Administration: This involves tracking and inventorying the many network resources such as monitoring transmission lines, hubs, switches, routers, and servers; it also involves monitoring their performance and updating their associated software – especially network management software, network operating systems, and distributed software applications used by network users.
Network Operation: This involves smooth network functioning as designed and intended, including close monitoring of activities to quickly and efficiently address and fix problems as they occur and preferably even before users are aware of the problem.
Network Maintenance: This involves timely repair and necessary upgrades to all network resources as well as preventive and corrective measures through close communication with company’s point of contact. Example work includes replacing or upgrading network equipment such as switches, routers and damaged transmission lines.
Network Provisioning: This involves configuring network resources to support the requirements of a particular service; example services may be voice capabilities or increasing broadband requirements to facilitate more users.