What is network management?

Minimizes costly network disruptions

Network management is the process of administering, managing, and operating a data network, using a network management system. Modern network management systems use software and hardware to constantly collect and analyze data and push out configuration changes for improving performance, reliability, and security.

Benefits of Network Management

  1. It saves time.
  2. It’s cost-effective.
  3. It increases productivity.
  4. It prevents business disruption.
  5. It documents performance.
  6. It minimizes security risks.

How does a network management system do its job?

The system manages network devices such as switches, routers, access points, and wireless controllers. It typically uses a centralized server to collect data from network elements. The server can be located on-premises, in a private data center, or in the cloud.

Devices, clients, and applications on the network can send data to the server with updates about their status. Network administrators can monitor network operations by logging in to the server, usually through a web browser or a smartphone app

How do network elements send data to the system?

Networking devices, such as routers and switches, and network endpoints, such as computers, smartphones, cameras, machines, and sensors, typically send data to the system in one of two ways:

  • SNMP: The Simple Network Management Protocol is an open standard. It is widely supported by most manufacturers of network elements. The network management system uses SNMP to “poll” each element in the network. Each element then sends a response to the system.
  • Telemetry: A software agent installed in a network element allows for the automatic transmission of key performance indicators in real time.

Characteristics of a modern network management system

Network automation

One defining characteristic of a modern network management system is network automation. This is the process of automating the configuring, managing, testing, deploying, and operating of physical and virtual devices within a network. Network service availability improves when everyday network tasks and functions are automated and repetitive processes are controlled and managed automatically.


Network assurance

Network assurance features are often included in modern network management systems. These features help enhance network performance, user experience, and security. Assurance systems often use network analytics, application analytics, and policy analytics as well as AI and ML to achieve full network assurance.


Network analytics

Network analytics is a software engine that compares incoming data against preprogrammed operational models and makes functional decisions for improving network performance.

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About Plow Networks

Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.

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*This information is brought to you by our partner, Cisco.