Devices on a network need to be maintained, optimized, configured and secured, in order to prevent disruption to the network and to perform their intended purposes. Such tasks usually fall under the purview of network management, which controls the processes and procedures to ensure the network is optimized for usage at all times. From configuring routers and switches to ensuring firewalls are secured, network device management is concerned specifically with the functioning and performance of devices on the network. Those involved make use of a variety of tools to ensure network devices are functioning properly. Such tasks inherent to the process include configuration, monitoring, diagnostics, remediation, performing data back-ups and recovery, with the objective to ensure the performance and availability of network devices.
Configuration of devices on the network consists of ensuring that device settings are optimized to work with network protocols as well as to respond appropriately to security measures. Proper configurations is usually a manual process in network device management, such as tweaking the settings on a router to work with network settings and to adhere to network policies set forth by the network administrator. Security configuration of devices is also part of this process to ensure devices are only accessed by the appropriate resources and personnel.
Monitoring the devices on the network is crucial for spotting potential problems before they negatively impact the performance or accessibility to the network. This usually involves the installation of a variety of network device management or monitoring tools that will log the performance of devices and provide data showing shifts in that performance. Unusual shifts in performance that are uncovered can then be examined closer to ascertain if there is a potential problem with the device.
Diagnostics, on the other hand, often involves the use of network device management tools designed to gauge the functioning of network devices to isolate deficiencies. Such tools are usually deployed to speed up the diagnostic process to help eliminate down-time when a device malfunctions. These tools also can help cut costs by helping to eliminate the unnecessary replacement of devices that can be fixed due to a malfunction, rather than a misdiagnosis concluding device failure.
Remediation in network device management is simply the process of performing maintenance on devices to ensure, or to restore, proper functioning. Both proactive and reactive, maintenance is usually performed on a daily basis. As a part of maintenance, this may include performing recovery measures in addition to back-up of essential data required of the devices.