Network management systems or tools are a set of hardware and/or software that are used by IT personnel or IT administrators to manage or supervise different individual components within a large network management framework with ease. Such tools or systems are utilized in different organizations to ensure a smooth running of the organization's network. They assist in different operations such as network device discovery; this is where the tools are used to discover new devices in the network or the devices present in the network. The tools are also used for network device monitoring; the tools monitor the network at the devices present at the network level so as to establish the health position of the network components. The tools also assist with the network performance analysis; this comprises of the tracking of bandwidth utilization, latency, packet loss as well as the routers' uptime and the switches also (Kim & Feamster 2013). The tools also play a huge role in intelligent notification systems; this is where specific network scenarios are alerted to the admin by emailing, paging, texting or calling the network administrator.
Policy compliance can be easily understood as the seeking to verify that all controls in our case in a network are first implemented and secondly these controls remain operational or functional as implemented (Palizban et al., 2014). As seen in the introduction network management tools assist in the analysis of the network hence this policy compliance falls under this. An example of this tool is the Network Configuration and Change Management (NCCM) software. This software manages network configurational changes as well as protection of these configurations in the network. The software also protects the devices in the network from unwanted changes. The configurations within the network defines the quality of the network services (Bari et al., 2013). These network configurations comprise of the switches configurations within a network, routers configurations within the network, access control devices within the network, controllers and other devices found within the network. The process of ensuring the careful management of these configurations becomes critical hence the need for the software. Network configuration and change management software NCCM software falls the best for this category due to the major role the software plays in network administration.
Bandwidth management is the process of controlling and or managing the communication of packets within the network or the traffic within the network. This helps prevent the overloading of the network or a particular link within the network which would result in poor network performance of failing of the network due to the overload in the network. For a network administrator, a bandwidth management software helps them avoid this and helps them control the traffic within the network in the process avoiding overloading of the network (Bari et al., 2013).. There are a number of this software in the market, for example, Antamedia bandwidth manager and Softperfect bandwidth manager.
Antamedia bandwidth manager stands out among all the other bandwidth management tools for different networks due to its diverse features. The software has the functional capability offsetting download and uploads limits as well as speeds for all the users within the network. This helps the network administrator save on the internet cost within a network as well as prevent the organization from blacklisted sites within the network and more (Yue et al., 2013). The bandwidth management software requires no client software installation which makes the software the best. The network administrator can easily control or manage the bandwidth of any device within the network either wired or wireless, phones and all the other devices with no client software installation in them. Also, the software can run simultaneous connections. The software helps the network administrator watch online activities per users within the network, manage the login times within the network, maximum and minimum time usage of the network for the users in the network as well. The software also helps the network administrator control unidentified users in the network more easily hence providing security within the network (Yue et al., 2013). Softpack bandwidth management software also as a number of feature similar to those of Antamedia Bandwidth management software but fails to meet most of the features. Both software can manage to easily assign month limits on the bandwidth on each user, both can manage to set upload and download limits for the different devices within the network but some features such as controlling unidentified users within the network features are not found in Softpack bandwidth management system hence making Antamedia bandwidth manager the best between the two due to the extra features.
Network asset management software are the software within the network that acts as watchdogs within a network and help save staff time on network device downtimes and costs by detecting any malfunctions of devices within a network and help in preventing the breakdown of the network devices. This software consists of client software which runs on the client devices within a network and the main software the management software running on the network administrators and that is responsible for collecting, organizing and displaying the information gathered by the client software on the devices within the network (Campbell et al., 2016). The software come from different suppliers and happen to have many similarities in relation to functionality but some are having the extra feature on them making them better than the others. Good examples of the software include Spiceworks IT Asset Management Software and Boss Solutions system and many more of these software available in the market for the network asset management system. Spiceworks software has different feature all in line with network asset management such as manage network exchange and licensing, report on network asset, inventory as well as network metrics. Most of these features are present on the Boss Solutions software also with a minor difference on things such as user friendliness of the different software as well as real-time monitoring capabilities (Campbell et al., 2016). This gives the difference as well as the similarities between the two software although the choice of which to pick greatly lies on the network administrators choice and understanding of the operation of the software.
Network management requires a collection of different software so as to ensure smooth functioning of a network which happens to play a major role in the operation of any organization today in the market. Right choices are also required in the picking of the right software to use and how to it operates to achieve the goal.
Bari, M. F., Chowdhury, S. R., Ahmed, R., & Boutaba, R. (2013, November). PolicyCop: An autonomic QoS policy enforcement framework for software-defined networks. In Future Networks and Services (SDN4FNS), 2013 IEEE SDN For (pp. 1-7). IEEE.
Campbell, J. D., Jardine, A. K., & McGlynn, J. (Eds.). (2016). Asset management excellence: optimizing equipment life-cycle decisions. CRC Press.
Kim, H., & Feamster, N. (2013). Improving network management with software-defined networking. IEEE Communications Magazine, 51(2), 114-119.
Palizban, O., Kauhaniemi, K., & Guerrero, J. M. (2014). Microgrids in active network management part II: System operation, power quality and protection, Reviews, 36, 440-451.
Yue, D., Tian, E., & Han, Q. L. (2013). A delay system method for designing event-triggered controllers of networked control systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 58(2), 475-481.
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