H.W. 1 Network Management

1)      Explain the term network management in one sentence.

It’s the process of diligently overseeing and controlling all aspects of running a network; the methods used to administer, maintain, and provision the system, from the selection of the necessary hardware to the implementation and application of software which controls them.

2)      We used a patient in intensive care as one analogy to explain network management. Can you think of areas in network management that this analogy does not capture?

If you can relate the needs of an intensive care patient to that of the need of running an effective network, then the equipment vendor would not exactly fit that analogy. You constantly monitor different vital signs of the patient and prescribe treatment (provisioning), the equipment vendor could be a donor if a leg of arm was needed, but in the given analogy the patient was sick and not in need of a limb. The equipment vendor can create a new branch necessary to expand a system, but can’t necessarily make it run better without the help of a third party.

3)      Can you think of other areas in which you would expect analogies to network management to apply?

Monitoring vital flight information while a plane is flying, tasting your food periodically as you cook it (more salt, pepper?), checking your speed odometer as you fly down the highway to make sure you’re not speeding, or having the check engine light illuminated in your vehicle, it constantly monitors vital information about the condition of your engine (time for servicing).

4)      Give two examples of how network management can help an enterprise IT department save money.

The entire framework of the network can be arranged in a more precise manner, monitored more effectively, making solving problems less tedious, saving time and resources.

5)      Give two examples of how network management can help a service provider increase revenue.

They can make sure regular maintenance is performed to keep the system running efficiently, offer new opportunities for different types of services and, provide provisioning so that new services are provided in a timely fashion.

6)      A famous requirement for availability is “five nines.” This refers to the requirement that a device or a service must be available 99.999 percent of the time. Assume that you have a device with hardware availability of 99.9995 percent. Now assume that an operational error is made that causes the device to go offline for 5 minutes until the error is corrected. Calculate over a period of a month, how much has the operational error just caused availability to drop?

30 days * 24 hr. * 60 min. * 60 sec. = 2,592, so (2,592 * .999995) = 2,591.987 seconds is the amount of time available with no down time. Because of the five minutes of down time, 300 seconds must be subtracted from this time which leaves 2,591.687 seconds. Therefor the availability is (what the availability should be / what the availability actually is), so 2,591.687 / 2,591987 = .99988, only 3 nines instead of 5.

7)      How does the perspective under which network management is approached often differ for an enterprise IT department compared to a service provider?

Network management provides the tools to give a service provider more ability to increase its revenue through increased service potential, they can make a difference in the provider’s potential ability to provide the best services. Network management always has considered cost in its operations to optimize its operations, but the IT department doesn’t really consider cost; it can be considered like a mother with a child or children, she just wants to supply the necessary nutrients to see growth, knowing that it will help to insure a future.

8)      Name at least two factors that can be important to the business success of a third-party management application vendor that potentially has to compete with a network offering of a network equipment vendor.

A third-party management application vendor can provide more support and programming that can be better and more efficient than the original vendors, they can also provide that service for the connectivity and maximum output of many different vendors equipment for a network

9)      What does the term swivel-chair refer to, and why is it undesirable?

If a network isn’t integrated properly in its monitoring systems for alarms, and requires several displays to monitor these alarms you would need someone at each display to effectively address them. For example if one person were to monitor four screens, he or she would need to be in a chair which swivels. That means they must constantly be moving, increasing their chance to make a mistake. This is definitely unwanted.

10)   Name two or more reasons for network management applications to be approached as distributed systems.

Management applications have to be interlaced between many parts of a network to have functionality, therefor by its nature it has to be distributed between network equipment to increase reliability, maintenance, speed, and the scaling of the network.

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