Networks are an integral part of our digital life and a critical component of almost all businesses and industries. Simply defined, a network is a group or system of interconnected objects. Networks take many forms and provide a diverse range of functions that form the backbone of many organizations.
We all interact with networks every day. When you use your mobile phone or search the Internet from your laptop you are using a public network. Internal networks are critical to the workings of business, industry, and government.
They are deployed in industrial automation systems and provide remote workers with the opportunity to collaborate over great distances. The concept of the Internet of Things(IoT) would be impossible without employing networks to gather and process data.
Maintaining the health and operation of your network has become a major focus of many enterprises. They understand the value that their network brings to their organization, and realize that a network that is not running optimally can result in negative consequences that can impact their ability to deliver their product or services.
According to allbusiness.com, every business with more than one computer can reap many benefits by using a computer network.
Here are 5 systems that are part of your network implementation and need to be under constant scrutiny to ensure that they are in top-notch condition. Issues in any of these systems can cause severe problems for your business.
1) Monitoring System
Your network needs to be operating at peak efficiency in order for your company to thrive. The monitoring system that you employ needs to be able to inform you of problems in the network as well as provide you with statistics that can be used to proactively make improvements.
Tools for gathering data over time and storing it for later analysis can be instrumental when used with your network monitoring system. Use of a data historian can enable you to continuously monitor various aspects of your network and retain the data for later use.
Buffering of data ensures that you never lose anything, even in the case of a network outage. The ability to study network logs to determine why an outage occurred can help you take corrective action and prevent further occurrences of the problem.
Every node on your network is an entry point into your organization. This includes every computer, sensor, monitor, and any other device that is connected to your network. Each of these entry points poses a potential risk for unauthorized access.
An intrusion into your system can take the form of a targeted search for proprietary data or the introduction of malware or malicious software that can cripple your infrastructure.
Security has always been an issue of primary concern in computer systems, but the proliferation of networks and network attached devices has made it a more critical topic than ever before. Implementations of the Internet of Things are adding billions of devices to global networks, any one of which can be hijacked by a hacker and used for nefarious reasons.
Your security system is your defense against possible intrusions and must be monitored and maintained constantly. Security patches need to be installed as a high-priority item, and unusual activity should be thoroughly investigated. Your security system can work in concert with your monitoring system to better protect your company’s valuable assets.
3) Storage Systems
Network attached storage systems are another aspect of your network that need constant care and oversight. One of the great benefits afforded by a network is the ability to share data among remote locations. This is accomplished through the use of storage devices that are shared among the network’s users.
Failure to provide adequate storage can cause processes to fail or run much more slowly. You may find that you need to provision your storage differently to maximize your network’s utility to your business as internal requirements change over time.
Your storage systems also fulfill other functions related to the operation of your network. Tied into your monitoring system, storage space needs to be available for logs to be saved. Inadequate space can lead to incomplete analysis when problems may arise.
4) Network Hardware
The hardware that comprises your network needs constant attention to maintain its operational functionality. According to cloudcomputingnet.com, there are a variety of types of equipment that are required to create a computer network. Failure of any of these components can cause your network to be inoperable, or at the very least, to perform in a less than optimal fashion.
The hubs, routers, cables, switches, and NIC cards that make up your network need to be monitored and serviced or replaced as required. The addition of the multiple thousands of devices that make up an IoT installation complicate the job of maintaining networking hardware.
In addition to putting stress on your network’s infrastructure, there are now many more points of failure to be considered.
Maintaining your network hardware is another area where your network monitoring system can be of help. Identifying devices that are performing inconsistently can allow you to replace them before they fail and keep your network running smoothly.
5) Software Systems
Software systems are a key component of your network. Both network operating system software and local operating systems have critical roles in maintaining the viability of your network. They need to communicate seamlessly with each other in order for network traffic to flow efficiently.
Once your network and local OS software is in place and its operation has been verified, you need to institute a program of regular maintenance. Patches that are made available by the software manufacturers should be installed at the earliest date possible to guard against security breaches and take advantage of additional functionality that may be present in the upgrades.
These are 5 areas of your network that deserve your constant attention and care. Without proper oversight, your network’s performance can suffer, and with it your business.
With the network taking a major role in so many businesses and industries, keeping it safe and in good working condition is time and money well spent.
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