Today it is almost inconceivable for a business not to have computers, whether it is a construction company or a high technology firm. When a business has more than one computer, they are almost always connected to a local area network. These networks may be more or less advanced and therefore more or less costly.
Companies invest so much (in terms of both money and time) in a local area network because there are many advantages that a local area network brings to a business and how it is administered.
Some businesses use a local area network in such a way they are highly dependent on it always working. If the company's network fails, then you may see all the employees chatting away in the corridors because they can't do their work. This means big losses for the company and causes stress on the employees. All companies must consider their local area networks a vital asset and downtime must be avoided. This imposes huge demands on the network staff to keep such networks running almost 100% of the time.
One of the main advantages of installing and maintaining LANs is the opportunity they create for better communication and cooperation between employees and customers.
Security considerations: Local Area Network security can be both a help and hindrance. Comprehensive security is beneficial because it provides a central and safe strategy for data access and disaster recovery. All information is protected by the design and implementation of the network security solution. On the other hand, interconnecting computers in local area networks creates a security risk, since doing so makes it technically possible for intruders to access many machines on the network at once.
Cost considerations: Installing a local area network is a relatively expensive project. Servers, cabling, switches, routers, and software can all be expensive and should never be purchased without expert advice. Keeping the network operating and secure also requires a lot of resources and can be costly.
Surprisingly, a local area network can bring some cost savings. Sharing resources avoids the need to purchase equipment for each individual. Even more important is the security that a local area network can provide. Data loss could cost a business a great deal of money and in some cases, cause the business to shut down altogether. Computer Network Management should require a consistent routine for data backups with regular checkups of data quality - a practice that will save a company huge sums in the event of a mishap.
The first phase of computer network management is to determine the source of the problem (a preliminary study that looks into several options of differing scope may be useful here) and defining it in a specification of requirements. Examples of what should be evaluated are different network operating systems, mail systems, and other applications. The choice of hardware components should also be evaluated. This phase is generally aimed at establishing what the system should do, not how it should do it.
The purpose of the design phase is to determine how the requirements of the specification are to be met. The current approach to large, complex projects is to break them down into smaller, more manageable subprojects.
This phase involves the physical installation of the local area network. Cables are run, the software is installed, and computers and other hardware are put in place.
In this phase, the commissioning of the network begins, and routines are adapted to users and the operating personnel. The system must be tested, both to ensure that the network meets the requirements set out in the specification and that it is stable enough to perform the central function it has in the organization.
Local area networks have complex operating routines. This is because there may be serious consequences when faults occur or unauthorized persons gain access to the system. Many companies have employees devoted solely to take care of running and maintaining computer networks. These system administrators may deal with network issues such as performance, reliability, and security of both hardware and software.
Although an organization may have computer administrators on-site, they must also monitor the network more than eight hours a day. Some of the worst trouble that arises with networks can happen during the night hours when nobody is using the network. With the right computer network management tools, your organization can receive the security of knowing that problems will be foreseen, prevented, and taken care of - and that your network administrator can be notified at a moment's notice, should anything go exceptionally wrong.