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Chapter 12: Network Management

TRUE/FALSE

The following are possible True/False questions for tests. The statement is given and the answer is provided in
square brackets. The level of difficulty (easy, moderate, difficult) and the page(s) relevant to the topic are also
furnished.

1. Network managers manage the day-to-day operations of existing networks as one of their key tasks. [True; p.
356]
Easy

2. Network management is the process to operating, monitoring, and controlling the network to ensure it works as
intended and provides value to its users. [True; p. 356]
Easy

3. If managers do not pay enough attention to planning and organizing the network, they are going to end up being
proactive vs. reactive in solving network problems. [False, they will be reactive; p. 356]
Moderate

4. The future of network management lies in the management of LANs, BNs, and Internet resources instead of
concentrating on mainframe resources. [True; p. 356]
Moderate

5. Today, the critical issue of network management is managing only the mainframe’s network. [False, it is the
integration of all organizational networks and applications; p. 358]
Moderate

6. One key to integrating diverse networks in an organization is for the individual network managers to realize that
they no longer wield the same amount of power. [True; p. 359]
Moderate

7. Due to changing communication technologies, most companies have combined voice and data communications
functions. [True; p. 359]
Moderate

8. One of the least common configuration activities is adding and deleting user accounts. [False, it is one of the
most common activities; p. 360]
Moderate

9. One common configuration activity is updating the software on the client computers in the network. [True; p.
360]
Easy

10. Electronic Software Distribution requires managers to install software on client computers manually. [False, the
software is installed over the network; p. 360]
Easy

11. In many organizations, configuration documentation takes the form of a large set of network diagrams, one for
each LAN, BN, MAN, and WAN. [True; p. 361]
Easy

12. To help in negotiating site licenses for software, it is important to document which software packages are
installed on each client. [True, p. 361]
Easy

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Chapter 12: Network Management

13. User profiles should enable the network manager to identify the access rights (to particular files and directories)
for each user. [True; p. 361-362]
Easy

14. Fault management means ensuring the network is operating as efficiently as possible. [False, that is the
definition of performance management; p. 363]
Moderate

15. Network management software is used by most large organization to monitor and control their networks. [True;
p. 363]
Easy

16. Failure control requires developing a decentralized control philosophy for problem reporting. [False, a
centralized control philosophy is needed; p. 365]
Moderate

17. Trouble tickets are reports produced by a software package that records fault information. [True; p. 366]
Moderate

18. Problem statistics are not helpful in determining whether vendors are meeting contractual maintenance
commitments. [False, they can be very helpful with this; p. 366]
Moderate

19. To ensure that critical problems get priority over less important ones, problem prioritizing is needed in a
network. [True; p. 366]
Moderate

20. Management reports can be helpful in determining network availability statistics. [True; p. 367]
Moderate

21. Mean Time Between Failures is a statistic that is used to track device reliability. [True; p. 367]
Moderate

22. Quality control charts are a simple tool that can be used by network managers to monitor network conditions.
[True; p. 368]
Easy

23. Load balancing is a special software package that permits the network manager to set priority policies for
network traffic that take effect when the network becomes busy. [False, that is the definition of policy-based
management; p. 369]
Moderate

24. Service level agreements specify the exact type of performance and fault conditions that an organization will
accept from a common carrier or Internet service provider. [True; p. 370]
Easy

25. When users receive training about fundamentals of network use, they become confident about what they need to
do when working on a network. [True; p. 370]
Easy

26. Network management software is designed primarily to provide automated support for at least some of the
network management functions. [True; p. 373]
Easy

27. RMON refers to Radical Management Optical Network. [False, it refers to remote monitoring; p. 378]
Moderate

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Chapter 12: Network Management

MULTIPLE CHOICE

The following are possible multiple-choice questions for tests. The question is posed and the answer is provided
under the choices. The level of difficulty (easy, moderate, difficult) and the page(s) relevant to the topic are also
furnished.

1. ___________ is when network managers deal with network breakdowns and immediate problems, instead of
performing tasks according to a well laid out plan.
a. Panicking
b. Multiplexing
c. Multitasking
d. Firefighting
e. Fireflying
Answer: d, Moderate, p. 356

2. Which of the following is not a basic function of a network manager?


a. Web surfing to shop on eBay
b. cost management
c. performance and fault management
d. configuration management
e. end user support
Answer: a, Easy, p. 357

3. Due to the shift from host-based networks to microcomputer based networks, more than _____ percent of most
organizations’ total computer processing power now resides on microcomputer-based LANs.
a. 40
b. 50
c. 60
d. 80
e. 90
Answer: e, Easy, p. 357-358

4. One reason that there are technical network integration management issues is the fact that:
a. The more different types of network technology used, the more complex network management
becomes.
b. Internet protocols are very similar to traditional mainframe protocols.
c. Each LAN was developed by a centralized group.
d. All LANs used in an organization all use the same architecture.
e. All LANs used in an organization use the same type of technology.
Answer: a, Moderate, p.357-358

5. To help integrate its network management, a central data communication organization should have a
____________ that defines its purpose and operational philosophy.
a. written charter
b. LAN manual
c. fault log
d. trouble ticket
e. troubleshooting log
Answer: a, Moderate, p. 359

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6. Which of the following is not considered a “very important” skill by network managers?
a. knowledge of frame relay
b. network design
c. project management
d. knowledge of routing technologies
e. knowledge of TCP/IP
Answer: a, Moderate, p. 360

7. ___________ refers to managing and documenting the network’s hardware and software configuration.
a. Visioning
b. Troubleshooting
c. Firefighting
d. Configuration management
e. Implementation
Answer: d, Moderate, p. 360

8. ____________ is also called automatic software distribution.


a. Electronic Data Interchange
b. Software architecture
c. Electronic Software Delivery
d. Automatic configuration management
e. Email Software Uploading
Answer: c, Easy, p. 360

9. Automatic software distribution:


a. increases the cost of configuration management over the long term
b. requires managers to install software manually on client computers
c. automatically produces documentation of software installed on each client computer
d. can not maintain documentation of software installed on each client computer
e. decreases costs in the short term
Answer: c, Moderate, p. 360-361

10. Which of the following is typically not a part of configuration documentation?


a. hardware documentation
b. sales brochures for new hardware products being considered by the organization
c. user profiles
d. network software documentation
e. software documentation
Answer: b, Moderate, p. 361-362

11. Documentation for network and application software:


a. usually does not include information about the network operating system
b. usually does not include information about any special purpose network software
c. includes information about which data files each user can access
d. is not generally needed since networks are comprised of hardware only
e. is important for monitoring adherence to software license rules
Answer: e, Moderate, p. 361-362

12. Auxiliary network documentation:


a. need not include legal requirements
b. need not include details about performance management
c. need not include details about fault management
d. includes vendor contracts and agreements and software licenses
e. need not include vendor support telephone numbers
Answer: d, Easy, p. 362

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Chapter 12: Network Management

13. ___________ ensures that the network is operating as efficiently as possible.


a. Firefighting
b. Fault tolerance
c. Fault management
d. Performance management
e. Troubleshooting
Answer: d, Easy, p. 363

14. __________ refers to preventing, detecting, and correcting faults in the network circuits, hardware, and
software.
a. Fault management
b. Fault tolerance
c. Firefighting
d. Performance management
e. Troubleshooting
Answer: a, Easy, p. 363

15. ____________ refers to keeping track of the operation of network circuits to make sure they are working
properly.
a. Network monitoring
b. Fault tolerance
c. Fault management
d. Firefighting
e. Downtime
Answer: a, Easy, p. 363

16. _____________ are used by many large and small organizations to monitor and control their networks today.
a. Network management software packages
b. Firefighter packages
c. Fault creating packages
d. Fault toleraters
e. NICs
Answer: a, Easy, p. 363

17. A __________ is an organizational department that is responsible for monitoring and fixing overall network
problems.
a. mission critical area
b. fault tolerance department
c. network operations center
d. mullion delimiter agency
e. Web surfing guru headquarters
Answer: c, Easy, p. 363

18. Which of the following would not be included as part of the physical network parameter statistics monitored by
a NMS?
a. stats on multiplexers
b. stats on modems
c. stats on circuits in the network
d. stats on user response times
e. stats on malfunctioning devices
Answer: d, Moderate, p. 363

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Chapter 12: Network Management

19. Logical network parameter monitoring:


a. includes monitoring of the network’s modems
b. can not track the destination of data routed across the networks
c. can not provide information about the levels of service provided by the network
d. includes performance measurement data on traffic volume on a particular circuit
e. can not keep data about user response times
Answer: d, Moderate, p. 364

20. Network devices that are ________ do only what they are designed to do, such as routing packets, but do not
provide any network management information.
a. voice-activated
b. bursty
c. faulty
d. dumb
e. intelligent
Answer: d, Easy, p. 365

21. _______ are network devices record data on the messages they process as well as performing their “normal”
message processing functions.
a. Faulty
b. Bursty
c. Trouble tickets
d. Voice-activated
e. Managed devices
Answer: e, Moderate, p. 365

22. ____________ are reports produced by numerous network software packages for recording fault information.
a. Wish list documentation
b. Trouble tickets
c. Smart hub lists
d. Bursty router printouts
e. Roger systems checks
Answer: b, Easy, p. 366

23. ___________ allows the network manager to determine who is responsible for correcting any outstanding
problems.
a. Load balancing
b. MTBF
c. Availability
d. Reliability
e. Problem tracking
Answer: e, Easy, p. 366

24. _____________ helps ensure that critical problems get priority over less important ones.
a. Protocol analyzing
b. Problem prioritizing
c. Uptime
d. Availability
e. Reliability
Answer: b, Easy, p. 366

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Chapter 12: Network Management

25. _______ is an indicator of the efficiency of problem management personnel in correctly finding the root cause
of the failure.
a. MTBF
b. Availability
c. MTTRespond
d. MTTDiagnose
e. MTTRate
Answer: d, Easy, p. 367

26. _____ is a criterion that keeps track of the number of hours or days of continuous operation before a component
fails.
a. MTTDiagnose
b. MTTRespond
c. MTTRepair
d. MTTFix
e. MTBF
Answer: e, Easy, p. 367

27. ______ is a statistic that measures how quickly the staff corrected a network problem after they arrived at the
problem site.
a. MTTDiagnose
b. MTTRespond
c. MTBF
d. MTTFix
e. MTTRate
Answer: d, Easy, p. 368

28. _____________ is the percentage of time the network is usable by users.


a. Retransmission rate
b. Availability
c. MTTDiagnose
d. Downtime
e. MTBF
Answer: b, Easy, p. 367

29. _____________ is a simple method that can help identify computers/devices or communication circuits that
have higher-than-average error or usage rates.
a. Quality control charting
b. Quality of servicing
c. Service leveling
d. Electronic software distributing
e. Alarm clouding
Answer: a, Easy, p. 368

30. ___________ that are negotiated with providers, such as common carriers, specify the exact type of
performance and fault conditions that an organization will accept.
a. Service level agreements
b. Trouble tickets
c. Smart hub lists
d. Bursty router printouts
e. Wish list documentation
Answer: a, Easy, p. 369

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Chapter 12: Network Management

31. Which of the following is not a main function within end user support?
a. resolving network faults
b. training
c. resolving user problems
d. spin control
e. none of the above is an appropriate answer
Answer: d, Moderate; p. 370-371

32. Which of the following is not one of the three major sources of a user’s equipment problem that can be solved
by network support?
a. use of the CD-ROM as a cup holder
b. failed hardware device
c. lack of user knowledge
d. incompatibility between user software and network hardware and software
e. none of the above is an appropriate answer
Answer: a, Easy, p. 370-371

33. When a user problem cannot be solved by the help desk at the first level of resolution, the problem is
___________ to the second level of problem resolution.
a. firefought
b. spun
c. escalated
d. burst
e. delimited
Answer: c, Easy, p. 370-371

34. ________ is a measure of how much it costs per year to keep one computer operating.
a. Web gardening
b. Software installation cost
c. Hardware upgrade cost
d. Total cost of ownership
e. Support staff cost
Answer: d, Easy, p. 372

35. __________ policies attempt to allocate costs associated with a WAN or a mainframe to specific users.
a. Charge-back
b. Web spinning
c. Internet access fees
d. Support staff billing
e. ESD
Answer: a, Moderate, p. 372

36. Which of the following is not an important step in reducing network costs?
a. moving to fat client architectures
b. automating as much of the network management process as possible
c. developing standards for computers on the network
d. reducing the time spent manually installing new software
e. centralizing help desks
Answer: a, Easy, p. 373-374

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Chapter 12: Network Management

37. ___________ provides information about specific devices on a network.


a. Circuit management software
b. Device management software
c. System management software
d. Application management software
e. Staff management software
Answer: b, Moderate, p. 375

38. When one failure in a device generates dozens of reports, known as a(n) ________, which can make it difficult
to pinpoint the true source of the failure.
a. uptime ticket
b. bursty printout
c. alarm storm
d. mullion delimiter
e. written charter
Answer: c, Moderate, p. 375

39. SNMP:
a. was originally developed to control and monitor OSI-type network devices
b. was originally developed to control and monitor TCP/IP network devices
c. refers to Systems Network Multiplexing Parameters
d. is compatible with CMIP
e. is the least commonly used network management protocol today
Answer: b, Moderate, p. 377-378

40. CMIP:
a. is the TCP/IP network management standard
b. refers to Common Management Interface Protocol
c. is older than SNMP
d. is more widely used than SNMP
e. is the Internet network management standard
Answer: b, Moderate, p. 377-378

41. ___________ focuses on testing the content of packets or frames and other items related to software protocols.
a. Protocol testing
b. Analog testing
c. Digital testing
d. Monitor testing
e. Analyzer testing
Answer: a, Easy, p. 379

42. ________ provide electrical connection to all parts of the network.


a. Patch panels
b. Analog and digital test sets
c. Monitors
d. Analyzers
e. Data recorders
Answer: a, Easy, p. 379

43. _________ are the least expensive and simplest type of network testing equipment.
a. Analog and digital test sets
b. Analyzers
c. Patch panels
d. Handheld test sets
e. Data recorders
Answer: d, Moderate, p. 379

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Chapter 12: Network Management

44. A(n) _______ is a device that is used to tap into communication circuits and store on disk pertinent activities
about various circuits.
a. alarm storm
b. breakout box
c. patch panel
d. data recorder
e. monitor
Answer: d, Moderate, p. 379

45. A ____ is used to locate a particular non-working fiber without interrupting service on a fiber optic network.
a. fiber identifier
b. bit-error rate tester
c. breakout box
d. patch panel
e. charge-back device
Answer: a, Easy; p. 380

46. A _____ checks LAN cabling for signal continuity, parity, and excessive noise in the data stream.
a. cable analyzer
b. charge-back device
c. patch panel
d. bundle data recorder
e. fiber identifier
Answer: a, Easy, p. 380

47. ____________ decode messages on the circuit so you can see the content of a frame or packet during its
transmission.
a. Protocol analyzers
b. Bit-error rate testers
c. Cable analyzers
d. Charge-back devices
e. Cell identifiers
Answer: a, Easy, p. 381

48. ________ analyzers/monitors monitor and collect data that will be examined at a later time.
a. Active
b. Dynamic
c. Passive
d. Tokening
e. Storming
Answer: c, Easy, p. 381

49. ____________ have built-in microprocessor chips and programmable testing features for centralized or remote
monitoring of equipment.
a. Bundle data recorders
b. Automated test equipment
c. Mullion delimiters
d. Frame data recorders
e. Cell identifiers
Answer: b, Easy, p. 381

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Chapter 12: Network Management

Short Answer Questions

1. What is electronic software delivery and why is it important?

Answer: ESD enables network managers to install software on client computers over the network without
physically touching each client computer. Most ESD packages provide application layer software for the
network server and all client computers. The server software communicates directly with the ESD application
software on the clients and can be instructed to download and install certain application packages on each client
at some predefined time.

ESD greatly reduces the cost of configuration management over the long term because it eliminates the need to
manually update each and every client computer. It also automatically produces and maintains accurate
documentation of all software installed on each client computer.

2. What is performance and fault management?

Answer: Performance management means ensuring that the network is operating as efficiently as possible,
while fault management means preventing, detecting, and correcting faults in the network circuits, hardware,
and software. Fault management and performance management are closely related, because any faults in the
network reduce performance. Both require network monitoring.

3. What do trouble tickets report?

Answer: Trouble tickets are reports produced by software packages that record fault information. Automated
trouble tickets help management gather problem and vendor statistics.

4. What is a service level agreement?

Answer: An SLA with a common carrier and/or Internet service provider specifies the exact type of
performance and fault conditions that the organization will accept. The SLA also states what compensation the
service provider must provide if it fails to meet the SLA. Some organizations are also starting to use an SLA
internally to clearly define relationships between the networking group and its organizational “customers”.

5. How is network availability calculated?

Answer: Availability is the percentage of time the network is available to users. It is calculated as the number
of hours per month the network is available divided by the total number of hours per month. The downtime
includes times that the network is unavailable due to faults and to routing maintenance and network upgrades.
Most network managers strive for 99 to 99.5 percent availability, with downtime scheduled after working hours.

6. End user support is one area of responsibility that network managers have in the ongoing day-to-day operations
of networks. Describe two other areas of responsibility.

Answer: The four basic activities that network managers perform configuration management (knowing what
hardware and software is where), performance and fault management (identifying and fixing problems), end user
support (assisting end users), and cost management (minimizing the cost of providing network services).

Configuration management means managing the network’s hardware and software configuration and documenting
it (and ensuring the documentation is updated as the configuration changes). The most common configuration
management activity is adding and deleting user accounts. Performance management means ensuring the network is
operating as efficiently as possible. Fault management means preventing, detecting, and correcting any faults in the
network circuits, hardware, and software. Providing end user support means solving whatever network problems
users encounter. Support consists of resolving network faults, resolving software problems, and training. The best
way to control rapidly increasing network costs is to reduce the amount of time taken to perform network
management functions, often by automating as many routine ones as possible.

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Chapter 12: Network Management

7. Why do usage policies sometimes differ between LANs and WANs?

Answer: Usage policies sometimes differ between LANs and WANs because there are cultural differences
between WAN and LAN managers. WAN managers and managers of mainframe-based host computer networks are
typically more comfortable in highly structured and slow to change network environments. In contrast, LAN and
Web managers tend to be less interested in standards and more interested in getting the job done. The key to
integrating LANs, WANs and the Web into one overall organization network is for WAN managers to recognize
that LAN/Web managers can make independent decisions, and LAN/Web managers to realize that they need to
work within organizational standards.

8. Is configuration management important? Why?

Answer: Yes, configuration management is important. Configuration management means managing the
network’s hardware and software configuration and documenting it (and ensuring the documentation is updated as
the configuration changes). The most common configuration management activity is adding and deleting user
accounts. The most basic documentation about network hardware is a set of network configuration maps,
supplemented by documentation on each individual network component. A similar approach can be used for
network software. Electronic software delivery (ESD) plays a key role in simplifying configuration management by
automating and documenting the network configurations. User and application profiles should be automatically
provided by the network and ESD software. There are variety of other documentation that must be routinely
developed and updated, including users' manuals and organizational policies.

9. Describe two ways to reduce the total cost of ownership.

Answer: The total cost of ownership (TCO) is a measure of how much it costs per year to keep one computer
operating. TCO includes the cost of support staff to attach it to the network, install software, administer the network
(e.g., create user ids, backup user data), provide training and technical support, and upgrade hardware and software.
It also includes the cost of time "wasted" by the user when problems occur or when the user is attempting to learn
new software.

The most expensive item is personnel (network managers and technicians), which typically accounts for 50 to 70
percent of total costs. The best way to control rapidly increasing network costs is to reduce the amount of time taken
to perform network management functions, often by automating as many routine ones as possible. The second most
expensive cost item is WAN circuits, followed by hardware upgrades and replacement parts. Since the largest cost
item is personnel time, the primary focus of cost management lies in designing networks and developing policies to
reduce personnel time, not to reduce hardware cost. Over the long term, it makes more sense to buy more expensive
equipment if it can reduce the cost of network management.

While TCO has been accepted by many organizations, other firms argue against the practice of including "wasted"
time in the calculation. Some organizations therefore prefer to focus on costing methods that examine only the direct
costs of operating the computers, omitting softer costs such as "wasted" time. Excluding "wasted" time in the
calculation significantly reduces TCO (but may not show the true cost).

Network managers often find it difficult to manage their budgets because networks grow so rapidly. They often find
themselves having to defend ever-increasing requests for more equipment and staff. To counter these escalating
costs, many large organizations have adopted charge-back policies for users of WANs and mainframe-based
networks. (A charge-back policy attempts to allocate the costs associated with the network to specific users.) These
users must “pay” for their network usage by transferring part of their budget allocations to the network group.

Taking these steps can reduce network costs:

• Develop standard hardware and software configurations for client computers and servers
• Automate as much of the network management function as possible by deploying a solid set of network
management tools
• Reduce the costs of installing new hardware and software by working with vendors

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• Centralize help desks


• Move to thin client architectures

10. How does a “managed” hub (e.g., an SNMP hub) differ from a “dumb” hub?

Answer: A “managed” hub (e.g., an SNMP hub) has an agent that collects information about itself and the
messages it processes, and stores that information in a database called the management information base (MIB). The
network manager can then use network management software to get reports on the information stored in the MIB.
This allows the network manager to have more control over and better manage the network.

11. What does SNMP enable network managers to do, and why is this important?

Answer: SNMP originally was developed to control and monitor the status of network devices on TCP/IP
networks, but now it is available for other network protocols (e.g., IPX/SPX). Each SNMP device (e.g., router,
gateway, server) has an agent that collects information about itself and the messages it processes, and stores that
information in a database called the management information base (MIB). The network manager’s management
station that runs the network management software has access to these MIBs. Using this software, the network
manager can send control messages to individual devices or groups of devices asking them to report the information
stored in their MIB.

12. How does SNMP with RMON differ from the previous version of SNMP without RMON?

Answer: The previous version of SNMP without RMON reported all network monitoring information to one
central network management database. Each device would transmit updates to its MIB to the server every few
minutes, greatly increasing network traffic. SNMP with RMON software enables MIB information to be stored on
the device itself or on distributed RMON probes that store MIB information closer to the devices that generate it.
The data is not transmitted to the central server until the network manager requests the data, thus reducing network
traffic.

13. Thought question: Some experts argue that the use of thin clients can reduce the total cost of ownership. Others
argue that this does not have a significant impact. What factors do you think could cause this disagreement?

Answer: Many network experts argue that moving to thin client architectures, particularly those using network
computers, can significantly reduce costs. While network computers cost slightly less than traditional computers, the
real savings lie in the support costs. Since they are restricted to a narrow set of functions and generally do not permit
software installations, they become much easier to manage. TCO and network management costs drop by 20-40
percent. However, there is not a lot of software available for network computers today, although this will change.
Most organizations anticipate using network computers selectively, in areas when application software is well
defined and can easily be restricted (e.g., receptionists, clerks, help desks, order processing). This selective use of
thin clients may not have a significant impact on the total cost of ownership and TCO can be deceptive.

14. Thought question: What are the two most important aspects of network management? Justify your choices.

Answer: Important aspects of network management involve the four basic activities that network managers
perform: configuration management (knowing what hardware and software is where), performance and fault
management (identifying and fixing problems), end user support (assisting end users), and cost management
(minimizing the cost of providing network services).

Configuration management means managing the network’s hardware and software configuration and documenting
it (and ensuring the documentation is updated as the configuration changes). The most common configuration
management activity is adding and deleting user accounts. Performance management means ensuring the network is
operating as efficiently as possible. Fault management means preventing, detecting, and correcting any faults in the
network circuits, hardware, and software. Providing end user support means solving whatever network problems
users encounter. Support consists of resolving network faults, resolving software problems, and training. The best

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way to control rapidly increasing network costs is to reduce the amount of time taken to perform network
management functions, often by automating as many routine ones as possible.

Network management is the process of operating, monitoring, and controlling the network to ensure it works as
intended and provides value to its users. Network managers must gather their own decision-making information in
order to measure network performance, identify problem areas, isolate the exact nature of problems, restore the
network, and predict future problems. In order to do this, network managers must keep abreast of the latest
technological developments in computers, data communications devices, network software, the Internet, telephone
technologies and MAN/WAN services.

Without a well-planned and designed network, and a well-organized network management staff, operating the
network becomes extremely difficult. If managers do not spend enough time on planning and organizing the
network and networking staff, which are needed to predict and prevent problems, they are destined to be reactive
rather than proactive in solving problems.

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