A computer network is a complex system that comprises both physical and digital IT resources. Not only is a network complex, but it is constantly changing in response to the needs of its users and advances in technology. Maintaining a network is thus essential to its performance and security, not to mention the success of the company that owns it. The following are some of the top challenges that network managers face.
As networks expand and more and more users connect from a distance, network performance can degrade. However, with the advent of pcie 5.0, network speeds are faster than ever at 32 GTs per second. Not only that, but the 5.0 standard includes better signal integrity and backward compatibility with previous versions. However, it also imposes a few troubleshooting challenges related to link speeds and signal loss. Other network performance issues include crashed servers, excessive bandwidth usage, sudden spikes in data transfers, and failure to manage bad data packets. Network managers need to monitor network performance and signal health continuously to maximize performance and minimize inefficiency.
Adapting To Growth
Thanks in part to the Internet of Things, networks are expanding to include a wide array of devices, and all of these additions increase the flow of data traffic through the system. Growing networks also present the challenge of configuration management. Network managers have to keep all settings up to date, and they may need to resolve conflicts when new devices join a network. Configuration management can be especially difficult when employees are using their own devices to connect to the company’s network.
Maintaining A High Level Of Security
The more complex a computer network is, the more vulnerable it is to data breaches. The number of people using the network is another factor to consider since so many attacks are carried out through phishing emails and similar scams that have a personal element. Companies with a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy are especially at risk since network managers can’t fully control an individual user’s phone or computer. To maintain a high level of security, network managers have to use a variety of data protection tools, and they have to keep those tools up to date.
Keeping Costs Down
Another challenge that network managers face is pressure to keep costs down as the need for advanced network capabilities grows. Companies are now relying on computer-based services such as VoIP for phone calls, multimedia applications, surveillance cameras, and e-commerce, but all of these capabilities require enhancements to network components. To maintain security and high performance, network managers will likely need to upgrade hardware, update or purchase new software, enable new protocols on existing infrastructure, and upgrade cabling.
While network management may seem to come at a high cost, the money spent on upgrades and expert labor is less than the loss that occurs in a typical data breach. Network maintenance ensures that a business’s network operates efficiently while keeping data secure. An efficient system not only saves time through faster data transfer speed, but it also protects the company from loss due to downtime.