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Ntc/411 Network Management Paper

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Network Management

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NTC/411

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(Instructor’s Name)

Network Management Network management is an integral part of any IT system. Managing a network can be a tough task at times and managers have to decide on the best approaches for their network management. In this paper we’ll discuss out-of-band vs. in-band network management. We’ll also provide some examples of some of the protocols that perform in both types of network management and how enterprise systems are affected by the network management techniques along with business intelligence systems. In general, in-band and out-of-band refer to whether the solution or technique sits in the flow of the network traffic or out of the flow. Some IT professionals say that in-band network management provides better security than an out-of-band approach. Before we get into too much detail we need to discuss what an out-of-band and an in-band network management approach are. In-band approaches require devices or hardware to sit in the flow of live network traffic, often where endpoints access the network so that all client traffic has to pass through them. When a network manager decides to deploy an in-band device then they will be able to provide pre-connect and post-connect security. Network adapters are the most common type of in-band remote management hardware devices (Nevis Networks, 2007). In a Windows environment you can use remote access connections to manage servers. Most all of the remote access connections are made through the in-band port that is normally on the target server. Here are some administrative tools that you would be able to use through an in-band connection; Microsoft Management Console (MMC), System Management Server, Telnet, Terminal Services Remote Desktop for Administration, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and Remote Command Service (Microsoft, 2005). Out-of-band devices are normally in-line for the login phase of the connection or user session and can provide pre-connection compliance checks and policy enforcement. Once all the checks and policy sessions are made out-of-band devices usually switch out of the flow of user traffic. Out-of-band management allows the administrator to connect to a computers management controller when the computer is turned off or in sleep or hibernate modes. Normally the in-band network management approach is the classic approach but out-of-band management supplements in-band management. In-band management usually supports a wider range of operations because its environment is the entire operating system but in certain circumstances it may not be useful of the operating system isn’t present or operational. In these cases an out-of-band approach seems more feasible. Here are some out-of-band tasks that administrators can perform; powering on or off one or many computers, restarting computers, re-imaging by booting from a boot image file located on the network or a PXE server, reconfiguring BIOS settings, booting to command based operating system to run command or perform other tasks, and configuring scheduled software updates. There are pros and cons to each type of network management technique but it seems like the best approach is to have both on your network. An in-band approach uses protocols such as telnet or SSH while using the network itself as media. A typical out-of-band approach would have an access server connected to a management port on each controlled device (Microsoft, 2009). Some IT professionals might say that it is a waste of time and money to have both approaches on a network but both approaches compliment each other. As stated before if the network is down or computers are not operational an out-of-band management approach is the best choice. There are several software vendors available as well that offer out-of-band management software. One in particular is Opengear. Opengear allows secure remote monitoring, access and management of any electronic device around the world from any location. The software allows monitoring of the physical environment as well as attached devices and it can automatically detect and resolve any issues (OpenGear, 2014). In-band and out-of-band management will always be used independently or with each other it just depends on how the network manager or administrator wants to approach their network. Along with the management techniques one must look at the enterprise systems attached to the network as well. Any business that has a network has enterprise or business systems attached to it, whether they are computers, phones, printers, fax machines, etc. Business systems allow the day-to-day functions happen. Most companies or businesses have business or enterprise systems but some also have business intelligence systems. Business intelligence systems allow the company to gather, store, access, and analyze data to aid in business decision-making. When looking at the definition it looks like business intelligence systems perform the same functions as regular business systems but intelligence systems have further intelligence in areas of customer profiling, customer support, market research, market segmentation, product profitability, statistical analysis, and inventory and distribution analysis. All companies collect and analyze data and most people use software programs to keep track of the data. There are however business intelligence software vendors out there. Business intelligence software aids companies in extracting important data from across the network and provide self-service reporting and analysis (Beal, 2014). This along with an in-band or out-of-band approach should ensure your network management is easier to control. Business intelligence systems can be used in conjunction with whatever approach you choose to have on your network. Now that we’ve covered the two types of network management approaches you should have an understanding of how they work and what they can provide for network managers.

References
Beal, Vangie. (2014). BI - business intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/B/Business_Intelligence.html
Microsoft. (2005). In-Band Management. Retrieved from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc784794%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
Microsoft. (2009). Overview of Out of Band Management. Retrieved from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc161963.aspx
Nevis Networks. (2007). An Architectural View of LAN Security: In-Band versus Out-of-Band Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.nevisnetworks.com/content/white_papers/In-band%20vs%20Out-of-band.pdf
OpenGear. (2014). Microsoft. (2009). Overview of Out of Band Management. Retrieved from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc161963.aspx . Retrieved from http://opengear.com/solutions/out-band-management

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