As time goes on, technology changes and evolves to meet the consumer market’s demands. As such, the maintenance used to take care of this technology shifts toward new management styles. The network administrator in particular has had an increasingly important role, especially with the advent of more powerful malware variants and other common security threats. How has the role of network administrators changed since the dawn of the age of modern computing?

As the complexity of technology has evolved, managing and maintaining enterprise network infrastructures has become even more convoluted and difficult. If you want to make sure that your enterprise isn’t being held back by your network administration practices, you need to learn from the past. You can use these trends to change the way that you approach network administration for the better.

Network Design

Remember the days where each and every endpoint within your enterprise had to be connected in order to share access to information on a company network? Thankfully, we’ve left those days behind us. Network design has grown much more streamlined over the years, especially with the cloud and wireless technology. Since all of your endpoints don’t need to be connected to each other through physical means, you can potentially avoid complicated network designs entirely.

Still, there are plenty of complications which could arise from your network design. Consider the following for your own and ask yourself, “How could I improve my organization’s network?”

  • Consider the IP configuration of your network: Will your enterprise’s workstations share the same ip?
  • What’s connecting to the network? How many computers, servers, and other pieces of hardware will your network be responsible for managing, and can the network support it?
  • How are they going to be connected? Will you use physical connections, wireless connections, and/or virtualization?
  • How are they being secured? Will you build your network with security in mind? Will your cybersecurity solutions be centralized and deployed to your organization’s workstations as needed, or installed locally on every device?

Network Setup

Once your enterprise has the details outlined, you can begin the implementation process. This includes procuring the hardware, downloading the required software, and configuring how your databases and all technology solutions work with your endpoints. However, in an enterprise network environment, you can expect this workload to be crippling without some sort of automation. Here is a short list of what you should consider when optimizing network setup:

  • The hostnames of your machines
  • The IP addresses of your machines
  • Which router they will be connected to
  • Network configuration protocol
  • Thin clients vs full workstations

Network Maintenance

Network maintenance used to be a long and tiresome process, depending on the number of devices and components that needed to be maintained. A network administrator and their entire IT department would have their work cut out for them when a need for software updates came along, as each individual machine would have to be updated separately. Nowadays, however, automation and remote access software allows enterprises to more efficiently approach network maintenance. The technicians don’t even necessarily have to be on-site to administer most maintenance, as it can be performed remotely by an administrator. Be sure to consider the following responsibilities for your enterprise’s network maintenance:

  • The configuration of hosts, either remote or on-site
  • Security of any and all connected devices
  • Maintaining mail services and hosted software solutions
  • Troubleshooting network troubles

Network Expansion

If your enterprise has been around for a while, you know that a network will gradually shift and evolve to accommodate more devices, more responsibilities, and more of a workload. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll move past the reliance on a local area network and expand into a more digital environment. All of your enterprise’s assets may be located in various locations across a virtualized network, or in various cloud locations. Consider the following when working on expanding your network:

  • Know where your data is located at all times
  • Understand which devices have access to specific data
  • Ensure that both your local access points and mobile technology is protected from the dangers of online threats

Network Innovation

Sometimes the most difficult part of managing a network infrastructure is figuring out how to improve upon what you already have. In these cases, it’s important that you look beyond your role of managing your enterprise’s IT and examine, in an objective sense, what can be done to jumpstart your network. In most cases, it’s best to leave this task to a consultant like the professionals at Iron Edge Group. We can work with your internal department to ensure that your network keeps innovation at top-of-mind.