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Network Management Assignment Help

Assignment 1 : Network Management Justification

Justify why the company should implement a network management plan.

Describe and explain elements of a network management plan suitable for this organisation.

Explain and justify options for improving IT support.

For this assignment, you are being asked to justify, then describe and explain, the network management plan.

Assignment 2 : Devising a Network Management Plan and Security Plan for HandMade Furniture Ltd.

This assignment requires you to create a network management plan and a security plan for HandMade Furniture Ltd. that will include both local and cloud-based services.

This is based on the same company case study that you used for assignment 1, but with the following additional information:

- A decision has been made to upgrade the company Internet connection. Your advice will be appreciated on how this should be done.

- The company have decided to upgrade all PCs to the latest versions of Microsoft Office and Windows.

- Email addresses will be provided for all staff via a cloud provider (such as Google Apps for Business or Microsoft Office 365).

- WiFi will be added to the network and team leaders in the factory will be issued with a WiFi enabled laptop.

- Staff will be able to bring their own devices to work and connect to the work WiFi network.

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Introduction and Terms of Reference

According to the given details about the existing network of Handmade Furniture Ltd, the inspection done by network infrastructure concludes that the company has experienced a lot of difficulties in managing their existing computer network and provides the necessary support to the IT team. The existing network is functioning in an uncontrolled way without following any standard procedures due to which a lot of data loss and hacking is possible on the company's network. This entire unplanned network can lead to cause future losses in terms of finance, operations, productions, and other key factors.

On analyzing the existing network, this report focuses on the justification for the selection of different network components to improve the existing computer network. Basically, the report consists of a detailed network management plan for the company to be deployed in order to prevent their future in all aspects. The network plan will include the key parameters like the cost involved in the new network, security concerns, and administrative controls to the different stakeholders of the company. The suggested plan can be deployed by the company to extend their existing network infrastructure and upgrade their network security for future growth.

This report provides a brief discussion on the existing as well as suggestion for IT support to use the proposed network plan. This report will include the following key points-

- Network Plan

- Technical description of the proposed network components.

- Fault Management

- Configuration Management

- Accounting Management

- Performance Management

- Security Management

The company is suggested to hire its own IT support staff for managing its IT operations in-house. This can be followed only for a couple of months until the IT operations get streamlined. Once the process gets streamlined the same can be outsourced to the third party for IT support. In the initial phase, the company should identify the staff that will be responsible for handling the IT network. For maintaining the website for Handmade Furniture Ltd the web projects should be outsourced for the website development. The same can be done in-house also if the staff is qualified enough for carrying out web development. All the identified staff has to be assigned with the job role and specific task for which they are responsible. The network plan will be categorized into two parts as follows-

- Restructuring the network infrastructure.

- Developing new network operations and procedures.

These plans are about providing the training to the selected staff and developing the procedure for smooth network operations.

- Justification of Network Management Plan

The justification for selecting the network plan is as follows-

Selection of in-house staff: There are several advantages of selecting the in-house staff rather than outsourcing one for IT support. On analyzing the current network infrastructure the company will encounter major changes in the existing network. The current network has critical issues in its operational procedures. So, the company has to take the backup of their data, backing up the key credentials and user accounts, etc. Because the data is the key asset for any company it would be highly risky for them to outsource the network plan to the third party. The company's data can be misused by the third party, which can cause serious harm to the company. But once, the process is streamlined by the in-house team then it can be outsourced to the third party company for managing the network operations. This is the key reason for not recommending the outsourcing of network management plan. The new plan will include the following key components-

- WiFi enables network using the WiFi router and access point.

- Up-gradation of the configuration of PCs to higher end.

- Maintaining the email server on cloud infrastructure for the company's employees.

- Implementing the security procedures for the network.

The only limitation of the in-house staff support in network planning is that the operational cost will get increased in terms of increased employee's funds and internal expenses in network planning and designing. Also, there is a huge competition going on among the IT support companies who are availing their staff at a low cost but at the risk of data security for the company.

Another advantage of selecting the in-house IT support team is the size of the network for Handmade Furniture Ltd. The requirements of number of PCs are very less, so it is easily manageable within the company itself. In the future, if the company plans to expand its business then the same can be outsourced for better performance.

On the other hand, some other key benefits of outsourcing the task are as follows:

1. The labor cost will get reduced a lot.

2. The company will be able to focus on its key operations.

3. The internal staff needs not to get trained for the work. Minimum of training is required to use the new infrastructure.

4. The training cost will also get reduced.

Scalability of Network: With the new network management plan, it will be possible for the company to scale its network whenever they expand in the future. Scalability becomes very easy.

Data Reliability: Because data is very important for an organization, the availability, and reliability of the data of prime importance for them. Both reliability and scalability can be achieved with the use of cloud infrastructure and security policies.

These were some of the reasons justifying the new network plan for the company.

- Suggested Elements of the Network Management Plan

Few key aspects of any network plan which will play an important role as a key element of any network are as follows:

1. Security Management

2. Accounting Management

3. Fault Management

4. Configuration Management

5. Performance Management

These key elements are popularly known as the FCAPS of any network. The detailed discussion on all of these elements is as follows:

Security Management: A network should be always kept secured by the attackers and viruses. To keep it safe the very first task is to install and configure the antivirus system and applying various firewall policies to keep a watch on the intruders. But installing this antivirus software on a single standalone machine will not entirely solve the problem. There must be a centralized antivirus console which can be applied on the network and all the PCs and devices within the network will use the same antivirus software and hence, same policies will be applied on all the devices. Also, it will be easy for the administrator to monitor the activities centrally for the entire network. This centralized system will even help the network administrator to generate a centralized report of the network usage in order to analyze the incoming and out-going traffic.

Accounting Management: There is a strong need to deploy the centralized data back-up plan for the network. All the PCs of the organization will definitely have some key data on which the employees must be working day and night. Keeping in mind the importance of this data there must be the provision to automatically save this data on to some centralized location so that even if the single PC get fail, the copy of the same data can be made available from the centralized location. For achieving this, data server should be configured which will act as a data center for the organization.

Fault Management: For handling the current request related to the IT network there must be a central location to handle all the requests so that all the issues can be tracked centrally by the company management. For this, a help desk is very essential who will receive the issues from various stakeholders and forwards it to the concerned authority.

Configuration Management: This is one of the most important elements of any network plan. All the network planning should be properly documented so that the same can be referred for any future use. Currently, there is no documentation of the company's network for Handmade Furniture Ltd. So, in any critical situation like network failure, this can cause serious issues. The company must start documenting all the necessary plans and changes they are making in their current network plan.

Performance Management: Performance is the key parameter for any IT solution. For tracking the performance of any network there are various Network Management Systems tools are available in the market. Anyone of those can be deployed in order to track the performance of the company network. All these tools provide real-time network performance in terms of errors, speed, delay, and various notifications. All these parameters are shown in the form of reports. One of the popular Network Management System is SolarWinds.
In addition to these elements, there are a few more key elements which will become the part of the network plan are-
Routers: These are the devices which are responsible for finding out the best path from the company's network to the global network.
Data Servers: As it is important to store the company's data at the central location, a data server is required which will manage the entire data of the company.

Web Server: Because the company wants to develop its own website, for hosting this website a web server will be essential.
Email Server: Either the company can opt for an Email server on its campus or can purchase some cloud services for email servers.
Firewall: For security purpose, the firewall is required to monitor the incoming and outgoing network traffic.
Printer Server: For availing the central printing facility a printer server will be the key part of the network plan.

- Options for IT Support

The two options for IT support are as follows:

The first options are to either use the internal staff for IT support or hire external staff on contract to get the support work done. In either of the option, the company needs to allocate a senior level IT head who should ensure the entire work quality for the company. Also, he is responsible for monitoring the network performance and uses the Network Management System. In this option, the cost involved in hiring or out-sourcing the network engineers will be increased. The quality in terms of out-sourcing will be good enough as compared to in-house support. However, the out-sourcing involves a Service Level Agreement (SLA). It is a document with strict terms and conditions which both the parties will have to agree and sign the document. Also, this option required a help desk to support the queries.

Another option would be to manage the website of the company. This website can be developed in-house or can be asked to any third party web development company.

- Conclusion and Recommendations

Currently, the company is not having any support for handling their IT support. A high level of support will be required for upgrading the company's network from level 0 to the new upgraded network plan. All the IT staff members have to put some extra efforts in implementing the new design of the network. Another, challenge for the team is to manage the FCAPS model for network designing. All the parameters of this model should be given equal value in terms of implementation. Finally, we can conclude that Homemade Furniture Ltd should hire the in-house IT support staff for upgrading their existing network as per the new network management plan. They must hire some senior-level IT manager to handle the operations of the IT network. And the company should seriously implement the configuration management for documenting the network plan.

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