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Li et al. define “a network” as a group or several computer systems that are linked together in order to pursue various organizational objectives (3). Computer systems or networks are grouped into different types. The first one is known as a local area network (LAN). This kind of connection is characterized by computers that are in the same building or office. Wide area networks (WANs) are usually formed by computer systems that are in different geographical locations. A computer system designed for a large city is known as a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). Computer networks have specific characteristics or elements that make it easier for them to function optimally (LaCroix 19). For example, protocols are used to dictate the signals and rules that should be followed by the computers (and users) within the network. The term “typology” is used to define the geometric arrangements of the computers in a given network (LaCroix 26). The common typologies include “a star, a bus, or a ring” (Burgess 18).
Benefits of Networks
The benefits of modern computer systems and networks cannot be underestimated and explain why entrepreneurs, companies, institutions, and government agencies need them. This is the case because such networks are currently making it easier for many organizations and agencies to realize their missions. The first unique benefit of a network is that it guides companies to create, gather, and archive information. Databases are usually used to support the effectiveness of such networks (Saadaoui and Nasri 3). The archived data and information can be accessed by employees in order to promote organizational performance. Employees can create, store, and eventually retrieve the required information. This strategy can support the goals and objectives of a given company.
Another important attribute of networks is that they promote information sharing. Workers can share files and information in order to deliver positive results. Communication is improved in a given firm. This means that the employees can combine their efforts and eventually deliver positive results (Burgess 19). Many companies use networks to connect their offices and warehouses in different geographical locations. Consequently, the firms find it easier to pursue their business objectives.
Networks such as LANs and WANs make it possible for employees to share limited resources. For instance, a LAN can ensure the workers in an organization share different hardware devices such as scanners, photocopiers, and printers (Saadaoui and Nasri 5). The practice will ensure the company does not purchase such equipment. Burgess argues that networks can be used to safeguard data and information (34). Archived information or data is usually used to support organizational performance. The use of advanced antivirus programs and spam filters can ensure the stored data is safeguarded from hackers. With proper management, a sustainable network can support the goals of an organization and eventually make it profitable.
Defining Network Administration
The term network administration refers to the process of monitoring, maintaining, and upgrading computer systems and infrastructures in order to meet the intended goals (Li et al. 29). The administration process will vary from one organization to another depending on the nature of the systems, resilience, and targeted objectives. During the administration process, the information technology (IT) specialist will keep the network up-to-date and improve it accordingly. The professional will coordinate each and every system in order to deliver positive results (LaCroix 83). More often than not, network administrators will diagnose the major problems that might affect the system. The emerging problems are identified and fixed in a timely manner. The administrator should use his or her competencies in order to ensure the system functions optimally.
Importance of Effective Network Administration
Since computer systems and networks have become critical attributes of modern organizations and institutions, continuous monitoring is necessary in order to ensure they run efficiently. This is the major reason why networks cannot function effectively without proper administration. The first importance of effective network administration revolves around installation (Li et al. 22). A network administrator is a professional who can identify and acquire the right systems that have the potential to support the business goals of the targeted company. With proper administration, the right networks and systems will be installed in an attempt to meet the intended objectives.
Li et al. believes strongly that computer networks can become obsolete without proper maintenance (23). Effective administration of such networks can ensure they are maintained in order to function optimally. The administrator will go further to repair the network whenever it breaks down. This practice is necessary because computer systems are vulnerable to vandalism or failure (Saadaoui and Nasri 9). Repairs should be taken seriously in order to continue supporting the goals of the targeted organization.
Network administration goes further to support the concept of continuous improvement. Modern technologies appear to change every day. This is the case because many companies are engaged in disruptive technological productions. Some of these new innovations can be embraced by companies that want to tackle the problem of competition (Burgess 98). Adequate network administration will ensure the system is upgraded accordingly. New technologies and systems are essential because they make it easier for employees to realize the targeted goals much faster.
Networks are characterized by both hardware and software elements. Network administration is taken seriously in order to ensure these elements are functioning effectively. The process guides the administrators identify new software elements that are capable of delivering quality results in a timely manner. The process of network administration is embraced by companies in order to ensure the unique challenges faced by the employees are addressed in a proper manner (Gurgel et al. 2584). The workers can guide the network administrator to improve the computer systems in such a way that they can deliver quality results. The smooth functioning of a network system is what dictates the overall performance of a business organization or institution.
Network administration is necessary because it ensures that the computer systems are monitored frequently. This monitoring process can be done to identify new areas that can be redesigned in order to improve organizational performance. The systems theory can be used to explain how “human factors, technological inputs, and computer systems are integrated in such a way that they can support organizational performance” (Saadaoui and Nasri 8). This knowledge will be used to ensure every strategy aimed at improving the functionality of the system resonates or is informed by the needs of the users. Every effort implemented to improve the performance of the network will eventually support the needs of the employees and eventually improve the level of productivity.
This discussion shows conclusively that network administration is a beneficial practice in every organization utilizing the use of complex computer systems. Modern systems and networks are threatened by cybercrime and hacking. This is a major problem affecting the effectiveness and sustainability of systems that are hosted on the World Wide Web (WWW). It is therefore necessary for companies to hire competent network administrators who can safeguard their systems from these threats. They should be aware of the most appropriate preventative measures that can ensure the systems are functioning effectively (Gurgel et al. 2585). The administrators will ensure the installed antivirus programs and firewalls are updated. This is necessary because the problem of computer viruses has become a reality in the world today.
Network administration is therefore a useful practice that should be undertaken by professions who possess the right competencies. The individuals should be critical and analytical thinkers. These strengths will make it easier for them to analyze the unique gaps in the networks and offer adequate solutions that can support the effectiveness of the computer system (Gurgel et al. 2584). The professionals should be skilled communicators who can interact with the other professionals in the organization.
Computer networks have become useful aspects of every organization. The use of networks can make it easier for business organizations and institutions to realize their goals much faster. Such systems connect employees and managers within an institution in order to foster performance. It is therefore necessary for institutions to have sustainable network administration practices. Such measures will safeguard the computer systems and networks from predictable (or unforeseeable) interruptions. The administrators will upgrade the systems in order to support the goals of their respective organization (Li et al. 48). That being the case, companies that want to realize their goals must create sustainable networks that support the needs of the employees. Consequently, the organizations will find it easier to realize their goals within the shortest time possible.
Burgess, Mark. Principles of Network and System Administration. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
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Gurgel, Paulo, et al. “Development of a Practical Computer Network Course through Netkit Virtualization Tool.” Procedia Computer Science, vol. 18, no. 1, 2013, pp. 2583-2586.
LaCroix, Jay. Mastering Linux Network Administration. Packt Publishing, 2015.
Li, Jun, et al. “Securing Distributed Adaptation.” Computer Networks, vol. 1, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1-56.
Saadaoui, Abdelkader, and Salem Nasri. “End to End QoS Metrics Modeling Based on Multi-application Environment in Network on Chip.” Journal of Computer Networks, vol. 4, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-10.