Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Automic Blog, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Nate Vickery

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, SDN Journal, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Network Device Management | @CloudExpo #BigData #SDN #IoT #M2M #API

This list will help you employ a strategy that makes sense for organizations today and tomorrow

Network Device Management for Today and Tomorrow - a Do and Don't Guide

Today, "network device management" means different things to different people, and the reality is that IT organizations do it, or at least do what they consider network device management to be, to vastly varying degrees, including some who do none at all (hopefully this isn't you).

At least part of the reason network device management has become such an ambiguous thing is because what we consider to be a network device is constantly evolving. At one point, network devices were largely just routers and switches. Back then, even if one added end-user workstations into the mix, things were fairly simple.

Then things started to get interesting. Wireless introduced a few more devices and, when BYOD started springing up, all you-know-what seemed to break loose. Now the Internet of Things (IoT) and other trends and dangers such as software defined networking (SDN) and shadow IT, respectively, are only complicating things even further.

I previously went into greater detail on these trends and more, and how to create a sensible network roadmap that breaks down what network administrators should be focused on today, and what we should be preparing for tomorrow and beyond. The reality is that network device management, no matter how you currently define it, is a major part of all three phases - today, tomorrow and beyond. On the heels of that write-up, here I attempt to better define the scope of network device management and provide a list of network device management do's and don'ts that will help you employ a strategy that makes sense for organizations today and tomorrow.

I submit that network device management can be divided into three areas, applicable across almost all organizations: configuration management, device monitoring and automation. These are the most essential elements of effective network monitoring and have stood the test of time.

With this framework in mind, here are several key best practices for getting a handle on network device management.

Configuration Management

  • DO: Systematic backups. You should have ongoing, automatic backups of network device configurations - not when you remember to run them, or when you start to get worried, but always. That also includes a system that triggers ad hoc device configuration backups in response to any significant configuration change. This will not only help ensure your network performs well, but will also aid in ongoing configuration management and identifying security or compliance issues.
  • DON'T: Forget to save. Network devices typically have two different configurations: running and saved. It's all too common for network administrators to make a change to a device, which changes the running configuration, but then never save it, resulting in the configuration changes disappearing when the device reboots. Backing up both configurations and then triggering an alert when they don't match is another handy tip.

Device Monitoring

  • DO: Truly understand your network. This goes beyond understanding the architecture diagram. It includes making sure you understand what "normal" looks like on your network and what "healthy" is for the devices in your environment even if you have too many devices to count. It means knowing - or knowing how to find out - what the patterns of usage are day by day, hour by hour, and at different points in the month. Basically, it means treating monitoring - the regular, consistent, ongoing collection of data from devices - as its own discipline and not just "the thing that creates all those tickets" or an item on your to-do list.
  • DON'T: Just sit there. Ticketing is the happy bi-product of monitoring, but it's not the end of the story. Work with the people who receive and respond to those tickets to fine-tune the alerts for greater insight. Also understand all the monitoring, alerting and automation techniques at your disposal. From SNMP to syslog, and from traps to configuration comparison, look at each capability as the treasure trove it is and leverage it for all you are worth.

Automation

  • DO: Be lazy! Okay, don't actually be lazy, but find ways to let the computer respond at 2 a.m. and if the problem clears up, let sleeping humans lie. Ask the fine people who make up your IT team, "What will you do once you get this ticket?" If they tell you something that can be automated, then you automate it.
  • DON'T: Be lazy! Meaning being the kind of monitoring professional who has a "set it and forget it" mentality when it comes to monitoring and alerting.

While network device management can seem daunting, following these do's and don'ts can help you ensure that you've got a grasp on it, not only for today's networks and associated challenges, but those to come as well.

More Stories By Leon Adato

Leon Adato is a Head Geek and technical evangelist at SolarWinds and is a Cisco® Certified Network Associate (CCNA), MCSE and SolarWinds Certified Professional (he was once a customer, after all). His 25 years of network management experience spans financial, healthcare, food and beverage, and other industries.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...