Network management is an afterthought in many networks. This is a pity because the network designer can do many things to facilitate network management. In most large organizations, the job of network manager is considered "operations," while network design is done by a different implementation group. Frequently, these two groups report to different departments of the company.
If a network can be managed easily, then it is inherently more reliable. Thus, manageability is a fundamental design goal for a good network. Before I launch into a discussion of design implications for manageability, I need to spend some time talking about what I mean by network management.
The OSI has published an official definition of network management that includes five different components: configuration management, fault management, performance management, security management, and accounting management. I usually think of performance management as being composed of two separate subcomponents. The first is a tactical performance management, and the second is the more strategic long-term capacity planning component.
Configuration management actually includes two different but related activities. The first keeps track of physical hardware, serial numbers, locations, patching information, and so forth. The second part of configuration management is the process of modifying, backing up, and restoring the software configuration ...