A Network Management System or NMS is a specific combination and interaction of software and hardware to perform a particular task goal of an administrator who administers a network. (Wikipedia, 2007). These systems are considered to be the backbone of all transactions and technical manipulation for most companies, institutions and offices today. The importance of having an NMS is one of the main reasons why such entities invest on this highly significant infrastructure.
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There are basically a number of integral parts and devices which can be used for a Network Management System. Depending on the nature of the computing transaction, the variation of such devices will be the primary factors as to what combinations of devices are needed. However, there are basic parts and components which are commonly used in order to set up an NMS.
The first of the important components of an NMS is the device manager or sometimes called the Management Agent. The Management Agent is actually a software which resides in the network facility of the nodes that it manages. It can conduct necessary operations for a procedure and can also submit instructions or notifications to the network manager.
Next in line is the “Agent” or Software Agent. Usually, it is imbedded in a device called the Flash memory of a certain network for telecommunication. It acts as a supporting tool for manager software which can do operations by itself. Sometimes, it runs procedures on behalf of other components to unify the network processes for a single task.
Since networks need a particular database in which information can be stored, a device called Management Information Base or MIB is also a part of a Network Management System. It operates to manage the components of a network by relaying information in virtual database. Some of the components which can receive instructional information from the MIB are switches, routers and hubs. MIBs have two major pisions when it comes to information input and relay. The first of which is the RMON or Remote Network Monitoring device. The use of such device makes it possible to remotely monitor the protocol transmission of data for local area networks. Previously, RMON1 is used to focus network transmissions based on the Ethernet and Token Ring. Today, RMON2 can now support Network and Application monitoring.
A more advanced variant of the RMON is the SMON or System-based Monitoring (also known as Cisco System Monitor). It is considered to be the main extension device of RMONs which can monitor the activities of a switching equipment catering to a single workstation. It can produce far greater detailed reports than RMON. The SMON can also do different utility processes based on Oracle background. It can do network transmission recovery, concolidate fragments of free extents and convert them to useful sizes and even clean exploded data fragments when an accidental shutdown occurs.
Another important component in an NMS is the Simple Network Management Protocol or SNMP. Its primary function is to monitor the performance of the devices attached to a single network. It contains certain standard codes which it compares to how other devices are performing. The network manager will be able to conduct real time troubleshooting for the network devices when the SNMP signals a certain abnormality within the network structure.
Components called “Probes” are crucial parts in maintianing a Netowrk Management System. These probes contain differnet software agents from RMON and SMON which are used to collect and translate information. Becauseof the responsibility of the probes to collect data, the traffic weight is reduced within the SNMP. Probes serve as traafic balancer which only initiate data trasmission upon requet.
The last main componenet of an NMS facilitiy is the Network Tap. These are hardware devices which provide access to the network for external equipment. Network Taps are very useful in terms of accessibility principles since it can utilize various technologies for connecting to the internet. Some of the devices that it can support are Ethernet, ATM and wireless 802.11. In comes cases, a network tap can be very useful when it comes to measuring data transmission traffic. On a phyical cable, these devices can be merged at a certain point of the device to measure information from point A to B.
Wikipedia. 2007. Network Management System. Retrieved November 11 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_management_system.
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