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Chapter 15: Implementing and Managing Networks

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  1. Chapter 15: Implementing and Managing Networks Network+ Guide to Networks Third Edition

  2. Objectives • Describe the elements and benefits of project management • Manage a network implementation project • Understand network management and the importance of base lining to assess a network’s health

  3. Objectives (continued) • Plan and follow regular hardware and software maintenance routines • Describe the steps involved in upgrading network software and hardware

  4. Project Management • Project Management • Is the practice of managing resources, staff, budget, timelines, and other variables to achieve a specific goal within given bounds • Project management attempts to answer at least the following questions in roughly the following order: • Is the proposed project feasible? • What needs must the project address?

  5. Project Management (continued) • What are the project’s goals? (What are the standards for success?) • What tasks are required to meet the goals? • How long should tasks take, and in what order should they be undertaken? • What resources are required to accomplish the tasks, and how much will they cost?

  6. Project Management (continued) • Who will be involved and what skills must they possess? • How will staff communicate with others about the project? • After completion, did the project meet the stated need? • A project can be divided into four phases

  7. Project Management (continued)

  8. Determining Project Feasibility • Before committing money and time to a project, you must decide whether the proposed project is possible and whether it’s feasible • Feasibility study outlines the costs and benefits of the project and attempts to predict whether it will result in a favorable outcome

  9. Determining Project Feasibility (continued) • Feasibility study might consist of rough estimates for the following: • Costs of equipment, connectivity, consulting services • Required staff time for project participation, training, and evaluation

  10. Determining Project Feasibility (continued) • Duration of project • Decrease in productivity due to disruption versus increase in future productivity due to better network and client performance • A conclusion that addresses whether the costs (equipment, staff, decreased productivity) justify the benefits (increased ongoing productivity)

  11. Determining Project Feasibility (continued) • Often, organizations hire business consultants to help them develop a feasibility study • Advantage to outsourcing this work is that consultants do not make the same assumptions that internal staff might make when weighing the costs and benefits of a proposed project

  12. Assessing Needs • Needs assessment is the process of clarifying the reasons and objectives underlying a proposed change • Involves interviewing users and comparing perceptions to factual data • May involve analyzing network baseline data

  13. Assessing Needs (continued) • A needs assessment may address the following questions: • Is the expressed need valid, or does it mask a different need? • Can the need be resolved?

  14. Assessing Needs (continued) • Is the need important enough to allocate resources to its resolution? Will • Meeting the need have a measurable effect on productivity?

  15. Assessing Needs (continued) • If fulfilled, will the need result in additional needs? Will fulfilling the need satisfy other needs? • Do users affected by the need agree that change is a good answer? What kind of resolution will satisfy them?

  16. Assessing Needs (continued) • A network’s needs and requirements should be investigated as they relate to: • Users • Network performance

  17. Assessing Needs (continued) • Availability • Scalability • Integration • Security

  18. Setting Project Goals • Project goals help keep a project on track • Evaluating whether a project was successful • A popular technique for setting project goals is to begin with a broad goal, then narrow it down into specific goals that contribute to the larger goal • Project goals should be attainable

  19. Setting Project Goals (continued) • Feasibility study should help determine whether you can achieve the project goals within the given time, budgetary, and resource constraints

  20. Setting Project Goals (continued) • If project goals are not attainable from the outset, you risk losing backing from project participants, users, and the managers who agree with the project’s goals and who will strive to help you achieve them

  21. Setting Project Goals (continued) • Managers and others who oversee resource allocation are called sponsors

  22. Project Planning • Project plan organizes the details of a managed project • Small projects may take the form of a simple text or spreadsheet document

  23. Project Planning (continued) • Larger projects, however, you typically take advantage of project management software such as Microsoft Project or PrimaVera Project Planner • Project management software facilitates project planning by providing a framework for inputting tasks, timelines, resource assignments (identifying which staff are responsible for each task), completion dates, and so on

  24. Project Planning (continued)

  25. Tasks and Timelines • Project should be divided into specific tasks • Break larger tasks into smaller subtasks • Identify tasks, you can assign a duration, start date, and finish date to each task and subtask in the project plan

  26. Tasks and Timelines (continued) • Designate milestones, task priority, and how the timeline might change depending on resource availability or dependencies • A Gantt chart is a popular method for depicting when projects begin and end along a horizontal timeline

  27. Tasks and Timelines (continued)

  28. Communication • Communication is necessary to ensure that all participants understand the project’s goals • It helps keep a project’s budget and timeline on track, encourage teamwork, avoid duplicate efforts, and allows learning from previous mistakes

  29. Communication (continued) • Project manager is responsible for facilitating regular, effective communication among project participants • Project managers must ensure consistent communication with all project stakeholders

  30. Communication (continued) • A stakeholder is any person who is affected by the project; for example, in the Wyndham School District upgrade project, stakeholders include: • Teachers • Administrators • Technical staff • Students, because students are also network users

  31. Contingency Planning • Unforeseen circumstances • Contingency planning • Pilot Network • The following tips will help you create a more realistic and useful pilot network:

  32. Contingency Planning (continued) • Include at least one of each type of device (whether a critical router or a client workstation) that might be affected by the change • Use the same transmission methods and speeds as employed on your network

  33. Contingency Planning (continued) • Try to emulate the number of segments, protocols, and addressing schemes in your network. • Implement the same server and client software and configurations on your pilot network as found in your current network (unless they are part of the change you’re testing)

  34. Contingency Planning (continued) • Once you have established the pilot network • Test it for at least two weeks to verify that its performance, security, availability, or other characteristics meet your criteria

  35. Network Management • Network management refers to the assessment, monitoring, and maintenance of all aspects of a network • Baselining is the practice of measuring and recording a network’s current state of operation

  36. Baselining

  37. Baseline assessment should address the following questions: • Access method • Protocols • Devices • Operating systems • Applications

  38. Performance and Fault Management • Performance management (monitoring how well links and devices are keeping up with the demands placed on them) • Fault management (the detection and signaling of device, link, or component faults)

  39. Performance and Fault Management (continued) • To accomplish both performance and fault management, organizations often use enterprise-wide network management software • Polling • Network management agent

  40. Performance and Fault Management (continued) • Management information base (MIB) by definition are where managed objects and their data are collected • Agents communicate information about managed objects via any one of several Application layer protocols

  41. Performance and Fault Management (continued) • Once data is collected, the network management program can present an administrator with several ways to view and analyze the data

  42. Network Management

  43. Network Status

  44. Network Management (continued) • One of the most common network management tools used on WANs is the Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) • MRTG is a command-line program that uses SNMP to poll devices, collects data in a log file, then generates HTML-based views of the data

  45. Network Management (continued) • MRTG is freely distributed software originally written by Tobias Oetiker • MRTG can be used with UNIX- and Windows-based operating systems and can collect and graph data from any type of device that uses SNMP

  46. Network Management Graphs

  47. Asset Management • A key component in network evaluation is identifying and tracking the hardware and software on your network, a process called asset management • Asset management is to take an inventory of each node on the network

  48. Asset Management (continued) • Inventory should include the total number of components on the network, and also each device’s configuration files, model number, serial number, location on the network, and technical support contact

  49. Software Changes 1. Determine whether the change (whether it be a patch, revision, or upgrade) is necessary 2. Research the purpose of the change and its potential effects on other programs 3. Determine whether the change should apply to some or all users and whether it will be distributed centrally or machine-by-machine

  50. Software Changes (continued) 4. If you decide to implement the change, notify system administrators, help desk personnel, and users. Schedule the change for completion during off hours (unless it is an emergency) 5. Back up the current system or software before making any modifications