The OSI Network Management model is a model for Network and System Administrators to understand the major functions of network management systems. In this model, there are 5 areas’ of functions which is also known as FCAPS.
The aim of the model is for Network and System Administrators to understand a number of issues and aspects. These include:
- Fault management and recovery
- Configuration and change management
- Accounting User Management
- Performance Management
- Security Management
- Application support
- Integration and Migration
- Planning for growth and acquisitions
In Fault Management, the aim is to recognise, isolate and correct, and log faults on the network. As System and Network Administrator, it is your duty to put in place monitoring tools so you are alerted to when faults exist. For example, you want to be alerted when a critical service goes down on the network. If there is a fault, you have to test, fix, update, and repair any faults that occur on the network.
On of the main issues which causes a system to fault is someone changes a configuration setting. Configuration management facilitates the control of any system configuration both on the hardware and software side. It is important that you record all configuration changes such as what has been changed, why and who did the change; and document system configuration standards. If a fault does arise (it may not be instantly, but a couple of months later), you can track who completed the configuration change.
Accounting Management is concerned with aspects of the system users. It mainly focuses on charging and billing users for services, and regulating service use.
For example, some organisations charge its users or departments on:
- Disk space
- Application and Software use
Therefore, it is important to implement ways to properly charge use of IT facilities.
Performance Management involves analysing your network and gather information so that you can prepare it for the future. The performance of a network varies all the time. Most organisations find that the internet is very slow during lunch as many of the staff is browsing the internet, yet in the morning, it will be super quick.
Not only this; but the performance of the network must meet the users and organisations desires. The network and systems services must be available, the speed must be efficient, their must not be bottlenecks and the network should never be used to its maximum capacity for prolonged period of times.
System and Network Administrators must actively monitor the network performance to ensure problems do not occur.
Security management is important as you control user access to network resources. Without it, your network will be exposed, as well as all the information and document it contains. As a Network and System Administrator, you are to address network authentication and security auditing to detect and prevent network sabotage, abuse and to prevent unauthorised access.
Administrators are required to:
- Record logs
- Have a Firewall setup
- Control Spam
- Prevent Viruses, Trojans, Spyware
- Upgrade software, install OS patches
- Implement authorisation techniques and password control (which is linked to accounting and configuration management)
You are now aware of the 5 categories of the Network Management Model which is also known as FCAPS. It is a fundamental requirement that all IT infrastructures facilitate this model to protect its environment. Without it, many system downtimes would occur and the organisation may suffer a large financial loss.