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The Importance of Scalability in Network Management

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May 31, 2013

The Importance of Scalability in Network Management

By Blaise McNamee
Web Editor

A highly scalable network is one that can maintain high performance while growing. As more and more network elements are added to the mix, network management tools must be able to keep up and appropriately adapt network resources and policies. Traffic loads and patterns are guaranteed to change wildly as more users and complex applications are implemented into a business, particularly with the rapid advancement of mobile technology and IP communications. Servers and storage will thus also need extra attention to gracefully effectively respond to the resulting changes in data requirements.

The solution isn’t simply buying more and more hardware to match growth. Rather, network management systems must be utilized to implement intelligent system architectures and dynamic data hierarchies, so as to promote efficient software and hardware interoperability and avoid bottlenecks. For network management systems, like WebNMS, this means maintaining a high number of processed events per second and assuring a stable performance level of the fault system. Some companies utilizing this network management technology have gone from 200 to 2,000-3,000 traps per second, polling millions of devices every 15 minutes and supporting the simultaneous access of more than 100 users/operators. 

WebNMS supports multiple deployment architectures to offer high scalability. WebNMS can be deployed in a combo setup to manage a small network or in a distributed setup to manage large networks. What a company chooses will depend on the individual network size and hardware types.

The combo setup is useful for smaller networks, where the backend server, frontend server and client are all present in the same physical system. For larger networks with multiple inter-networks, a distributed setup is required. Various possible combinations of backend servers, frontend servers, and clients are installed across different systems, depending on network size and management need.

That being said, it’s important to address network scalability before emergency scenarios arise.    Rather than patch network efficiency failures as they occur, it serves a business to proactively enhance its network by utilizing a network management solution. Simply preparing for major breakdowns is unsustainable. Smart architectures with advanced monitoring and management tools is the only way to both save money and maintain consistent, high network performance.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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