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What Is Distributed Network Management?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Distributed network management is the creation of multiple core locations that are used to administrate and control various resources of a computer network. One simple way to create a network is with a single Network Operations Center (NOC) that is used as the control point for system administration. There are potential problems with this type of setup, however, especially when the number of resources and users grows to very high levels. Distributed network management alleviates some of these possible issues, by creating multiple points that are used to control and administrate a system.

The basic structure of distributed network management concerns the way in which administrators monitor and control a network. In many systems, a single Network Operations Center or NOC is used to manage a network. This can work well, especially for small systems, but one failure within this NOC can bring down the entire network. The NOC also serves as a central location for hiring computer technicians and administrators, which reduces opportunities for a wider range of professionals.

Distributed network management is often used to avoid or reduce these potential flaws in a NOC system. One of the major benefits of using multiple control points is that redundancy can be more easily built into it. If one control center or core goes down due to power outages, catastrophic emergencies, or simply data error, then other cores can be used to continue monitoring and running the network. Businesses that depend on major networks or the Internet can see tremendous losses due to even a short period of inaccessibility or server outages, which can be reduced through redundancy.

The use of distributed network management also allows a system to be physically spread out throughout different regions of a country or the world. A business in the US, for example, that is located in the western area of the country may have issues if problems arise in the early morning. On the eastern side, the time difference could create a demand on servers while administrators are not yet available. Using distributed network management, a company can have operations centers in multiple time zones, allowing for easier monitoring and staffing of administrators.

This issue becomes even more pronounced once multiple countries are taken into consideration. Any major business with locations across the world may have issues with network efficiency from users in the US, Japan, and England all trying to access a server in India. By using distributed network management, multiple locations can be established that allow for more flexible localization and better access from around the world.

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