Managed Network Services

By Adrian Cruce

Organizations today are turning to managed networks for managing their data, hardware and software systems. Managed Network Support (MNS), a technology designed to manage IT networks and devices is one such solution. But what is it exactly? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Managed Networks

Maintaining IT networks are important for enterprises that face data center outages, downtime due to hardware failure or software malfunction, or other network related issues. The benefits of having a network managed by a service provider to extend beyond simple network management. Managed service providers can deliver a comprehensive range of integrated solutions to help businesses reduce their operational expenses. Below are the different offerings managed service providers offer.

Application Lifecycle Insulation (ASI) Managed network support usually involves the installation of application isolation. This helps the IT network administrators to manage and monitor the use of their managed network devices. The use of application isolation makes it easy for IT managers to monitor how the system is being used on a daily basis. Application security is also handled by such services providers.

Provisioning Virtual Private Networks (VPLs) Managed networks can be provided with virtual private networks (VPLs). An MSPL is a group of computers with a common physical and logical address and a connection to an IP network. This gives an organizations’ multiple VPNs, or virtual private networks, that can be deployed without requiring significant infrastructure setup. Moreover, the administration and maintenance of these VPLs are also handled by the managed network support provider.

Disaster recovery Managed networks provide disaster recovery features to help minimize the risk of network disasters. The concept of disaster recovery helps IT managers to recover the network if an entire network is affected due to some unexpected event. There are different types of disaster recovery: patch, email and web server recovery. A managed network recovery service provides the tools to handle one particular type of disaster.

Performance and scalability Managed network services also ensure that network performance is optimized and scalability is ensured. This is done by improving the overall quality of service. Scalability refers to the ability of a network to grow and adapt to new workloads without negatively affecting the performance of other networks. A managed network support company provides scalability as a service to its clients.

Security management An important function of a network is the security of its servers. Managed servers to provide security services that include policies to block, scan and log. Policies can also be configured to restrict or allow certain traffic from entering or exiting a particular server. Security management is achieved by the use of intrusion detection and prevention systems.

Performance monitoring Managed network services also include performance monitoring to ensure the smooth functioning of the network. An effective network supports peak and off-peak performance. Peak performance refers to the time when a network is experiencing minimum disturbance from processing traffic. Off-peak performance occurs during non-peak hours. It is used for instances when network load is light.

Disaster recovery Some companies also opt for disaster recovery services. In a managed network, after a disastrous outage, an automatic system restores the services. It starts automatically after detecting the problem. The system supports failover solutions and can restore services on its own.

Identification of problems Before commencing network operations, identification of network-related problems must be done to avoid unnecessary delays. Identification helps in the early detection of network issues that could compromise network efficiency. Identification also lets network providers know what kind of services can be provided for each issue so that they can adapt their services accordingly.

Scalability refers to the ability of a network to grow and adapt to new workloads without negatively affecting the performance of other networks. It is achieved by the use of automatic management techniques and automatic deployment of new connections. Common managed networks include file, platform and database.

Performance Of course, scalability is important for a managed network. It ensures that the network will be able to deliver the desired results. Some of the factors that determine scalability include overload, routing, loss, etc. There are many others as well such as the age of the network, its hardware, operating system, and the number of endpoints. It is important to test each of these factors to ensure good scalability.