Every good organization has a network of computers and a few software platforms that need constant maintenance and care. Therefore, a system of network management and administration is set up to make sure that the systems keep running smoothly. A person is designated to look after all the working and is known as a network administrator.
Who is a Network Administrator?
A network administrator is a person who looks after an organization’s computer network and keeps it updated and in good working condition. They maintain the computer infrastructures with a focus on networking. Albeit their responsibilities differ from one organization to other but a few functions remain the same everywhere. The functional areas include on-site servers, software-network interactions, and network integrity. The roles and responsibilities of a network administrator are discussed in the following section.
Roles and Responsibilities of Network Administrator
The role of a network administrator varies depending on various factors like socio-economic conditions, location, and size of the organization. However, they are often responsible for proactive work like monitoring the network, keeping a check on the updates, testing the network, installing and implementing security programs, and network evaluation. They make sure that the computer hardware and network infrastructure are working fine.
- Designing the Network
The first step towards the lifecycle of the network is creating the network design. This involves making well-informed decisions about the type of the network required according to your organizational needs. The network administrator designs and plans the network based on some factors that are different for each organization.
- The Network Setup
Once the design is ready, the network administrator sets up and configures the network for your organization. This step involves the installation of the hardware, which is the physical aspect of the network. Further, they configure the files, databases, hosts, routers, and network configuration servers. These tasks can be considered the major responsibilities of a network administrator.
- Maintenance of the Network
The next step in network administration is maintaining the network that has been set up and includes a number of responsibilities. The network administrator, at this phase, is responsible for adding new host machines to the network, administering network security, adding network services like email, name services, etc., and troubleshooting any network issues that might occur. Network maintenance is a continuous process and requires the administrator to be alert at all times.
- Expanding the Network
Lastly, the network administrator is the person who expands the network when needed. The longer the network is functioning properly, the more are the chances of an organization wanting to expand its features and services. The network expansion will require the administrator to set up a new network and link it to the existing one, thereby creating an inter-network. Further, they need to configure machines in users’ homes or remote office location and connect them to the main network. Also, connecting the whole network to the internet to enable them to get information from other parts of the world is also a part of the job. Finally, they are responsible for configuring UUCP communications, which allow users to communicate and exchange files with remote machines.
Skills a Good Network Administrator Has
A good network administrator is logical and has the ability to think critically. They must be capable of exploring and solving problems consistently. Analyzing and thinking critically helps them solve the problems that might occur at their job.
A network administrator must be capable of managing time efficiently in order to be able to juggle different projects, people, and problems at the same time. It is very important to stay organized and be prepared for problems that might come. You can’t deal with unannounced new issues if the work at hand already is in mess.
As a network administrator, you have to work with a lot of people and deal with them on a regular basis. They can be network engineers, desk employees, or end users. Having good interpersonal skills is important to bridge the gap between the diverse groups.