Network management refers to the activities, methods, procedures, and tools that pertain to the operation, administration, maintenance, and provisioning of networked systems.
A common way of characterizing network management functions is FCAPS - Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security.
Functions that are performed as part of network management accordingly include controlling, planning, allocating, deploying, coordinating, and monitoring the resources of a network, network planning, frequency allocation, predetermined traffic routing to support load balancing, cryptographic key distribution authorization, configuration management, fault management, security management, performance management, bandwidth management, Route analytics and accounting management.
Data for network management is collected through several mechanisms, including agents installed on infrastructure, synthetic monitoring that simulates transactions, logs of activity, sniffers and real user monitoring. In the past network management mainly consisted of monitoring whether devices were up or down; today performance management has become a crucial part of the IT team's role which brings about a host of challenges-especially for global organizations.