What is network configuration?
Network configuration, also known as network setup, is about managing a network and its devices by applying the proper set of controls, regulations, and policies. This includes activities ranging from device discovery to backups to create a more efficient network administration.
Why is network configuration important?
The reason network configuration is important is because it’s essential to supporting traffic through a network. In addition, network configuration also supports and enhances security and stability for that network.
What is network configuration management?
Network configuration management is the process of maintaining and organizing information about the components of a network. When a network needs upgrading, the administrator refers to the network configuration management database for the best approach to take.
This is the lifecycle involved in network configuration management:
- Device discovery;
- Inventory maintenance;
- Configuration backup;
- Monitoring configuration changes and compliance; and
- Tracking user activity and troubleshooting.
Examples of Network Configurations
- The full name of the machine;
- The IP address of the machine;
- The subnet mask if the network uses subnets;
- The broadcast address;
- The default router for the machine;
- The loopback port address; and
- The IP address of at least one name server.
What are the different types of network configurations?
Listing of the several types of networks:
- Personal Area Network (PAN) is known as the most basic and smallest type of network configuration that connects devices within proximity. PAN configurations are optimal if you have various types of device operating systems within a network because it allows them all to communicate without compatibility issues.
- Local Area Network (LAN) configuration is for multiple computers connected via Ethernet cables over short distances within a building. When connecting computers in a LAN, you will need an Ethernet switch that connects all types of devices together seamlessly.
- Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) enables wireless communication for multiple devices over short distances, usually from the same building.
- Campus Area Network (CAN) is considered a local area network primarily used by vehicles. CANs don’t require cables; however, they do need an internet connection so drivers must plan where they will get service before setting off.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) uses encrypted connections across the internet from one device to the network. The VPN provides a secure tunnel between the VPN client and the organization’s VPN server, which prevents the cyber attacker from seeing sensitive information. One of the main benefits of a VPN is that when you’re connected to the internet via a VPN, websites cannot see your real IP address. All that can be seen is the IP address of the VPN server.
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) connects devices located within a particular city, and typically covers large areas. Common places this form of network configuration is seen is at airports and transportation hubs where mobile users depend on high-speed connectivity while on the move.
- Storage Area Network (SAN) is a high-speed network connecting multiple servers to a high-capacity disk array using fiber optic cables. The unique function of SAN is it provides a storage capacity that would be otherwise unavailable in a networked system because of the amount or types of files stored.