The network administrator’s responsibilities include installing new application, maintaining the network security, distribution software upgrades, monitoring daily activities, enforcing licensing agreements and taking up backups regularly.
The term network administrator, network specialist and network analyst designates on job positions of the engineers that are involved in managing the computer networks. Network administrators are basically equivalent to the Systems administrators who maintain the hardware and software necessary for the network.
Network administration normally includes the deployment, monitoring and maintaining the networks as well as working on the routers, switches, firewalls, proxy servers and file servers. Other tasks includes in the job description of a network administrator are network address assignment, assigning of routing protocols, configuring and authorization of the directory services.
It also includes the maintenance of the network facilities in the individual computers, such as drivers, printer settings, settings of personal computers and providing the server access to the client computers. It also includes the maintenance of the network servers such as file servers, VPN gateways, database server and virus protection. Network analysts and specialists concentrate on network security and design, particularly troubleshooting network related problems. Their work can also include the maintenance of the network authorization as well as network backup systems.
They are also responsible for providing network management functions.
• Providing network/system support services
• They ensure that the network is used efficiently, and
• They also ensure prescribed service-quality objectives are met.
The common challenges we face as systems and network administrators tie us together both in managing the servers and addressing the immediate problems. A vulnerability is often documented in a security release that creates the attack in a lab environment and this can lead to real problems like a bank account is being hijacked via identify theft or a server that handles patient data crashing. Similarly, a poor performing network or a server can ruin an organization or cause difficulties for the employees who want to access the data and resources from the network servers.
In the last decade, computers have become a vital part of our life; they are in use for variety of reasons at home, store, banks, offices, schools, universities, airports and almost everywhere. It is very likely that a computer user encounters a problem occasionally, whether it is a crashing of the hard disks or the annoyance of a forgotten password. The explosive use of the computers has led to the specialists to provide the proper support and advice to the users, as well as for day to day administration, support, maintenance of the systems and network.
Computer support specialists provide technical assistance, support and advice to the customers. This occupational group includes system support engineers, help desk staff, IT manager, and network and system administrator. These technical persons interpret the problems and provide technical support for software, hardware, system and network.
They answers telephone calls, analyze problems by using automated diagnostic programs troubleshoot the problems. These specialists can work either within a company that uses computers or they work directly with the vendors. Technical support specialists answer the telephone calls. They work on monitors, printers, mice, keyboards and they install, modify, clean and repair computer hardware and software. In addition, technical support specialists oversee the daily performance of their company’s computer system. Help desk specialists assist computer users with the hardware and software questions that are not addressed in the product’s manual.
In responding to these questions for guidance, help desk technicians must listen the customers carefully, ask those questions and find the solution of the problems. Network administrators and computer systems administrators design, install and support a company’s LAN, WAN, network segment, internet or intranet systems. They provide day to day administrative support for the end users in a variety of work environments, including professional offices, small businesses, small and large corporations and government offices.
They gather the data to identify customers need and then they use the information for identifying and evaluating the system and network problems. Systems administrators are the information technology employees who are responsible for maintenance and efficient use of the computer networks.
Furthermore they adjust the performance of existing networks, troubleshoot the problems reported by the users and make recommendations for enhancement in the implementation of future servers and networks. In some organizations, computer security specialists may plan, coordinate and implement the organization’s security system. These security specialists may be called upon to train the users about computer security, install security software, monitor the network for security breaches, respond to cyber attacks, installing antivirus and gather the data that may be used in prosecuting the cyber crime.
As computer networks expands, more computer support specialist and system administrators may be able to connect to the customers remotely using modems, laptops, emails and the internet to provide the support to the end users. Systems and network administrators can also administer and configure the servers remotely. Due to the wide range of skills required, there are many paths of entry to a job as a computer support, specialist or a system administrator. A bachelor degree in the computer science or information systems is a prerequisite for some jobs. For system administration jobs many employers seek applicants with the bachelor degrees in computer science and the certifications such as MCSE, MCSA and CCNA etc.
A number of companies are becoming more flexible about requiring a college degree for these positions. However, certifications and practical experience in the related field is much preferred. The completion of a certification training program, offered by a variety of vendors and product makers may help some people to quality those positions. Beginning computer support specialists usually work for organizations that deal directly with customers by visiting their sites or in house work. With the passage of time they may advance to more responsible positions to apply their skills.
Job promotion mostly depends on the performance and not on the education. Eventually, some computer support specialist may become applications developers and designing the products. Computer support specialists of hardware and software companies enjoy great upward mobility.
Entry level network and system administrators are involved in the routine maintenance and monitoring of computer systems. After gaining some experience and expertise they are able to advance their career in senior level positions. Persons who are interested in the administration must have strong problem solving, analytical and communication skills because troubleshooting and providing support to the end users and the clients is a vital part of the job. Strong writing skills are useful in preparing manuals for employees and the clients.
If you like to work in the computer field and enjoy troubleshooting then network administration job is suitable for you. The main job description of a network administrator is to maintain LAN and connect computers in the same office building. You could even maintain the vast servers, which host the websites and these servers are called web servers. Being a network administrator you must have a good knowledge of computer hardware, software and the network devices such as router, switches, hubs, modems and NIC cards. Additionally, you will have to constantly update yourself with the latest advancements and updates in this field.
A network administrator must have the knowledge of the following things.
• File and Print server
• Network devices.
• RAS Servers
• Proxy Server
• Frame Relay
• Leased Lines (T-1 and T-3)
• Cisco IOS
He/she must also have the knowledge of the following things.
• Deploy network equipments
• He/she can Configure routers, switches, and firewalls
• Make recommendations to the management concerning network upgrades
• Maintain and monitor the organization’s network
• Maintain a network addresses and network address translation scheme
• Document all network maintenance, security breaches and their solutions and upgrades
• Maintain routing tables using RIP, OSPF and BGP.
• Can work on routers efficiently.