No matter how we choose to conduct typical business processes, the fact is clear–our world is a connected one. Digital transformation has contributed to more computer...
The Benefits of Proper Network Configuration
Your IT network is the heart of your end-to-end business operations. Routers, firewalls, load balancers, switches, and other devices in your network must be configured properly for them to operate optimally. When you configure a network, you need to establish controls, flows, and policies based on your IT requirements. Network configuration helps in just that!
Network configuration is the process of setting up devices in your network and determining controls and policies for the network. If you are wondering why network configuration is important – it makes network management easier. From automating bulk network changes, and maintaining network security, to diagnosing issues, proper network configuration ensures your network is up and running at its peak efficiency.
Now that you have a brief idea about what network configuration is, let's understand its importance and benefits in detail.
What is network configuration?
Network configuration refers to setting up the right policies, controls, and flows for all the devices and applications in your network for them to communicate efficiently.
While you configure a network, you should determine if you want an interconnected network or require separate computer clusters. Your network requirements will dictate how you configure routers and switches, configure your hosting, set up firewalls, or deploy software. Technically, network configuration is the act of ensuring that all the commands, settings, and policies for network devices (routers, firewalls, load balancers, etc.) are set up in a way that achieves maximum efficiency, improves security, and maintains network stability.
Now that you know what network configuration is, the next most important question is why is network configuration important for businesses. Properly configuring your network makes it easy to diagnose problems, reduces network downtime, and helps you easily relaunch devices in case of failures.
Let's discuss some more advantages of network configuration.
Why is network configuration important?
With cybercrimes increasing by over 600% in the pandemic, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Network configuration helps you in safeguarding your business. For example, you can configure a network that limits flagged devices from connecting to your network or determine how devices in your network send messages to prevent cyber intrusions. Apart from such connection settings, network configuration also enables you to detect vulnerabilities in your systems.
While you configure your IT network, it is also necessary to keep all the records such as configuration files of the devices connected to your network. Organizing and saving all the device-related information is called network configuration management.
Say, you have to replace a failed network device with a new one. Only when you have configuration files backed up in a human-readable format, can you quickly replace it. Otherwise, you will have to configure the device from scratch. In short, following the best network configuration practices help you to replace network components easily if it stops functioning.
As distinct network components store configuration files in a different format and there is no standardized method to save configuration files it becomes difficult to backup network devices. Nonetheless, you can use a reliable configuration management system to automatically store device configurations in a central server.
Top 3 Benefits of network configuration management
- No more critical network outages
Network configuration management tools can detect changes in the network and mitigate network outages. With network management software, you can compare daily backups to identify unauthorized changes in the network. Moreover, you can also roll back network changes to the previous configurations in case new settings were misconfigured.
- Bulk changes are done automatically
Manually changing network settings can be a daunting task. Imagine you have to periodically change administrator passwords for all network devices as mandated by your network security policies. Or what if you have to create new configuration files in bulk? Network configuration management tools automate such tasks making it easy for you to manage your IT network.
- Detailed network analysis and audits
You can use network configuration tools to determine the health of your network, detect changes, and mitigate risks leading to network failures. For instance, you can compare network backups to detect who made changes to the network and use firewall rules, VPN settings, and intrusion detection system (IDS) parameters for security audits.
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