A Network Administrator is an IT person that is responsible for the maintenance of computer hardware and software systems that make up a computer network. That includes the maintenance and monitoring of active data network infrastructure and related network equipment such as PCs, servers, user devices, etc.
Network Administrators duties are generally focused on network components within a company’s LAN/WAN infrastructure, to ensure infrastructure’s integrity. Depending on the company and its size, the Network Administrator may also design and deploy networks and be involved in vendor management.
The actual role of the Network Administrator will vary from place to place, but will commonly include activities and tasks such as network address assignment, management and implementation of routing and emergency protocols. In smaller organizations, Network Administrators may also be technically involved in the maintenance and administration of servers, desktop computers, printers, routers, switches, firewalls, phones, IP Phones, personal digital assistants, smartphones, software deployment, security updates and patches as well as a vast array of additional technologies inclusive of both hardware and software.
The role of the Network administrator can vary significantly depending on an organizations size, location and specific business needs.
Network Administrators are often involved in proactive work. This type of work will often include:
- Network monitoring
- Testing the network for vulnerabilities
- Critical updates management
- Installation and implementation of security programs
- E-mail, Internet and Intranet security
- Evaluation and implementation of network management software
Network Administrators are responsible for making sure that computer hardware and Network infrastructure related to an organization’s data network are effectively maintained. In smaller organizations, they are typically involved in the procurement of new hardware, the roll out of new software, maintaining disk images for new computer installs, making sure that licenses are paid for and up to date for software that need it, maintaining the standards for server installations and applications, and monitoring the performance of the network, checking for security breaches, poor data management practices.
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Typically, within a larger organization, these roles are split into multiple roles or functions across various divisions and are not performed by the one individual. In other organizations, some of these roles mentioned are carried out by System administrators. It is not uncommon for smaller organizations to outsource these functions.
The primary objective of a Network Administrator is to ensure data network connectivity within an organization. Network Administrators are in charge of making sure that connectivity is operational for all users in their organization, and ensuring that data security over connections to the Internet are effectively managed.