The term, “network” refers to a group of computer connections and systems which are connected to one another through several hardware and software. Network may not necessarily be big, it may even be a connection of two computers and a printer. On a larger scale, it could even be a connection of high scale international offices. Network comprises of various sub segments which include configuration, maintenance, optimization and security. The networks and its various branches are handled by a network administrator. The primary duty of the network administrator is to manage the dual aspects of a network viz. physical and virtual. Companies with a high net worth prefer hiring an in house network administrator for maintenance of the networks. In house administrators can perform various functions like installations, diagnostics and network privileges. However, small companies prefer outsourcing network administrators.
The primary responsibilities, duties and tasks of network administrators are as follows:
- Network administrators are expected to conduct timely configuration and maintenance of the software and hardware aspects like routers and switches.
- There must proper user accounts set up, privileges should be assigned and separate log in id and passwords should be created for the employees of the firm.
- The network security should be taken care of by setting up firewall, intrusion detection, anti-virus and anti-spam.
- The network should be constantly monitored by the network administrator so as to keep a tab on the usage of the employees of the organisation. Any kind of usage which is prohibited or inappropriate should be brought to notice by the administrator immediately.
- At times, the network may perform slow or not perform at all. During such times, the network administrator should immediately detect the reasons for the same. Problems like system crash, documentation of identified issues and troubleshoot should be taken care of by the administrator.
- One of the key tasks of the administrators is to set up a management and optimization of the server while backing up essential data.
- The network administrator should also maintain a good professional rapport with the employees of other team and departments. Future IT solutions should also be planned as a team.
- Lastly, it is necessary for network administrators to make sure if all equipment in the organisation is following industry standards.
For becoming a successful and an efficient network administrator there are a few skills which an individual should master during education and training of this course. Since, the duties of the network administrator are multiple, the skills which are required also too many. The following skills are required to be a network administrator:
- Great networking skills
The main components of networking are configuring and maintenance. Aspirants should hold in depth understanding of hardware such as routers, wires, switches and other essentials. Along with this, IP addressing knowledge is a must. IPv4 and IPv6 are networking protocols which must be known to a network administrator. Various networking services like distributed applications, directories, files, email, HTTP,FTP,DNS etc. should be well read and known of. Lastly, knowledge of few more things like communication providers, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), firewalls, encryption, anti-virus is a must when looking forward to make a career as a network administrator.
- Technically updated skills
Being a networking geek, the administrator should be technology wise updated and should have skills of handling troubleshooting, windows servers, Python, Pearl and PHP. Basic computer operating skills of windows or Mac is also very important. It is also expected out of a network administrator to be possess expertise and fluency in database services like Mysql and Sql servers. Last but not the least, project management and documentation skills are always gives an aspirant an edge over the others.
- Important certificates
When looking forward to a career in network administration, there are also a few certificates which are required to get a great job and create a lasting impression. The following certificates are the most sought after:
- Cisco Certified Network Admin (CCNA)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
- Solaris 11 Unix Certification
This field is definitely a growing and a successful. Great communication skills, interpersonal skills and knowledge can take individuals a long way.
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