Network management

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  • Network management is the act (art) of initializing monitoring and modifying the operation of the primary network functions [Pras]
  • Network management includes all the activities needed to keep the network running in such a way that it both satisfies the user needs and the provider constraints. [Festor]
  • Network management determines the supervision of networked systems to make sure that they behave according to some pre-defined goals [Stiller]

Note that many more definitions exist:

  • OSI Management Framework: OSI Management: the facilities to control, coordinate and monitor the resources which allow communications to take place in the OSI environment
  • CCITT E.410: International network management: the function of supervising the international network and taking action when necessary to control the flow of traffic Network management requires real-time monitoring and measurement of current network status and performance, and the ability to take prompt action to control the flow of traffic
  • ITU M.3010: This recommendation presents the general architectural requirements for a TMN to support the management requirements of administrations to plan, provision, install, maintain, operate and administer telecommunication networks and services


  • We can distinguish between managed systems and manager systems
  • Managed systems are always implemented in hard and software, management systems can additionally be implemented in terms of "brainware"
  • Management involves activities of human beings
  • Management decisions often operate on larger timescales, lasting at least multiple round-trip times