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I have worked as a computer network administrator for over 5 years. I have worked mostly with networks in a mixed Microsoft Windows NT and Novell Netware environment. I am a Novell Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) and I am a certified Novell GroupWise Administrator. I have taken classes in configuration of Cisco routers. In this essay, I will discuss the definition of a network administrator, the tasks and responsibilities of a network administrator and share a day in the life of a network administrator. For documentation on my credentials, I am including my certification certificates. What is a Network Administrator?

A network administrator is one who maintains and troubleshoots your computer systems. Depending on the size of your organization and the complexity of your technology, a network administrator’s job can range from ten hours per week to full time. There are some obvious network administration tasks, such as installing or upgrading system software and managing user accounts and disks space, so you probably have some idea of what an administrator does. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is a consortium of telecommunications companies worldwide who have, among other things, defined a series of

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recommendations that describe how a telecommunications management network (TMN) should be operated. The ITU members have adopted a model of management functions that I think is of interest to us because it provides a framework that we can use to understand the role of the network administrator. This function model is often referred to as the FCAPS model after the initials of each of the major functions it describes. TMN function Naive description Fault Management: Fixing what is broken. Configuration Management: Controlling the operational parameters of something so it works the way you want.

Accounting Management: Knowing who is using how much of what, and maybe billing them for it. Performance Management: Making sure it all works acceptably quickly. Security Management: Controlling who can do what. The idea is that just about any network management task can be said to belong to one of those management functions. For example, plugging a patch-lead back in after it has fallen out is fault management, introducing a firewall onto your network is a security management task, and assigning an IP address to a network card is a configuration management task. The network administrator manages networks, so what is a network made

of? The network obviously includes the routers, switches, modems, and data services like ISDN lines and ATM, frame relay, or ADSL links. The hosts on which the user accounts and application servers reside certainly participate in networking, especially in a TCP/IP environment where they’re the only devices actually implementing the TCP protocol. The network administrator controls network addresses, protocols used, and the network interfaces because these are all obviously network components. The network administrator will also control routing, name resolution, and assignment of TCP and UDP socket numbers.

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