Business Blog for Small Business

The All-Seeing Eye of the Network Professional

04/24/2013 23:06

Managing a business's network is an overwhelming task, one that used to take whole teams to handle. Racing through the office, pager bleeping and blooping, network professionals were once saddled with handling every single little problem that occurred on what was, at the time, a relatively new technology and a comparatively unskilled group of users.

Fortunately, technology – and the people using it – has advanced. Using Microsoft active directory tools you can reduce your workload by heading off problems as, or before, they develop. Take, for example, Windows file permissions. With file permissions you can make certain that the users on your network don't tamper with files they ought not to be touching. This can include files vital to the function and maintenance of the network, or merely another user's private work. Either way, a little thing like a NTFS permissions tool can make a big difference for the network professional.

Another active directory tool many network professionals make use of is file monitoring software. With file monitoring software, you can keep track of what changes are being made on networked computers. You can be notified when sensitive data is being altered, and you can even learn how it is being altered without having to go and check the file personally. A companion tool, file tracking software, can track where this data is being moved to and by whom. Tools like these can turn you into the all-knowing, all-seeing hero your office network deserves.

When something goes really haywire on your network, though, you need to be able to go back and check what happened, when, where, and how, and hopefully use that information to figure out how to fix the problem now facing your network. One of the best tools to gather this information is Windows 2008 file auditing. With a file audit you can get a complete sense of what files are where, when they've been tampered with, and by whom. This kind of information is vital for tracking down serious errors and repairing them.

With all of this information at your disposal, you can begin to educate the users on your network by locating those who make the most mistakes and explaining to them how those mistakes came to be. As they grow more educated, your job grows simpler, more refined in its purpose. The great dream of the network maintenance professional is, after all, to become redundant.