Network management model

Network management model

The ISO under the direction of the OSI group has created a network management model as the primary means for understanding the major functions of network management systems.

The model in question is interchangeably called either the OSI network management model or ISO network management model so the full name could be the OSI/ISO network management model.


The 5 areas of function of the model

The OSI network management model categorizes five areas of function, sometimes referred to as the FCAPS model:


The goal of fault management is to recognize, isolate, correct and log faults that occur in the network.

Errors primarily occur in the areas of fault management and configuration management.

Fault management is concerned with detecting network faults, logging this information, contacting the appropriate person, and ultimately fixing a problem. A common fault management technique is to implement an SNMP-based network management system - such as HP OpenView or Sun Solstice (formerly Net Manager) - to collect information about network devices. In turn, the management station can be configured to make a network administrator aware of problems (by email, paging, or on-screen messages), allowing appropriate action to be taken.


The goals of configuration management are to gather/set/track configurations of the devices. Configuration management is concerned with monitoring system configuration information, and any changes that take place. This area is especially important, since many network issues arise as a direct result of changes made to configuration files, updated software versions, or changes to system hardware. A proper configuration management strategy involves tracking all changes made to network hardware and software. Examples include altering the running configuration of a device, updating the IOS version of a router or switch, or adding a new modular interface card. While it is possible to track these changes manually, a more common approach is to gather this information using configuration management software, such as CiscoWorks 2000.


The goal is to gather usage statistics for users. Accounting management is concerned with tracking network utilization information, such that individual users, departments, or business units can be appropriately billed or charged for accounting purposes. While this may not be applicable to all companies, in many larger organizations the IT department is considered a cost center that accrues revenues according to resource utilization by individual departments or business units.


The goal is to both prepare the network for the future, as well as to determine the efficiency of the current network. Performance management is focused on ensuring that network performance remains at acceptable levels. This area is concerned with gathering regular network performance data such as network response times, packet loss rates, link utilization, and so forth. This information is usually gathered through the implementation of an SNMP management system, either actively monitored, or configured to alert administrators when performance move above or below predefined thresholds. Actively monitoring current network performance is an important step in identifying problems before they occur, as part of a proactive network management strategy etc .....


The goal of security management is to control access to assets in the network. Security management is not only concerned with ensuring that a network environment is secure, but also that gathered security-related information is analyzed regularly. Security management functions include managing network authentication, authorization, and auditing, such that both internal and external users only have access to appropriate network resources. Other common tasks include the configuration and management of network firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and security policies such as access lists.


The two standards that have emerged are :


Cisco Network Management Basics

ISO/IEC 7498-4: Information processing systems -- Open Systems Interconnection -- Basic Reference Model -- Part 4: Management framework Written by Dan DiNicolo

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