Network Management System


A Network Management System (NMS) is a set of software tools and applications designed to monitor, control, and manage computer networks. It provides administrators with the ability to maintain network performance, troubleshoot issues, and ensure network security. NMS assists in optimizing system efficiency, automating certain tasks, and providing valuable data to support decision-making related to network resources.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Network Management System (NMS) is a set of tools and applications utilized to monitor, maintain, and optimize network infrastructure, ensuring efficient performance and better resource allocation.
  2. NMS provides crucial functionality such as fault detection, performance analysis, configuration management, and security administration to aid network administrators in handling the complexity and growth of networks.
  3. By implementing a Network Management System, organizations can reduce downtime, enhance network security, and improve overall productivity, creating a more reliable and efficient networking environment.


The term Network Management System (NMS) is crucial in the world of technology because it refers to a set of tools, applications, and methodologies employed to monitor, control, and optimize the performance of a computer network.

NMS ensures network stability and smooth functioning by detecting and resolving issues related to traffic congestion, system glitches, and hardware failures.

It plays a vital role in enhancing an organization’s productivity and minimizing downtime by enabling faster troubleshooting and proactive maintenance of network devices and services.

By effectively managing network resources, an NMS not only aids in improving overall network efficiency but also allows for streamlined asset management, better security practices, and reduced operational costs.


A Network Management System (NMS) serves as a vital tool in ensuring the smooth functionality and optimal performance of a computer network within an organization. Its purpose is to facilitate network maintenance, monitoring, and administration in an efficient and effective manner. NMS provides essential oversight and management of a network’s resources, primarily through the collection, analysis, and reporting of key data.

By efficiently managing a network’s devices, applications, and infrastructure, a NMS is instrumental in enhancing the overall reliability, security, and performance of the network, minimizing the potential for downtime due to failures, security issues, or misconfigurations. Additionally, NMS plays a critical role in planning and implementing network growth, as it is able to provide valuable insights into a network’s existing demands and future requirements. In order to fulfill its purpose, Network Management Systems utilize various techniques and protocols such as SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) to communicate with and gather information from devices spread across the network.

These devices can include routers, switches, servers, and workstations, among others. A NMS is capable of collating and presenting key performance indicators (KPIs) in a visually understandable and easily interpretable manner. This enables IT professionals to quickly identify and rectify any issues, as well as make informed decisions on network management strategies.

Therefore, an effective NMS not only contributes to overall network stability, but also aids in minimizing costs through rapid issue resolution, reducing the need for manual infrastructure checks and eliminating network bottlenecks.

Examples of Network Management System

Cisco Prime Infrastructure: Cisco Prime is a popular Network Management System (NMS) designed to manage large-scale enterprise networks. It provides a comprehensive set of features, including network inventory management, configuration management, fault monitoring, performance analysis, security management, and much more. By deploying Cisco Prime, network administrators can efficiently manage their Cisco devices, automate processes, and gain visibility into their network’s health and performance.

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM): SolarWinds NPM is a widely used Network Management System that helps organizations monitor and manage the performance of their IT infrastructure. This powerful tool offers features like automated device discovery, customizable network performance dashboards, advanced network alerting and reporting, and in-depth performance analysis for critical network devices. SolarWinds NPM supports a wide range of network devices from various vendors, allowing businesses to monitor and manage their networks in a centralized, unified platform.

Zabbix: Zabbix is an open-source network monitoring and management solution popular amongst small to medium-sized businesses for its flexibility and low total cost of ownership. It provides real-time network monitoring, alerting, and management capabilities through a user-friendly web interface. Zabbix’s key features include automated network discovery, customizable dashboards, real-time graphing, and extensive performance metric collection. As an open-source platform, Zabbix can be easily integrated with other applications and customized to fit specific network management requirements.

Network Management System FAQ

1. What is a Network Management System (NMS)?

An NMS is a set of software tools that help network administrators manage and maintain the performance, availability, and security of their networks. These systems provide real-time monitoring, fault detection, performance analysis, and configuration management, among other tasks.

2. Why is a Network Management System important?

NMS is essential for ensuring the smooth operation of any organization’s network infrastructure. The ability to quickly detect and resolve issues, monitor network performance and utilization, and maintain network security is essential to provide optimal network reliability and performance. NMS helps in reducing downtime, improving network efficiency, and minimizing the costs associated with network maintenance.

3. What are the core functionalities of a Network Management System?

The core functionalities include fault management, configuration management, performance management, security management, and accounting management. These features work together to monitor network health, manage network configuration and deployment, analyze network performance, maintain network security, and track resource utilization.

4. How does a Network Management System work?

NMS works by continuously monitoring network devices such as routers, switches, and servers for their performance metrics and fault information. The NMS then collects and analyzes this data using various protocols like SNMP, ICMP, or NetFlow and presents it in a user-friendly interface. Network administrators can review performance trends, receive alerts for potential issues, and take necessary actions to maintain network health.

5. What are some commonly used Network Management System tools?

Some popular NMS tools include Nagios, Zabbix, PRTG Network Monitor, SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, and ManageEngine OpManager. These tools offer varying levels of features and compatibility depending on the complexity and size of your network environment.

6. How can I choose the right Network Management System for my organization?

Consider factors such as the size of your network, the number of devices you need to monitor, your budget, and any specific features or requirements (e.g., support for certain protocols or compliance requirements). Look for solutions that offer scalability, ease of use, and strong community support for problem-solving and best practices.

Related Technology Terms

  • Network Performance Monitoring
  • Configuration Management
  • Fault Management and Diagnostics
  • Security Management
  • Bandwidth Optimization

Sources for More Information


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