Computer network administrators design, develop, and maintain the communication systems and computer networks used in many large companies. A network is a group of connected computers connected to each other, usually through a powerful computer called a central server.
Networks offer a number of advantages for companies, for example:
- Company staff can share information and resources.
- Staff can work as a team on common projects, even if they are located in different offices.
- Information (for example, about customers, the total number of sales or inquiries, or financial information) can be centrally recorded and analyzed.
- Equipment such as printers and scanners can be connected with a group of common users.
- Staff can communicate easily and quickly, using email over the network.
Computer network administrators are responsible for controlling one or more computer networks. A company can have several networks: for example, a local area network (LAN) in an office or department, and a wide area network (WAN) that connects all branches of the company with the entire country or with the whole world.
Computer network administrators are responsible for workers who perform routine tasks, such as connecting new users to the network, issuing passwords, and logging in or removing passwords for workers who have left the company. Administrators monitor network performance to ensure that all systems are operating in the most efficient manner.
They ensure that the network is secure, while analyzing and minimizing minimized risks and ensuring that only people with the proper permission can access the network. They are almost always responsible for the selection, maintenance and updating of security systems, antivirus and protection against spam.
Computer network administrators are responsible for data recovery systems in the event of a system failure. They are in charge of the periodic realization of backup copies. At the end of the day (or at night), all current network data has to be saved to a separate storage device.
This device should be kept in a safe place, away from the main files on the server. Thus, in the event of a network error or an accident during the next day, all data up to the night before can be restored from the backup.
When there are problems with the network, administrators are responsible for investigations to try to resolve them as quickly as possible. To do this, they may have to negotiate and work with hardware and software vendors and other specialized companies, such as internet access providers. Administrators could assign this work to other members of their staff.
Computer network administrators are often involved in budgeting and planning for network hardware and software upgrades according to current needs and anticipated needs. They research new technologies and produce reports for senior managers. They develop the network in a way that adapts to future IT requirements.
Administrators may also have to visit other offices and workplaces, for example when hardware or software needs to be installed or updated.
Typically, computer network administrators oversee a small team of network administrators, technicians, and support workers. They have in-depth knowledge of computer systems, as well as business skills and basic knowledge of programming and telecommunications.
When there are problems, IT network administrators may have to work outside of normal office hours. They could also be “on call” and work only in an emergency, such as a system error.