Maintaining Network Devices: Software and Firmware

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1 hour 26 minutes
Video Transcription
Hello. My name is Dustin, and today will be continuing our beginner network infrastructure course with maintaining network devices. Let's get started
now that you spend tons of time configuring your network devices to the specifications required. You've tested everything, and everything is running smoothly. You'd like to keep it that way, right?
Well, there's a few things you should probably do toe help maintain your devices and keep things running smoothly.
The first thing you need to do is know what you have.
If you don't know what you need to maintain, it can make things really difficult.
Next. It is really important to set up a change control plan so things aren't changed without thoughts of what else it could affect.
You'll also need to make sure that everything you've
got done is compliant with any regulations that your organization needs to follow, like PC I or hip hop.
You should also set up some sort of monitoring, so you always know what's going on on the network.
Lastly, it's always a good idea to watch the traffic coming into your network and also across the network. If you know what's normal, you can tell what's not normal and what you may need to do to investigate that
inventory. The first control of the Center for Internet Securities Controls in order to increase security across your network is inventory and control of hardware assets.
Why is it number one
well without knowing what you have, it makes it extremely difficult to manage, patch, replace and monitor. Really do anything to the network if you don't know what's there,
a dedicated attacker is going to wreak on your network, so it's important that you know more than them. And this starts with knowing what you have. Most organisations already have a network map, but can you imagine going to replace a router and not knowing where it waas or what it was hooked up to?
Even how it was configured?
It would make this seemingly simple task almost impossible and a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
The number one thing in maintaining your network devices is knowing what you have. There are many different approaches to this, including a huge amount of different paid inventory solutions all the way to a simple spreadsheet or network map.
That's it's a great start. Anything that house you determine what devices are on the network, how they're being used.
where they are
will help. If you don't have an inventory system in place, it's not too terribly difficult to start one. Depending on the size of your organization, you may be able to walk the area and document all the devices you find. You can also run scans on the network to see what's on currently connected to the network and track down everything that way as well.
It's easy. It's easiest to start at any of your core networking equipment and then work your way down to the individual host devices.
Once you've got your inventory in place and you know what you have, make sure to keep it up to date. It'll be useless if it's out of date.
After you've documented the networking devices in your network, you'll need to implement a change control process in order to keep your inventory up to date. The change control process will vary from environment to environment, but a basic one could look something as simple as this
step. One. Request for change. Step to performing impact analysis. What what else could this change effect if you replace a router here. Could it affect anything down the line from that router?
Step three. Approve or deny them quest.
Step four. Implement the change and Step five Document review and reporting.
You don't want to use the change control process for any changes mean to the network. That includes things like patching servers patching network devices, including changes to network devices to a change in configuration or anything like that, anything that could have an impact on the network or any of the devices connected to it.
So what is patching if you're not familiar with patching a patch? Is a set of changes to a computer program or network device designed to update, fix or improve it.
This can include fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs or improving the functionality, usability or performance of the device.
Patches are extremely important to keep all of your devices safe and running smoothly.
Most manufacturers at least security patches and bug fixes on a semi fixed schedule, and it's very important to be familiar with it so you can work these teen these schedules into your change control process.
Patching, for the most part, is a relatively simple process. The manufacturer will release a patch. You back up your current device just in case there's any issues, which is pretty common.
Apply the patch, which can be done usually through a gooey a graphical user interface or sometimes just the command line interface.
And then you make sure everything is working as it should. With some patches. You'll need to reboot your devices, so it's important to be aware of any requirements you may have and think about them when going through the change control process. If you need to reboot your devices, you may not want to do that during the middle of the work day that maybe something that's better done after hours
before you install, upgrade or change any of your network or network management tools. It's important to make sure you were following all compliance requirements for organization. This can be anything from PC I compliance to HIPPA, or maybe a combination of both, depending on where in the network those devices are.
Keeping an eye on your network devices is important, but who wants to sit and stare to screen all day waiting for the lights? It turned red.
There are many open source and paid network monitoring solutions, so it's important to see what will figure organization best. Ideally, this could be displayed in a knock or network operations center, a sock or security operation center or a help desk area somewhere that staff the majority of the day.
You should make sure to use your network inventory that you created before to verify any dependency. So if one router goes down, you don't get actual alerts if it's dependent on another device somewhere else. So if you've got your redundant routers and one of them goes down, traffic switches over like it should. You're not going to keep getting alerts for that one router. Being down
Alerting is also really important because in the real world, we all wear many hats and don't have the time or luxury to sit and wait for things. The break. You may be doing something else, but if you get an alert, you can prioritize
those tasks,
and also you'll always be made aware if there's a problem.
The one of the best ways to manage your network is SNP
S and M P, or the Simple Network Management Protocol
is used to manage and monitor network devices
most modern networking devices come bundled with an Essendon SNP agent, which can be configured to communicate with your S and M P Manager
S and M P is part of the TCP I P Suite of Protocols and consists of a few components.
The first component of S and M P would be the S and M P Manager.
This is typically a computer or server that runs the network management software.
Its key functions include squaring SMP agents,
getting responses from those agents, setting variables and and acknowledging events from those agents.
The next component of the S and M P system is the manage devices themselves.
These are your network devices that need the monitoring and management like your routers, switches or firewalls.
The S and M P Agent is a program that is packed on the network devices. A collects the management information database from the local device or the M I B
and makes it available to the S and M P Manager when the manager requested.
Some of these agents are a standard format. While some network devices have their own proprietary format like HBs Insight agent, so it's important to know again what you have seen determined
which way would work best for you.
It's easy to trust that your firewalls, routers and switches air doing exactly as they should.
The firewalls are keeping the bad guys out Robbers. They're riding your packets on the best routes between networks and your switches or forwarding packets like they should. And if you've been from lended everything correctly, you've got your change control process in place and you've got your monitoring and alerting in place. This is probably true,
but it's always a good idea to have a baseline of your network.
No, what's normal That way. If you see something you can compare to your baseline and determine what's really going on, use your monitoring software and keep up with the alerts. If you've got your baseline network traffic analysis and you see, um, maybe a spike in traffic every day at 2 a.m.
But you know that maybe that's when patches air being applied or downloaded for um, the servers or anything like that. You would know exactly why that is.
If not, you may need to investigate it further.
In today's video, we discussed ah, lot of things, really, how to maintain your network devices how to patch you network devices. And we went over the basics of S and M P
up. Next, we've got network intentions, Ian Recovery.
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