Network Administrators have to consider both physical and logical perspectives when planning and setting up a computer network. Physical perspectives include geographic locations, physical cabling, and network elements. On the other hand, the logical perspectives, often referred as subnet or subnetwork, mean connecting computer through the internet.
Networking Administrators are expected to know how to configure and operate networking hardware and software to set up the network how the client wants it. Networking hardware include routers, network interface cards, hubs, gateways, modems, ISDN adapters, network bridges, networking cables, access points, and firewalls. Ethernet adapters and wireless networking via wireless routers have become increasingly popular among office setup network. Other hardware used for networking are datacenter equipments (file servers, database servers, and storage servers), network services (DNS, DHCP, and email), and even mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).
Networking software such as Chiron FS, Cisco IOS, Intel LANSpool, LinuxPMI, and Microsoft InfoPath are installed and used so that computers connect through a network can communicate and share information. Networking Administrators should be familiar with most—if not all—networking software and should know which is best to use to cater to their client’s specific needs.
Companies and organizations—both large and small—share information that are rather confidential and should not be read by outsiders. It is the network Administrator’s responsibility to set up the network security and maintain its performance. The most common network security threats nowadays are: targeted phishing (phishing is a kind of internet fraud aiming to steal personal and valuable information like social security numbers, usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, etc.), bugs in operating systems kernels, client-side vulnerabilities (for dynamic web pages), web-based worms, spyware, targeted file attachment attacks, web-based botnets, windows file format attacks, blacklist defeats, and counter-surveillance. Network Administrators should be familiar with the network security threats and the ways to defend and remove such threats, and to repair the network if needed.
Add to the list of responsibilities of a Network Administrator is the task of preventing and repairing the network should it encounter a problem. The most common problems are: cable problems which includes cu cables, incorrect cable connections, cable shorts, interface level, and connector problem; connectivity problem which can be due to configuration changes or malfunction of a networking hardware; excessive network collisions which can be a result of bad network setup, too much information being passed, or a network card stuck in a transmit mode; software problems like DNS configuration, WINS configuration, and registry; and duplicate IP addressing which can result to irregular communications.