- What is network equipment?
- How the Equipment in Networks Operates?
- What is networking equipment used for?
- Why is network equipment important?
- What are network equipment?
- Different Categories of Equipment for Networks:
- What is a network equipment list?
- What details should be included in the network equipment list?
- What are the advantages of maintaining a network equipment list?
- Network Equipment List Management tools
What is network equipment?
Information packets may be combined, divided, switched, boosted, or directed along a computer or telecommunications network with the use of specialized hardware known as network equipment.
Among the products in this category are firewalls, hubs, switches, routers, bridges, and gateways.
In addition to the device type, the protocol and port or interface type are used to describe the equipment used in a network.
How the Equipment in Networks Operates?
Networking equipment integrates devices in order for data to be transferred between them. The layout or topology of these linked devices defines the architecture or structure of the network. Computer network topologies include bus, ring, star, tree, and mesh. There are also hybrid topologies.
Devices communicate using radio waves without the need for physical connections in wireless networks. Cables are utilised in wired networks. These cables have connectors for a certain port or kind of interface. For instance, network transceivers include a 15-pin receptacle that may be mated with attachment unit interface (AUI) cables’ 15-pin connections.
The handling of data on computer networks is governed by protocols, which are the basic procedures underlying network communications. Network protocols define the software characteristics of data transmission, such as the format of packets and the data they hold.
Network protocols define the software characteristics of data transmission, such as the format of packets and the data they hold. Blocks, cells, frames, or segments may be the names given to packets depending on the kind of network. Network protocols may also tell the hardware on which they run how to work, either in whole or in part.
What is networking equipment used for?
Networking hardware, also called network equipment or computer networking devices, is made up of electronic devices that allow devices on a computer network to talk to each other and work together. In particular, they help data move through a computer network.
Why is network equipment important?
Network hardware is a set of physical or network devices that are needed for hardware units on a computer network to work together and talk to each other. These are dedicated hardware parts that connect to each other and make a network work well and efficiently.
A network with several kinds of equipment is shown in this figure.
What are network equipment?
Different Categories of Equipment for Networks:
Hubs provide a centralized point at which cables may be attached to individual workstations. Hubs are classified into two types: active and passive. Devices on a twisted-pair network are connected by it. A hub just regenerates signals; it does not conduct any other functions.
Routers are devices that connect sub-networks or divide a large network into smaller networks based on the protocols they use. Facilitates the linking of several networks. A router decides where to send data based on the network address that is set up in software.
Repeaters use regeneration and retiming to send signals clearly throughout all network segments.
Bridges are used to link local and distant networks. Network administration is centralised. Separates networks to decrease network traffic. By reading the MAC address, a bridge permits or prohibits data from traveling across it.
Gateways could link networks using incompatible communication protocols. Performs the translation from one data format to another. Gateways may be based on either hardware or software. Any device that transforms data types is referred to as a gateway.
Multiplexers are devices that combine many different signal inputs into a single output.
Transceivers transmit and receive signals and link nodes. They are sometimes referred to as medium access units (MAU). Transceiver Converts between different media types, such as UTP to fiber. A device that operates as both a transmitter and receiver of analogue or digital signals.
Firewalls protect networks against illegal access. Provides secure data transfer across networks. Firewalls are an integral component of a network’s security strategy and may be hardware or software based.
The CSU/DSU is responsible for converting digital signals from the local area network (LAN) to the wide area network (WAN). CSU/DSU capability is sometimes integrated into other devices, such as a router with WAN connectivity.
Network cards Allows systems to connect to the network. Network interfaces can be add-in cards, PCMCIA cards, or interfaces that are built into the computer.
ISDN terminal adapter Connects devices to ISDN lines. ISDN is a digital WAN technology that is often used instead of modem links, which are slower. ISDN terminal adapters are needed to change the format of data so it can be sent over ISDN links.
WAP Provides wireless network devices with network functionality. A WAP is often used to connect to a wired network, connecting the wired and wireless parts of the network.
MODEM provides serial communication capabilities across phone line. At the sending end, modems change the digital signal into an analogue one, and at the receiving end, they do the opposite’
What is a network equipment list?
A network equipment list (NEL) is a document that provides an inventory of all the network equipment and devices that are part of a particular network infrastructure. This list typically includes details such as the make and model of the equipment, its location within the network, its IP address or other identifying information, and any additional configuration or setup information that is relevant to its operation.
A typical NEL might include a wide range of different network equipment, such as routers, switches, firewalls, servers, wireless access points, and other network devices. The list may be organized by location, such as building or floor, or by function, such as core network equipment or edge devices.
Maintaining an up-to-date NEL is an important part of network management, as it can help network administrators keep track of all the devices on the network and ensure that they are properly configured and secured. It can also be used to help with capacity planning, troubleshooting, and other network management tasks.
What details should be included in the network equipment list?
A network equipment list (NEL) should include the following details for each piece of network equipment:
Device name: The name or hostname of the device.
Device type: The type of device (e.g. router, switch, firewall, server, access point, etc.).
Manufacturer and model number: The manufacturer and model number of the device.
Serial number: The serial number of the device.
IP address: The IP address assigned to the device.
MAC address: The MAC address of the device.
Physical location: The physical location of the device (e.g. building, floor, room, etc.).
Rack or cabinet location: The location of the device within a rack or cabinet.
Power source: The power source for the device (e.g. AC or DC power supply).
Power consumption: The power consumption of the device.
Network port information: The number and type of network ports on the device, as well as any VLAN or other configuration information.
Software version: The software version and patch level installed on the device.
Maintenance and warranty information: Information about any maintenance contracts or warranties that apply to the device.
Other notes: Any other relevant information about the device, such as configuration details, firmware version, or special features.
What are the advantages of maintaining a network equipment list?
There are several advantages of maintaining a network equipment list (NEL):
Inventory management: A NEL allows network administrators to keep track of all the network equipment and devices that are part of a particular network infrastructure, ensuring that nothing is lost or forgotten.
Network optimization: A NEL can help network administrators identify areas where the network infrastructure can be optimized or improved, such as identifying devices that are underutilized or approaching capacity limits.
Faster troubleshooting: By maintaining an up-to-date NEL, network administrators can quickly locate and identify specific devices on the network, making it easier to troubleshoot issues and resolve problems faster.
Planning for upgrades: A NEL can help network administrators plan for future network expansions or upgrades by providing a clear picture of the existing network infrastructure and identifying areas where additional capacity or functionality may be needed.
Security management: A NEL can help network administrators ensure that all devices on the network are properly configured and secured, by providing a central point of reference for security policies and settings.
Compliance reporting: Many industry and government regulations require organizations to maintain an up-to-date inventory of their network assets, which can be facilitated by a NEL.
Network Equipment List Management tools
There are several free online tools available for creating and managing a network equipment list (NEL). Here are a few options:
Device42: Device42 offers a free version of its network discovery and asset management software, which includes features for creating and managing a NEL. The free version supports up to 25 devices.
RackTables: RackTables is an open-source data center asset management system that includes features for creating and managing a NEL. It is available for free download and can be installed on a local server.
NetBox: NetBox is an open-source web application for data center infrastructure management and includes features for creating and managing a NEL. It can be downloaded and installed on a local server.
LibreNMS: LibreNMS is an open-source network monitoring and management platform that includes features for creating and managing a NEL. It can be downloaded and installed on a local server.
Spiceworks: Spiceworks offers a free network monitoring and management tool that includes features for creating and managing a NEL. It is a cloud-based solution that can be accessed through a web browser.
The example Network equipment list template is shown below