Network Administration: Software Management
An important task of any network administrator is managing the various bits and pieces of software that are used by your users throughout the network. Most, if not all, of your network users will have a version of Microsoft Office installed on their computers. Depending on the type of business, other software may be widely used. For example, accounting firms require accounting software; engineering firms require engineering software; and the list goes on.
Long gone are the days when you could purchase one copy of a computer program and freely install it on every computer on your network. Most software has built-in features — commonly called copy protection — designed to prevent such abuse.
But even in the absence of copy protection, nearly all software is sold with a license agreement that dictates how many computers you can install and use the software on. As a result, managing software licenses is an important part of network management.
Some software programs have a license feature that uses a server computer to regulate the number of users who can run the software at the same time. As the network administrator, your job is to set up the license server and keep it running.
Another important aspect of managing software on the network is figuring out the most expedient way to install the software on multiple computers. The last thing you want to do is manually run the software’s Setup program individually on each computer in your network. Instead, you’ll want to use the network itself to aid in the deployment of the software.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that all the software programs installed throughout your network are kept up to date with the latest patches and updates from the software vendors.