18 January 2021 Reading time: 7 minutes

Do you need a network engineer?


Whereas five years ago network engineers were at the top of lists of the most in-demand professions of the future, now it is increasingly common to hear that network specialists are becoming low-paid and unclaimed.

Thanks to modern applications, managing networks has become simplified and in certain circumstances, you can do without the services of an administrator or outsource management of the network infrastructure.

To become a high-level professional, a network engineer must constantly learn, go through various certifications and study the technology of each individual vendor (Cisco, MikroTik, etc.). It requires a considerable effort, time, serious motivation and, often, involvement on the part of the employer. After all, while an employee is in training, someone has to do his or her job.

Therefore, among high-level experts, network engineers are rare specialists, with quite few remaining in the profession.

Not every network needs an engineer

Previously, with limited equipment capabilities, it was not necessary to think about the design of networks, but now the situation has changed with new types of equipment, a totally different class of connection, etc.

For example, thanks to modern switches, a thousand devices can be connected to a single network, the performance of which must be maintained at the proper level:

  • monitor the condition,
  • make sure that it is set up correctly,
  • keep an eye out for software updates,
  • set up data protection protocols, etc.

All these are in the network engineer’s scope. They make sure that networks are stable, properly configured and secure.

If your company has its own IT infrastructure, can you dispense without a network engineer? Actually, it all depends on the scale of this infrastructure.

Representatives of medium-sized businesses argue that they do not benefit from hiring a team of network engineers – it is much easier and cheaper to only get a system administrator, a couple of switches and related software, or to outsource this scope.

Can the administrator replace the network engineer?

In today's IT world, system administrators are given additional responsibilities, such as the functions of a network engineer.

In the usual sense, the system administrator is engaged in setting up computers and software for the users. But he/she can replace the network engineer, although not to the full extent. Professional software for managing network equipment will help in this case. It allows you to painlessly replace the network engineer, if there is no opportunity to expand the staff and take one on board.

There are several important things to consider when choosing software, such as:

  • flexibility of integration into the infrastructure;
  • support for equipment by different vendors;
  • simple interface;
  • ability to plan equipment placement;
  • ability of equipment inventorying;
  • availability of control over the state of key elements of the infrastructure;
  • availability of a warning system for threats and failures.

The right monitoring software will help keep track of the condition of the equipment, keep its inventory, warn of failures, and anticipate problems. Some software has an intuitive interface that even a novice can understand.

What kind of companies cannot do without network engineers?

There are companies that cannot dispense without network engineers. As a rule, these are businesses with a large IT infrastructure or providers of Internet, telephone and cellular communications, as well as data centers. Such companies need a whole staff of engineers.

Providers’ business depends on the smooth and secure operation of their network infrastructure, so these companies spend a huge amount of resources not only on maintaining a staff of network engineers, but also on their training, certification and software specialization. After all, gaps in the education of specialists at this level can bring the company a real serious reputational and financial damage.

Unfortunately, given the scale of resources invested, large telecom companies are not immune to the problem of personnel migration. Having invested a huge amount of money and time in training a network engineer, the company is not insured against the fact that after a couple of years, already a highly skilled specialist, he will not go to work for another provider.

In addition to the loss of invested resources, such a situation can provoke technical difficulties associated with a shortage of specialists for an indefinite period of time. In order to reduce business risks associated with staff migration, large providers use reliable network infrastructure management software in their daily work.

Special software for managing a distributed IT infrastructure:

  • optimizes the work of network engineers (both the entire team and each individual specialist);
  • reduces business costs associated with staff migration (with the right software, you can easily transfer responsibilities from one employee to another without stopping ongoing processes);
  • minimizes errors due to human factor (it is harder to make a mistake because you do not have to enter commands manually);
  • automates processes related to the operation of physical infrastructure;
  • saves on IT (the right software can replace several tools and even employees, help manage procurement, reduce the number of software used, speed up administration).

Therefore, even if they have a whole staff of network engineers, large companies cannot do without special software for network infrastructure management.

When you can do without a network engineer

  1. A system administrator can replace the network engineer, if the company does not have a very large IT infrastructure. But to enable him/her to work effectively in this role, it is important to choose the right software to monitor networks and equipment.
  2. In large companies (large offices, data centers, Internet, telephone and cellular service providers), where the network infrastructure is very extensive and developed, it is impossible to replace network engineers. Such a business needs a large enough staff of network engineers to design, maintain, monitor and manage networks, and here you cannot do without a reliable network infrastructure management software. Such solutions help not only monitor the status of switches, routers, servers, etc., but also save money by optimizing the work of each engineer in the team.

Monitoring networks can be simple, efficient and cost-effective

Network infrastructure monitoring solutions help keep track of equipment, report failures, anticipate vulnerabilities, manage VLANs, minimize administrative errors, and with the right software, it is all in one interface.

ISPsystem recommends DCImanager for network management.

DCImanager is capable of managing geographically distributed infrastructure, server and network equipment:

  • shows the status of each switch and manages them with a couple of clicks,
  • allows you to manage VLANs,
  • monitors the status of all critical elements and systems,
  • warns of potential problems,
  • plans placement of equipment and helps keep inventory throughout the entire lifecycle of an IT asset,
  • thanks to the intuitive interface, simple operations can be performed not only by the network engineer, but also by any administrator on duty.