A Network Administrator is a person responsible for the maintenance of computer hardware and software that comprises a computer network. This normally includes deploying, configuring, maintaining and monitoring active network equipment.
The Network Administrator (or “network admin”) is usually the level of technical/network staff in an organization and will rarely be involved with direct user support. The Network Administrator will concentrate on the overall integrity of the network, server deployment, security, and ensuring that the network connectivity throughout a company’s LAN/WAN infrastructure is on par with technical considerations at the network level of an organization’s hierarchy. Network Administrators are considered tier 3 support personnel that only work on break/fix issues that could not be resolved at the tier 1 (helpdesk) or tier 2 (desktop/network technician) levels. Depending on the company, the Network Administrator may also design and deploy networks.
The actual role of the Network Administrator will vary from company to company, but will commonly include activities and tasks such as network address assignment, assignment of routing protocols and routing table configuration as well as configuration of authentication and authorization – directory services. It often includes maintenance of network facilities in individual machines, such as drivers and settings of personal computers as well as printers and such. It sometimes also includes maintenance of certain network servers: file servers, VPNgateways, intrusion detection systems, etc.
Network Administrators may also be technically involved in the maintenance and administration of Server, desktop, printers, routers, switches, firewalls, phones, PDA’s, application deployment, security updates and patches as well as a vast array of additional technologies inclusive of both hardware and software.
The Network Administrator is responsible for the security of the network and for assigning IP addresses to the devices connected to the networks. Assigning IP addresses gives the subnet administrator some control over the personnel who connect to the subnet. It also helps ensure that the administrator knows each system that is connected and who is personally responsible for the system.