Boise State's lesson: To learn network management, do it yourself

If you want to learn a new network management system, there's nothing like digging in and getting your hands dirty, said Diane Dragone, network engineer at Boise State University.

“Take your time, and do your homework first,” Dragone said. And don’t be afraid to do it yourself when it comes time to implement the system.

Boise State recently installed a new Domain Name System and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol management platform from BlueCat Networks, replacing a more limited tool from Cisco Systems that had reached its end of life. The school began testing the Adonis 1000 appliance in June, and by early August, it completed the implementation.

Many information technology shops do not have a lot of experience managing DHS and DHCP because those services have traditionally required little attention from administrators, although that is changing as networks become more complex. Boise State had the option of having BlueCat consultants install the system, Dragone said, and if a shop does not have the necessary expertise, that makes sense.

“But there is some value in doing the system yourself, and rolling it out in house,” she said. “You learn a lot more.”

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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