P25 Network Management Overview
This Best Practice guide for managing P25 systems uses a simplified, non-chronological approach. The organization of topics is loosely based on standards in related industries (IT) as there are currently no known, well-established standards for managing Public Safety radio systems (2014). The cornerstones of P25 network management are:
- Network maintenance – maintaining operations of your system at the expected level
- Network optimization – making your network operate better
- Major event preparedness – being prepared for emergencies and events
- Network security – protecting your network from physical or cyber attack
Network security will be addressed in a separate Best Practice guide. Managing a P25 digital radio system is very different from managing your old analog system. The demand for sophisticated network management techniques and processes among Public Safety organizations is only beginning to emerge. This area of Public Safety operations will have to change significantly within the next few years. The old static, hardware-based systems of yesterday that run without a problem (as long as there was no physical damage) are no longer the norm. Public Safety networks are increasing in complexity as software components become more significant. The interdependence between various system components, often coming from different vendors, with different (and continuously shortening) life cycles is turning a very static system into a highly dynamic network requiring new processes, methods of care and new sets of skills. However, while tools to simplify network management abound, they should not define it. It is more important to understand what needs to be managed and to provide practices, people, and resources to manage your network effectively.
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