Network system integrators install and setup computer networks as well as add components to existing systems. Networking integration combines different hardware and software components into an integrated network system. Typically, network system integrators are specialists with expertise in areas of network systems such as security, wiring and hardware, connectivity, and administration. System integration and systems operation activities include design, development, implementation, and maintenance. Once a design is scoped and agreed upon, a network system integrator begins the hardware evaluation and acquisition process. Network system integrators follow standards established by organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Hardware acquisition requires an analysis of the network operating systems (NOS) and applications that will be used.
After hardware such as routers, hubs, switches, servers, ports, cabling, and client computers and phones is identified, network system integrators can begin to installing the network operating systems (NOS). These may be vendor-specific solutions or include heterogeneous systems designed to work in tandem and communicate with each other. Once the hardware and software is in place, system integration activities are turned over to network administrators and managers. These individuals provide network management services that include implementation and maintenance. Using a variety of software applications, network system integrators who specialize in administering networks can monitor traffic, detect and prevent security leaks, tune network databases, and enhance network performance. Specifically, these activities include testing network connectivity, enabling file and printer sharing, implementing backup and storage solutions, monitoring external devices, centralizing control using server audits, load balancing, and user control.
Network system integrators offer a variety of different services that can be customized to meet specific requirements. Some providers can integrate network systems in a specific area such as specification, security, or maintenance. Others commit to full project life cycles in the integration process. Security architectures are another important offering from systems integration services. This task involves the implementation of security policies and procedures, as well as the configuration of security applications.