FCAPS (fault-management, configuration, accounting, performance, and security) is an acronym for a categorical model of the working objectives of network management. There are five levels, called the fault-management level (F), the configuration level (C), the accounting level (A), the performance level (P), and the security level (S).
At the F level, network problems are found and corrected. Potential future problems are identified, and steps are taken to prevent them from occurring or recurring. In this way, the network is kept operational, and downtime is minimized.
At the C level, network operation is monitored and controlled. Hardware and programming changes, including the addition of new equipment and programs, modification of existing systems, and removal of obsolete systems and programs, are coordinated. An inventory of equipment and programs is kept and updated regularly.
The A level, which might also be called the allocation level, is devoted to distributing resources optimally and fairly among network subscribers. This makes the most effective use of the systems available, minimizing the cost of operation. This level is also responsible for ensuring that users are billed appropriately.
The P level is involved with managing the overall performance of the network. Throughput is maximized, bottlenecks are avoided, and potential problems are identified. A major part of the effort is to identify which improvements will yield the greatest overall performance enhancement.
At the S level, the network is protected against hackers, unauthorized users, and physical or electronic sabotage. Confidentiality of user information is maintained where necessary or warranted. The security systems also allow network administrators to control what each individual authorized user can (and cannot) do with the system.