Network Administrators and Engineers have a huge responsibility within an organization.
Every day they are faced with different challenges and expectations.
One moment they may be fixing a simple printer issue and the next they are troubleshooting a network or e-mail exchange issue.
The job of the network staff is to ensure that systems are running smoothly and the company’s most valuable asset (data) is protected from loss or threat.
Furthermore, they need to keep up with emerging technologies and understand how they might benefit the company.
Network Admins and Engineers need to juggle so many responsibility that it is nearly impossible to keep up without the proper tools.
That’s where network monitoring tools come in.
Network monitoring software continuously observes a network and connected devices for performance issues – according to WebServertalk.com, Network Monitoring Software is the Single most important tool in a Admin’s arsenal.
Network monitoring software can keep an eye on network traffic and bandwidth usage.
It can check whether crucial network components, such as switches, routers, and servers, are up or down.
Network managers can generally set thresholds for acceptable performance, and if the software finds slow throughput, high error rates, unavailable devices, or slow response times, it can send alerts to administrators via email or SMS text message.
Here are some examples of the types of areas that Network Monitoring can track:
- E-mail servers
- Web/HTTP servers
- Network traffic
- DNS servers
- WAN links
- Storage devices
- Network-hosted databases
- Virtual machines (VM)
- Cloud services
- Can check on both availability and response time
- More advanced systems can handle service-level agreement (SLA) and quality of service (QoS) monitoring
The more advanced networking monitoring systems can automate event handling, triggering actions to take when a particular parameter falls or rises beyond a certain threshold, to keep a network fully functional.
Keep in mind that network monitoring software is a system administration tool and not a security tool.
It will not do the same things as intrusion detection systems or intrusion prevention systems.
Here’s How Network Admins & Engineers Use Software to monitor Business Networks to Ensure Security & Safety!
Prevent Network Outages
A network outage is perhaps one of the biggest nightmares of a network admin or engineer. Network outages cause systems to go down which trickle down and effect every aspect of the business.
Customers cannot access portals, employee productivity comes to a halt, and there is a risk for loss of data.
A monitoring tool will sweep your network for any suspicious performance behavior that indicates an outage is about to happen and will alert you.
Network monitoring software can help prevent outages before they happen and will alert you should they occur so that you can address the issue right away.
Reduce Performance Failure Time
It is inevitable that every organization will experience a major network performance issue at some point in time.
Network performance issue can be really hard to fix once they occur and this is where a monitoring software comes into play.
A monitoring solution will inform your team of issues as they happen, drastically reducing the time it takes for your enterprise team to discover problems.
Generate Network Performance Reports
One of the greatest parts of network monitoring software is that you are given a toolkit of reporting to analyze and study your network.
Monitoring solutions deliver visualizations on key performance metrics.
These reports should include both recent and historical data so your company can analyze your network performance over time.
More advanced software systems will even give you the option to customize reports to focus on certain metrics that matter to you and your organization.
Discovery Security Threats
Although Network monitoring software is not the same as intrusion detection systems or intrusion prevention systems, they still play a key role in protecting your network.
With a monitoring tool, your company will be alerted to events that indicate malware is present on your system (abnormal data transfers, failing systems, etc.).
Although it won’t prevent security breaches or viruses from invading your network, it will alert you right away.
Maintain Network Visibility
In order to understand and maintain your network, you need to have visibility into the network performance.
Monitoring solutions are your eyes because you cannot see everything all the time.
Monitoring solutions automatically detect devices that connect to a network, drawing and updating visual maps that display insights into the performance of your network nodes.
If it sounds like your organization needs a monitoring solution, there are so many to choose from.
If you aren’t sure where to start, here are few questions to help you find the right one for your organization:
- How large of a network do you need to monitor? – Network monitoring solutions come in all shapes and sizes. When choosing a solution, make sure it fits your current network as well as room for growth.
- What performance issues do you need to address? – Each company’s network is different and has its own set of issues to address. Knowing the reasons why your enterprise needs a network monitoring tool allows you to identify monitoring solutions that are best adapted for your needs.
- Do you need a specialized monitoring solution? – Do you need a solution that manages your entire network or just a specific metric – such as bandwidth?
- Do you need a comprehensive monitoring solution? – For complex networks, this would be a yes. At the higher end of network monitoring, providers will focus more on offering a comprehensive system and service monitoring platform.
- What is your budget? – There are lots of awesome free monitoring tools that work really well. They tend to have fewer features than premium ones, but if you are on a budget, we always recommend trying a free version and upgrading to premium if needed. You can also start a trial or a lower end plan and upgrade from there.
Once you find the software that is right for your organization, you will soon wonder how you ever managed without it!