Network monitoring tools help companies maintain efficient performance throughout their network infrastructure. Integrating a network monitoring solution allows an enterprise to view their network’s performance on a number of different levels. Depending on the network performance monitoring (NPM) solution, you’ll have access to a variety of features to track and adjust network performance.
Which of these network monitoring features should your business look for, however? The features that your business will want to use may differ depending on our business goals. That being said, there are some network monitoring features that any enterprise will want to take advantage of. Read on to discover five capabilities of network monitoring tools that your business needs to consider!
Performance metric visualizations
The basic functionality of an NPM solution is to monitor your network for performance issues. The tool also observes the data on your network to scan for specific performance metrics. It will then display this information in a visual format through a dashboard that you can view on a native device. Many NPMs have the ability to create graphs, charts, etc. that let you see your network’s performance through an easy-to-understand visual. This allows you to quickly understand your network performance at a glance.
Your IT department needs to know about performance issues on your network as they happen. Any NPM worth its salt should have an alerting system to keep your team in the loop on any problems that occur. These alerts should ideally be delivered in real-time as the monitoring tool discovers issues and feature intelligent descriptions to help your enterprise understand them immediately. A great NPM will also classify alerts into different tiers based on how critical they are; you should always be alerted to the most pressing performance issues first.
Because enterprise networks are huge and often complex, it can be incredibly difficult to visualize them. To help this, many NPM tools automatically draw visual maps of your network. At its basic level, these maps simply display every device and connection for you. More advanced NPM solutions can provide visual information on device status using these maps. For example, a device in critical condition might be displayed in red and one running smoothly will be green.
Bandwidth usage is one of the most important network metrics that business can monitor. Your network only has a limited amount of bandwidth to work with. Thus, it’s vital to know how much bandwidth your enterprise is using. If your company’s bandwidth usage isn’t optimized, you can see which applications, websites, etc. are hogging resources and take steps to correct it. You can also compare your current bandwidth usage to how much your enterprise uses on a typical day to see if your usage is currently optimized.
Network protocol monitoring
An enterprise network’s chief purpose is to communicate business data. In order to facilitate this communication, network protocols define specific instructions for sending and receiving data. Common protocols include HTTP (for accessing websites), SNMP (for network management), and TCP/IP (for data transmission). Many network monitoring tools include support for monitoring a variety of these protocols. This way, your enterprise can ensure that these protocols are running smoothly.
Looking for a solution to help you improve your network performance? Our Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top network performance monitor vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying.
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