Network monitoring tools provide IT teams with insights into their networks. These insights allow teams to analyze a network’s performance, security, and efficiency, among other metrics. Monitoring tools, including network performance monitors (NPMs), use various monitoring methods to analyze the network. Most tools perform a number of different network monitoring techniques to provide users with valuable performance analysis.
Some monitoring programs focus exclusively on one or two network monitoring techniques; others include a huger variety. Regardless, enterprises have a lot of choices when it comes to how their monitoring tools analyze their networks. Read on to discover 5 network monitoring techniques that will help your company gain the best perception into their network’s operation.
Network pings are one of the oldest monitoring techniques, but it is still widely used by NPMs today. The monitoring tool sends a packet (or multiple packets) to a node or device, expecting to receive a response back. If the target node sends back an “all-clear” message, the monitor knows the node is up-and-running. However, if no response is received, it sends out more pings to get the node’s attention. If these pings still turn up nothing, the monitoring tool alerts the user. Pings are a relatively simple monitoring technique, but are still a great way for enterprises to examine if devices are currently running.
Log file monitoring
Typically, devices on a network will generate log files as they operate. These log files provide basic information that the device can report on, including any errors. While it isn’t as sophisticated as other techniques, some tools monitor log files to look for device-reported troubles. Log files are simple text files that might contain keywords such as “error” or “critical” that signal a problem with the node. Monitoring tools look for these keywords and report on anything unusual.
Most devices nowadays are compliant with SNMP, or Simple Network Management Protocol. SNMP is a device protocol that provides monitoring tools and nodes a common language to communicate with each other. The system relies on agents inside devices to provide information to network managers and monitoring tools. An SNMP manager sends out polls to devices to inquire about their current status, and devices can send traps when significant network events occur. NPMs that include SNMP monitoring have a common framework to talk to each other, centralizing and simplifying monitoring capabilities.
NetFlow systems use packet traps to examine traffic that passes through a part of the network. The NetFlow probes capture traffic data and then sends it to a monitoring tool for analysis. The analysis examines network traffic flow and volume to determine how data moves through the network. Flow-based monitoring systems, including NetFlow, analyze the conversations between devices and ensures that data and information is travelling along the network path smoothly.
SQL query monitoring
To monitor databases connected to a network, monitors can utilize SQL queries. These queries ask the database to provide information on the number of data requests, transmissions, etc. Using this information, a monitor can determine if the database is performing adequately or not. Ideally, the database should be sending data across a network to accommodate for every request it receives; if the database is performing slowly, the monitoring tool can detect it and inform the network team.
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