What are the ways a network monitoring solution helps enterprises prevent network outages? For most network engineers and administrators, an outage of part of a business network — or worse, the entire network — is the worst possible situation. The best defense against a network outage, of course, is to prevent an outage from happening in the first place.
Network monitoring tools continuously observe the devices and transactions on a network to look for performance-affecting issues. They allow network administrators to keep a constant eye on their network and fix performance problems as (or before) they happen. One of their greatest benefits is helping users prevent impending outages. Below, we’ve listed the ways a network monitoring solution assists your enterprise in dealing with network outages before they become a problem.
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Alerting your network team to potential performance issues
The core function of a network monitoring solution is to alert your network team to any and all performance issue it discovers. Traditionally, this was done purely as a reactive measure, only addressing a problem after it was noticed. However, modern network monitoring tools are shifting towards a proactive approach, looking for signs that indicate a performance problem is going to happen. Thus, you can take steps to correct an outage before it happens.
Automated network monitoring
Thousands of performance-altering events can happen on your network every day. The vast majority of them probably won’t indicate an outage is imminent, but missing a crucial issue could spell disaster for your network. You can’t possible sift through every single issue on your own, so how do you know which problems should be prioritized? An increasing number of network monitoring solutions are adding automation features to make discovering potential outages easier. These features including automated device discovery, automatic prioritization of events, and applying potential fixes to known issues without human input.
Maintaining full network visibility
If there’s even a small portion of your network that isn’t being monitored, your network could suffer a partial outage without even knowing it. Your network monitoring solution needs to be able to detect and observe every device connected to your network. Otherwise, your network will be blind to any performance issues that occur on that device. Network monitoring tools also need to track a variety of performance metrics, as a failing device or subsection might only be lagging behind in a specific metric — which could still indicate an impending outage.
Monitoring hardware failure
Some network monitoring solutions can detect when the hardware inside a network node has failed or is failing, telltale signs of a network outage. Factors that could be tracked include power input, battery life, and device fan speed. At its basic level, a network monitoring solution should inform your enterprise when a device has suddenly become inoperable.
Whenever you install or modify a device connected to your network, you’ll have to configure it to work properly. Misconfiguring a network device could lead to that device causing devastating performance problems later down the road. Many network monitoring solutions allow you to quickly test a recently-configured device to ensure that it’s operating correctly with its new settings.
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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