Solutions Review highlights the most common network monitoring use cases you need to know about so you can select the best software.
Over the years, network monitoring solutions have evolved from simple log collection and NetFlow tools to comprehensive monitoring suites. Modern tools can address a number of metrics and problems that could affect network performance or security. Vendors are adding an increasing amount of monitoring features driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning to help remove the human element from network monitoring.
With all these new capabilities, it can be difficult to evaluate the solutions that are right for your business. Different companies will have different requirements for monitoring business networks. Below, we’ve listed seven common network monitoring use cases that every business should know.
If you’re looking for resources to help you evaluate network monitoring solutions, our free Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide has you covered. It contains profiles on the top network monitoring providers in the market today, including descriptions of the tools they offer and noteworthy features of each. The guide also features 10 questions you should ask prospective vendors and yourself before buying a network monitoring solution. You can check out that guide here. We also offer a buyer’s guide for free and open source network monitoring tools if you’re a small business or have a tighter budget but still want enterprise-grade monitoring for business networks. Download this guide here.
Network Performance Monitoring
At its core, the function of a network monitoring tool is to observe your network for performance issues. Network monitoring solutions examine network devices and traffic and alert users to any performance anomalies it detects. By analyzing network traffic and tracking against common performance metrics, a business will have a full picture of how its network is performing.
Most network monitoring tools aren’t just designed to track network performance; they can also provide visualizations on performance metrics and generate easy-to-read reports. Using a monitoring program, administrators can see how their business network is performing in real-time through graphs and data that are simple to understand. Users can also generate reports based on the data the solution collects, and many can automatically generate reports for you on a set schedule.
Network Security Monitoring
Network monitoring tools are moving towards adding more network security features rather than just focusing on network performance. Since many performance issues could be the result of a security breach (malware, DDoS attacks, etc.), vendors have consolidated performance and security monitoring into a single solution. Diagnostics and mitigation capabilities allow a network monitoring solution to inform users of any security issues it discovers.
Network Device Testing
Many business networks are made up of hundreds (potentially thousands) of devices and connections, and your company needs to make sure that every single one is working at all times. Every network monitoring solution worth its salt will deliver performance info on every single device connected to a network, and will automatically discover new or replaced devices that get connected.
Sometimes, the biggest performance drains on your networks are employees using too many precious network resources. Users could be using your network for non-related purposes, including video streaming or VoIP calls. Many monitoring tools can identify individual users and designate specific performance testing for them, laying out which employees are using the most resources.
In order to boost network performance, update old devices, or repair faulty hardware, you need to reconfigure network devices at some point. Network monitoring solutions can help you test configured devices to ensure that they are working properly. Features like SNMP polling and device discovery ensure that your company can monitor a device after the software inside of it has been changed.
Remote network monitoring is slowly becoming a necessity as businesses begin implementing remote work opportunities and re-prioritize IT monitoring. Network engineers don’t necessarily want to come into the office to fix a minor issue, so remote monitoring and automatic responses allow users to remotely apply performance fixes no matter where they are.
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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