How do you overcome the network monitoring challenges that your enterprise faces? Monitoring, tracking, and improving network performance isn’t always an easy task. A business needs the right employees, technologies, and strategies in order to properly address network performance issues. Without all this, businesses will come across several challenges that prevent them from adequately improving the performance of their networks.
What are some common network performance monitoring challenges that your company might encounter? Moreover, how do you overcome them or avoid them altogether? Read on to learn about seven network monitoring challenges your business is likely to face and what it can do if and when they happen.
If you’re looking for a network monitoring solution to help address these challenges you should check out our 2019 Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide! The guide 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 — allowing you to easily determine the best network monitoring tool for your needs. You can check out that guide here!
Lack of network visibility
If you can’t see a portion of your network or track a particular performance metric, you can’t fully understand your network performance. Most network monitoring tools will automatically add devices that connect to a network, preventing any portion of your network from being in the dark. This allows your company to learn about performance issues, no matter where they occur on your network. In addition, your business needs to be able to examine every transaction that occurs on a network; one bad data packet could spell trouble for your enterprise.
Establishing network performance baselines
In order to contextualize your current network performance, you need to know how your network typically performs. By establishing network performance baselines, your business will have information on what performance is like without any major issues. The major benefit of this is seeing when performance dips below expected levels, which indicates a draining performance problem. However, it’s also useful in knowing when your network performance is doing better than usual; this helps your company verify that any changes or reconfiguration to a network is actually improving the network.
Determining useful performance data and insights
Network performance monitoring isn’t a one-strategy-fits-all technology. Every enterprise will have different requirements for its network performance, examining different performance metrics and having different performance expectations and baselines. Your company needs to be able to separate the useful performance data and insights from everything else so it can properly judge its network’s behavior. Many network monitoring tools allow you to focus on specific metrics that your company wants to track, allowing you to prioritize useful insights over all others.
Drawing effective network maps
Effectively monitoring your business network means being able to visualize every area of that network, including every device and connection it’s comprised of. Most network monitoring tools are equipped with network mapping tools that draw a visual representation of an entire network; this allows your enterprise to see every piece of your network in real-time in one place, preventing dark areas or silos from appealing. Depending on the solution, your monitoring tool may also provide different visuals based on performance metrics — for example, a healthy device might be displayed in green malfunctioning device is displayed in red. These visualizations help your company easily understand network and device performance at a glance.
Balancing active and passive network monitoring
A solid network monitoring strategy includes both active and passive performance monitoring. Active monitoring involves observing actual network performance data in real-time; passive monitoring copies network traffic so companies can simulate performance issues. While both monitoring techniques are useful, your enterprise needs to find the right balance between active and passive monitoring. Your business should focus more on active monitoring if you have actual performance issues to address, and passive monitoring if you’re planning for the future.
Configuring network devices correctly
Installing or repairing a device on your network means configuring it to ensure that it works correctly. Whenever you apply a new configuration, your company needs to test it to ensure the changes aren’t negatively affecting network performance. Sometimes, major performance issues are the result of a simple misconfiguration; therefore, every configuration change needs to be assessed.
Planning network growth
It isn’t enough to just focus on how your network is performing now; your enterprise also needs to prepare itself for the future of your network. Any planned changes to your network need to be considered when planning out your monitoring strategies. Your company needs to project what the state of your network will be in the future, as well as assess how additions to your network could affect performance.
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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