How do you select the best network monitoring tool for your enterprise? Businesses rely on their networks for vital daily communications and services. If a company network isn’t performing well, how can that company expect to satisfy their demands?
That’s where a network monitoring tool comes in. Network monitoring solutions continuously observe a network and connected devices for performance issues. The process of deciding which network monitoring tool is right for your business might seem daunting at first. However, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help your company determine the best network monitoring solution for its business network!
Looking for more info on network monitoring solutions? Our 2019 Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide has you covered! 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!
How large of a network do you need to monitor?
Business networks come in all shapes and sizes — as do network monitoring tools. While some network monitoring tools offer plans that allow for an unlimited number of devices, many have a hard limit on how many network nodes you’re able to monitor at one time. For large-scale enterprises, finding solutions that can support the number of devices your network is comprised of is important in determining suitable network monitoring tools. You shouldn’t just consider the size of your current network, either; if your network is going to expand, you need to keep this in mind as you decide on a monitoring solution.
Know the performance issues you need to address
Every company’s network is different, and as such, every company will have different performance issues affecting their network. There could be a particular type of performance problem your business wants to address, or metrics that your network team needs to improve. Knowing the reasons why your enterprise needs a network monitoring tool allows you to identify monitoring solutions that are best adapted for your needs.
Consider specialized monitoring solutions
Some enterprises don’t need a monitoring tool that manages their entire network; they might be looking for a solution to track a specific metric, such as bandwidth. A full-scale network monitoring tool will handle these capabilities for businesses, but there are also specialized monitoring solutions designed for specific purposes. These are a beneficial option if you don’t need to fine-tune your network performance and just need to improve one aspect of network performance.
Do you need a comprehensive monitoring suite?
At the higher end of network monitoring, providers will focus more on offering a comprehensive system and service monitoring platform. In addition to network monitoring, these solutions could also provide performance monitoring for applications, servers, websites, IP addresses and databases — among many others. If your enterprise wants a solution that can handle everything, it should look into what other system monitoring and management tools a network performance vendor has to offer.
Do you need to go with a premium solution?
It’s easy to dismiss a cheap or free IT solution as not up to the task for enterprise network monitoring. Free solutions typically have fewer or weaker features than premium ones, and open source tools usually require more technical expertise. However, in some cases, a free or open source network monitoring tool might provide all the monitoring functionality your network team desires. When your company is investigating potential network monitoring solutions, don’t disregard a tool just because it doesn’t cost you anything; check out its capabilities to see if it can meet your requirements.
Take advantage of trials and lower-end plans
Most network monitoring vendors offer multiple pricing plans for their solutions, providing potential clients with a way to test out their platform before committing to a enterprise-grade deployment. Alternatively, providers might also have a trial version of their solution that allows users to see the platform’s full capabilities. Take advantage of these whenever you can; demoing a network monitoring solution can be invaluable in figuring out if the solution will be a good fit for your business.
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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