Every device connected to a network has an IP address that identifies it for communication purposes. IP addresses allow for devices to have a name that network nodes can detect and understand. Because IP addresses are a standard used by every connected device, network performance monitors (NPMs) can discover and display all IP addresses on your network.
This feature allows NPMs to track IPs and subnets and alert users of any capacity or performance issues. IP addresses can change, so continuously keeping track of them and the devices they belong to is important for IT teams. Read on to find out how an NPM with IP monitoring capabilities can help your enterprise boost your network’s performance.
IP address space monitoring
IP addresses commonly adhere by one of two standard policies: IPv4 and IPv6. The major difference between these two standards is length of the IP addresses. IPv4 addresses use 32-bit numbers, while IPv6 addresses use 128-bit numbers. IPv6 addresses are four times as long, which was designed to prevent the problem with there not being enough IPv4 addresses to accommodate every device.
If you run a private network such as a LAN, your network has a limited amount of private IP address space available. Depending on the size of your network, your enterprise will potentially have hundreds of thousands of devices connected at once that need an IP address. An NPM that monitors IP addresses will inform you of the IP capacity you’re using and how close you are to the maximum device limit.
IP status monitoring
When you have so many devices on a network, there are a lot of IP addresses active at one time. You can observe and respond to changes in the status of devices by examining their current IP address. NPMs with IP status monitoring classify IP addresses based on whether or not they’re active. You can sort IP addresses to group currently active addresses separately from dead addresses (or, IP addresses currently not in use). Some NPMs go a step further and display performance status of devices on an IP address. If the IP address is currently performing below the expected level, it will be displayed differently than one performing at its peak. This gives you an overview of the status of every device connected to your network, alongside portions of your network that need a performance boost.
IP address history
Because IP addresses aren’t tied to one specific device, you’ll see multiple different nodes using the same IP address over a period of time. Some NPMs let you observe the history of an IP address and the devices that were attached to it. You can also view the history of IP addresses on a daily basis as well as on the entire lifetime of your network. This allows you to determine how many different IP addresses and devices are operating on your network each day to understand your network’s capacity.
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.
Check us out on Twitter for the latest in NetMon news and developments!