What is network monitoring?
Network monitoring for a corporate network is a critical IT feature that saves money in terms of network performance, employee productivity and infrastructure cost overhead. The network monitoring system monitors the internal network for problems. It is able to find and fix web page downloads at the snail's speed, lost emails on the spot, questionable user activity and delivery of files caused by server overload, crashes, risky network connections or other devices.
Network monitoring systems (NMS) are very different from harassment detection systems (IDSn) or harassment prevention systems (IPS). These other systems detect intrusions and prevent intelligent activity by unauthorized users. NMS lets you know how well the network is working through normal operations; the focus is not on security itself.
Network monitoring can be accomplished using a variety of software or a combination of hardware and software plug-and-play tools. Almost any type of network can be monitored. It doesn't matter if it's wireless or wireless, a physical LAN, VPN or a WAN service provider. You can control devices on various operating systems with many functions, from BlackBerry and mobile phones to servers, routers and switches. These systems can help you identify specific activities and performance metrics, produce results that allow a company to meet various needs, including compliance with compliance requirements, elimination of security risks. -State and provide greater operational visibility.
Deciding specifically what to monitor on the network is as essential as giving a thumbs up to system monitoring. You need to make sure that the corporate network topology map is up to date. This map should accurately arrange the different types of networks to monitor, which servers are running, which applications on which operating system, how many desktops should be counted in the mix and which type of remote devices have access to each network. A dose of clarity at the beginning makes the choice of monitoring tools to buy easier.
How important is network monitoring?
You might think that if the network is up and running, there is no reason to ruin it. Why should you worry about adding another project for your network managers to scribble on their whiteboards, already crammed from floor to ceiling? The rights to insist on monitoring the network can be summarized at a high level in maintaining the current state of the network, guaranteeing availability and improving performance. An NMS also can help you build a database of critical information that you can use to plan for future growth.
Network monitoring is like a visit to a cardiologist. You are combining experience, judgment and technology to track the performance of a system.
The doctor is observing the warning signs as blood flows through the vessels, valves and chambers of the heart, while the network monitoring systems are monitoring the data that move along the cables and through servers, switches, connections and routers .
This analogy holds true, especially considering how important real-time information is in both cases.
Of course, network monitoring differs in that smart companies aren't content with snapshots of system performance. Nor do they monitor only after the appearance of disturbing symptoms. They follow their networks 24 hours a day, every day.
What can network monitoring systems monitor?
Network monitoring doesn't help if you can't find the right things. Common areas explored are bandwidth usage, application performance, and server performance.
Traffic monitoring is a fundamental task, on which all network construction and maintenance activities are based. It usually focuses on resources that support end users. The network monitoring systems have therefore evolved to monitor a series of devices:
- Mobile phone
- Servers and desktops
Some network monitoring systems come with automatic discovery, which is the ability to continuously record devices as they're added, removed, or undergo configuration changes. These tools segregate devices dynamically. Some common rubrics are:
- IP address
- Type (switch, router, etc.)
- Physical location
Beyond the distinct advantage of knowing precisely — and in real-time — what you have deployed, automatic discovery and categorization of segments help you plan for growth. Underused hardware can take on new functions, for example. They also help pinpoint problems. If all devices at a given location are underperforming, there might be a resource-management problem to address.
What kind of networks can they monitor?
Large networks often are networks of disparate systems. Segments can differ by vendor, generation, mission, and other factors. Here, too, monitoring tools can make sense of the complexity.
Some common network types are:
- Wireless or wired
- A corporate local-area network (LAN)
- A virtual private network (VPN)
- A service provider's wide-area network (WAN)
If all those variables weren't enough, business markets are always demanding new site functions for internal and external use. Performance-sensitive duties (otherwise known as bandwidth hogs) include voice over IP (VoIP), Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), and video on demand (VOD). Monitoring enables managers to allocate resources to maintain system integrity.