Exactly what is network monitoring? A network monitoring service is a critical component that will keep a company’s data center both functioning properly and completely healthy. This type of service will monitor, detect, and analyze a network and examine all of its devices and applications in real time. The advantage for this is that it will now allow you to quickly respond to any Internet problems or alerts in a timely manner. It is therefore imperative that an organization properly manages and maintains their network monitoring.
Years ago, an unreliable network could result in various delays in emails being sent or received and other important matters. At that time, it was quite easy to usually find an alternative work to do around the delays. Today, however, a network that has unreliable data has the power to bring a business to a complete standstill. For example, if a system is attached to your network and is unable to get an IP address when using DHCP (Dynamic Holds Configuration Protocol) then it will not be able to communicate with any of the other systems.
Similarly, if the DNS (Domain Name System) is not functioning correctly then the various systems will not be able to look up any address of the Internet system. The way in which you control your network utilization and bandwidth will definitely affect all of your users that are connected to your corporate network productivity. Therefore, it is vital to have a good network monitoring software.
The good news is that you can go online and find various websites that will help you to understand the pros and cons about various network monitoring software solutions. The majority of these are cloud-based and all of them will help you to make sure that your users are connected and that your network is safe and always up and running.
It should be noted that some of these services will cross over into an infrastructure category because of the criticality of the service. A monitoring service, like DNS, will become more of an infrastructure management type of issue as opposed to a network type consideration. DHCP will probably fit into the same category even though the managing of any DHCP service may be something that is better fitted for a network administrator.
SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) began in 1998 and for the most part has seen a widespread adoption throughout a variety of platforms and it has also replaced the initial version. It is true that SNMP is primarily associated with networking but you can also configure various operating systems, such as Microsoft, to respond to SNMP commands with it. However, for network management tools a key consideration would be how to use SNMP to accomplish a variety of tasks.
If you are truly interested about what is happening on your network then it is important to learn something about a network flow. A network flow was originally started for Cisco routers. It allowed the router to analyze IP network traffic that was exiting or entering a specific interface. Flow data was sent typically to a system that was running a database (collection point) so that it would be easier to make query-based analysis.
There are a number of important features that all have specific needs that will adequately fulfill the very important role of network management. From an administrator’s perspective, it would be nice to have good quality visual graphics so that he can quickly overview all of the current system status. An added plus would be the ability to tweak any arrangement of a graphical element on a dashboard.
IPAM (IP Address Management) is now a vital capability that many large organizations require. It is extremely important to keep track of all statistically assigned addresses including the large number of DHCP data pools. This can be adequately managed by using a manual system. Integrating a network management tool with IPAM is logical and in most organizations the same individual will often handle both functions.
SDN (Software Defined Networking) is a hot topic today but it also comes with a degree of confusion. This will be true unless you are either a technologist or vendor with a vested interest. At the highest of levels, SDN is basically a functional separation of a forwarding plane and a network control plane. It makes it possible to configure data paths in a dynamic manner so as to achieve optimum performance.
One website has tested various software to see how they performed. In most cases with this type of software, setup and installation is something that you will only need to do one time. In the network management category, there is an initial configuration that could include making a change to your switches. This would be done to allow the transmission of sFlow or NetFlow. A change in a production switch usually requires a large amount of approval and justification prior to implementation. It obviously would be advisable to try any of these tests methods on a smaller test network before trying them on a larger environment.
Looking at it from an administrator’s perspective, the UI (user interface) needs to be easy to customize and navigate. It should work in a very fast manner and show any problem areas so that the operator can dig deep and look for more specifics without using a huge number of clicks. The management of features and customization of the user interface should not require that a programmer needs to make it work properly. A basic requirement is the alerting and an ability to customize the delivery and priority as an equally important feature.
One of the primary keys to managing large quantities of devices is automation. If you can automate your small administration tasks then all of the processes will become more efficient. Automated repair and alerting also fall into this category and they both represent a primary differentiator between products. If you also incorporate the ability to connect remotely to your monitoring system then you will be well on your way to having an excellent network monitoring system.