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Back to the Basics: What is Network Monitoring?

Posted by Chris Bihary | 7/5/18 8:00 AM

Network monitoring is far from a new topic. However, with so many new networking trends and applications demanding attention, it’s easy to lose focus on network monitoring despite the fact that it’s so critical to long-term business success.

By definition, network monitoring refers to the practice of overseeing the operations of a computer network using specialized management software tools.

Network monitoring encompasses the processes, tools, and software involved in overseeing network operations. This means ensuring availability, tracking overall performance of network services, and maintaining visibility into network access, routers, under-performing components, firewalls, switches, network data, and more.

Read The Ultimate Guide to Network Monitoring Now!

For years networks have been the lifeblood of business as mission-critical processes become increasingly reliant on connectivity. Network monitoring efforts help admins and IT leaders optimize processes and resources. A network monitoring system is capable of detecting and reporting application, tool and connection failures. The ability to perform targeted troubleshooting is important, but being able to proactively identify network bottlenecks and adjust infrastructure strategies accordingly is the ultimate benefit.

Challenges of Network Monitoring

One major challenge of network monitoring is that the best strategies are supported by multiple tools and applications. Most network monitoring plans include forensics, network analyzers, intrusion detection systems, lawful intercept applications, security information and event management (SIEM) systems, application perform monitoring (APM), deep packet inspection and more.

As tech teams evaluate the pros and cons of individual tools and applications, it’s important to recognize that these products won’t work to their fullest potential if they aren’t deployed on top of a network built with monitoring best practices in mind. Networks are getting more complex with higher speeds carrying an increasingly unprecedented amount of data. With the growing number of analysis tools needed to process this data, a granular visibility approach into the actual packets running on the wire is a must. Here’s where Network TAPs should be used to ensure that complete network visibility is achieved.

[Ready to take a deeper dive into Network Monitoring? Check out our whitepaper, The Ultimate Guide to Network Monitoring, to learn industry best practices, infrastructure concerns, and how to manage scaling network speeds.]

Topics: Network Visibility/Monitoring

Written by Chris Bihary

Chris Bihary has been in the network performance industry for over 20 years. Bihary has established collaborative partnerships with technology companies to complement product performance through the integration of network test access points. Previously, Bihary was Managing Partner at Network Critical.