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Visibility Solutions

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The 4 Golden Signals: Ensuring IT Network Availability with the Right Tricks


Discover the secrets to a smoother and more efficient IT network as we explore the 4 Golden Signals - latency, traffic, saturation, and errors.

Learn how these crucial performance indicators can provide valuable insights into your network's health and help develop a comprehensive strategy.

Step into the world of network monitoring and optimize your network's performance with these tools and tricks.


Modern IT networks have become much more profound and more difficult to secure. Data integrity and monitoring performance are crucial for maintaining a smooth and efficient network.

To enable a smooth and streamlined process, It is best to rely on key performance indicators known as the "4 Golden Signals" - latency, traffic, saturation, and errors - to gain valuable insights into your network's health.

This blog post will explore what these signals mean and how to implement them as part of an overall data integrity and monitoring strategy.

Once you have your strategy in place, we'll provide some actionable tools and innovative solutions, such as Network TAPs, aggregating network traffic, and cloud visibility. This will empower your administrators with the right tools for efficient network monitoring.

Understanding the 4 Golden Signals

You've heard it before: "What gets measured gets done." Without proper monitoring, it's challenging to ascertain whether your network is healthy. Before making any changes, here are the four aspects of your network that should be monitored before deciding to take action:


Latency refers to the delay when data travels from source to destination. It is a critical metric that measures the responsiveness of the network.

Low latency is desirable as it indicates that data is reaching its destination quickly, resulting in faster application response times and improved user experience. When latency spikes, or maintains a high level, it can cause slow application performance and annoying delays.

To monitor latency effectively, you can implement real-time monitoring tools that capture and analyze data packets, identifying any delays in data transmission. It's important to always take on a proactive approach rather than react to issues that are affecting your latency.


We've all been there, especially when we are late for work or an appointment. Heavy traffic is not positive on your commute, nor is it on your network. Although this may mean that more people are taking actions that are valuable to your brand, it will damage overall brand recognition if servers are unresponsive.

Traffic, in the context of network monitoring, relates to the volume of data flowing through the network. Monitoring traffic levels to understand the network's overall workload and identify potential bottlenecks is crucial.

By tracking traffic patterns, you can ensure that the network operates optimally and visibly and make informed decisions to allocate resources efficiently.


Saturation occurs when your network resources, one of the most common being bandwidth, become fully utilized, leading to potential data congestion and slowdowns. Monitoring network saturation is integral to preventing network overloads and guarantees smooth data transmission.

Implementing Network TAPs and other monitoring solutions can provide real-time data on network usage, enabling administrators to promptly identify and address saturation issues.


Errors in the network refer to any data packets that are corrupted or lost during transmission. These errors can lead to data integrity issues and affect the overall reliability of the network, which can cause cybersecurity anxiety or concerns.

Monitoring and detecting errors is crucial for maintaining data integrity and identifying potential network vulnerabilities. Your administrators can employ advanced monitoring tools and techniques, such as checksum validation, to detect and address errors effectively.


IT Security threat detection

The Golden Signals in Action: Implementing Them as Part of an Overall Strategy

Now that we understand the importance of the 4 Golden Signals in network monitoring let's examine how to implement them as part of a comprehensive data integrity and monitoring strategy within a robust network topology and infrastructure.

To ensure availability and reliability, consider these key steps:

  1. Identify Critical Metrics: Determine which of the 4 Golden Signals is most relevant to your network and its applications. Different networks may prioritize different metrics based on their specific needs. On a self-directed brokerage platform, for example, low latency is required for users to browse trades in due time so that their profitability is more likely.

  2. Deploy Real-Time Monitoring: Utilize real-time monitoring solutions that provide continuous visibility into network performance. Being proactive in this regard plays a crucial role in capturing and analyzing real-time data traffic, enabling administrators to provide real-time support to servers, teams, and end-users.

  3. Set Thresholds and Alerts: Establish appropriate thresholds for each signal to trigger alerts when performance metrics deviate from the expected values. This proactive approach allows administrators to address potential issues before they escalate.

Tools of the Trade: Solutions for Network Monitoring

Once you have implemented the correct strategy, it's time to put the right tools to work. After all, a team that is well-trained and well-educated will still have trouble accomplishing its goal without the proper equipment:

Network TAPs

Network TAPs allow seamless and secure access to network traffic for monitoring and analysis. They offer a non-intrusive way to capture and forward data packets, ensuring complete visibility without affecting network performance.

Aggregate Network Traffic

This type of solution enables administrators to aggregate network traffic from various sources, consolidating data for more comprehensive monitoring and analysis.

Cloud Visibility

With the increasing adoption of cloud services, cloud visibility solutions help monitor and analyze data traffic in cloud environments, ensuring a holistic approach to network monitoring.

Empowering Network Monitoring for Enhanced Availability 

Network monitoring plays a crucial role in ensuring network availability and performance. The 4 Golden Signals - latency, traffic, saturation, and errors - offer valuable insights into network health and data integrity.

At Garland Technology, we provide a comprehensive range of solutions designed to empower network administrators in creating a robust visibility fabric. Purpose-built packet brokers aggregate and groom network traffic, ensuring scalability and deploying the right solutions as needed.

With 1:N traffic mirroring, cloud visibility is fully restored, bridging gaps and enhancing monitoring capabilities across various network environments.

Looking to take your first step toward enhanced network flexibility, visibility, and security but not sure where to start? Join us for a brief network Design-IT consultation or demo. No obligation - it’s what we love to do.


  1. Latency: The delay occurs when data travels from source to destination, affecting network responsiveness.
  2. Traffic: The volume of data flowing through the network, indicating the network's overall workload.
  3. Saturation: Occurs when network resources, such as bandwidth, become fully utilized, potentially leading to data congestion and slowdowns.
  4. Errors: Data packets that are corrupted or lost during transmission, impacting data integrity and network reliability.
  5. Data Packets: Units of data that are transmitted over a network, containing information and payload for efficient data transmission.
  6. Network TAP (Terminal Access Point): A network TAP is a purpose-built hardware device that allows you to access and monitor your network traffic by copying packets without impacting or compromising network integrity.

IT security garland Technology tool deployment

Written by Jason Drewniak

Jason Drewniak is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Garland Technology in the Buffalo, New York office. His experience building brands and delighting customers covers a variety of tech-forward products like computers, toys, and beer. At Garland he is responsible for educating network stakeholders about the "Garland Difference!"



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