Network monitoring is very common in the industry. Almost everyone knows about it in the IT industry. Networks are becoming more complex with time. There are thousands of connected endpoints. This is good for your business as it ensures that your workflow will be smooth. However, it comes with its own set of security challenges.
The problem comes from the fact that your entire network is interconnected. If an attacker gets access to your network, then they can easily move around. They will get access to your important business data. Thus, this can lead to a data breach.
Network monitoring can help you in solving this problem. Today’s IT environment is connected. Thus, there are complex security threats that you need to deal with. A network monitoring software will act as the first line of defense. The ideal network monitoring software will give you access to your entire network. You can check your network applications, systems, and devices. It will also alert you about potential security breaches. This will ensure that you can protect your network from downtimes.
It is easy to understand the benefits of using a network monitoring solution. However, most companies don’t know how to choose the right solution. The market is filled with hundreds of network monitoring software. Some of these network monitoring tools are closed while some are open-sourced.
It is difficult to find the right network monitoring solution in the market. In this article, we are going to talk about the advantage of network monitoring solutions and how you can find the best tool.
Advantages of Network Monitoring solutions
Full network visibility
You can’t understand your network performance until you have network visibility. Your company needs to observe all the devices connected with your network. The network monitoring tool will help you in checking all the devices that are connected. It will ensure that your entire network is visible. Thus, you can easily fix network performance issues.
Finding security threats
The main aim of a network monitoring solution is to monitor your network only. However, you can also use it to find security threats in your system. Some viruses and malware are designed to gain access to the network. Network monitoring solutions will check your network for unusual network traffic. Thus, these solutions can detect these viruses.
Predicting network downtime
It is impossible to provide 100% service uptime. Even the best network monitoring solution can’t guarantee 100% service uptime. However, it will help you in avoiding unexpected network outages. Network monitoring solutions will observe your network traffic. It will alert your company about network issues.
Network performance reports
A good network monitoring solution will help you in constantly tracking performance data. You can check this data for understanding the performance of your network. A single device can screw up your entire network. Network monitoring tools will help you in testing your network. You can test new hardware or connections. This will ensure that your network is always working optimally.
Finding performance issues
Performance issues are very common with modern networks. They can occur at any time. If some problem occurs after business hours, then your IT team should know about it. Your network monitoring tool will be scanning your network 24/7. They will help you in detecting issues in your network. However, these solutions can’t send these alerts immediately. You should pair these solutions with a good alert system. This will ensure that your IT team will get notified.
Network performance issues can be expensive for your business. You will waste a lot of time fixing these issues. Your team could’ve spent this time doing other productive work. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are focusing on reducing your MTTR or mean time to repair.
Network monitoring tools will alert your team about the performance issues as soon it discovers them. Thus, your team can directly focus on solving the problem. They don’t need to waste their time in finding the network issues.
Some monitoring tools also come with diagnostics tools. It will provide your IT team with an initial assessment of the problem. Thus, your employees don’t need to waste time diagnosing the problem. They can easily find the root cause of network issues.
Understand network capacity
User needs are always changing with time. Thus, it is difficult to anticipate the network resources that you will consume in the future. Your network utilization will only increase with time. Thus, it is important to plan for additional infrastructure. This will ensure that you are always staying ahead of the demand.
Network monitoring tools will help you in reducing manual intervention. Your team won’t need to waste their time in solving repetitive issues. These tools will help you in working on complex projects. Thus, you will get the best ROI from these tools.
This is the most important advantage of using a network monitoring solution. These network monitoring tools are usually offered for reasonable prices. You can reduce the burden on your IT department if you are using these solutions. They will also help you in saving a lot of money as you don’t need to worry about financial issues. A good network monitoring solution will help you in eliminating downtime.
Network monitoring solutions will ensure a quick reaction as your IT team will get access to the entire error message. It will help you in eliminating downtime. Your IT network team can check the reports for finding weak spots in your network. Thus, these reports can help you in saving a lot of money.
How to choose the correct network monitoring solution?
It is difficult to find the best network monitoring solution. You can follow the below checklist for filtering the list.
Understand your needs
You should understand your preference and needs. Most companies think that they can use free network monitoring software for protecting their network. They don’t want to spend money on paid network monitoring software.
However, free network monitoring tools will come with limited features. You need to add other IT monitoring tools for using it at full potential. These tools will come with complicated maintenance and configuration. Thus, you will waste a lot of time configuring these tools.
A network monitoring tool is very important for your business. Thus, you should always go for a single paid network monitoring solution. This solution should provide all the important features to you. It should ensure that all the system, network devices, and applications are monitored from a unified interface. This will ensure that it is easy to fix issues.
Make sure that your monitoring tool has an easy-to-use dashboard. This application will help you in keeping track of all the data about your network. They should come with status reports, graphs, commands, and network topology-aware maps for fixing issues.
Make sure that your network monitoring comes with a real-time alert. You can’t check the dashboard 24/7. If there is some change in your network, then your network monitoring service should send an alert to your network admins.
Ease of customization and implementation
Network monitoring tools should be easy to roll out. You need to weigh the cons and pros of each tool. This will help you in finding the best tool for your network.
You should examine the implementation work for your IT team. Make sure that they don’t need to do a lot of implementation work. Your team might need to do provisioning storage and servers, creating databases, and deploying agents. They also need to manage the different components of the setup.
The best thing about paid solutions is that their implementation is easy. They have a customization mechanism and simpler implementation. All the components come pre-built in paid tools. This will help you in deploying your tool quickly.
Scalability is another very important thing that you need to consider. Your network is not going to stay static. It is going to grow with time. Your network will expand to accommodate the growing number of systems, devices, users, and nodes every year. Network traffic always grows with time. Thus, it is important to ensure that your network monitoring tool can scale its reporting and data collection capabilities according to your network size.
Data encryption is very important in network monitoring. This is even more important if you are in the healthcare and finance industry. Attackers are always looking for some way to get access to your data. Financial and healthcare companies have access to confidential data. It is important to make sure that you are protecting this data from attackers.
IT decision-makers in the healthcare and finance industry also need to deal with the compliance requirements. They should ensure that they are managing sensitive information. These compliance requirements like HIPAA and PCI-DSS are very strict. If you are not following them, then you might need to pay a heavy penalty. You can avoid this pitfall by using good network monitoring software. Make sure that your network monitoring vendor is following all the security standards.
Automatic Device Discovery
Some network monitoring tools will give you inbuilt automatic discovery. This will ensure that the tool can automatically determine your network’s current status. It will use a powerful Layer 2 and Layer 3 discovery scan for finding new devices.
If you are adding some new network device, then this tool will automatically detect it. It will collect and report on firmware and hardware rev, serial, vendor, device type, and other modules. This will ensure that your network map is always updated.
Most free tools don’t provide this feature. Thus, you should look for a paid network monitoring tool. If you don’t have an updated network map, then you will miss blindspots in your network. Attackers can get access to your network and you will never detect it. Thus, automatic device discovery is a must-have feature.
Usability is another very important factor. It is a much bigger factor when compared to UI or ease of implementation. Usability will help you in determining your performance monitoring tool suitability. You will get more value from a tool that can give you real-time actionable reports.
The main aim of the network monitoring solution is to allow decision-makers to move their focus to business activities. It helps in reducing the time it takes to resolve, troubleshoot, isolate, and detect a network issue. This is another factor that you can’t ignore.
This is a very hard thing to choose. Every monitoring software vendor will have its own licensing structure. It is not easy to find the best pricing structure for your business.
Some vendors will charge you per node or sensor. If you are going for this plan, then you need to purchase a separate license for every sensor on your network.
Some vendors will charge you according to the number of virtual servers, applications, and devices. This option is best for most companies as it is more flexible. It will allow you to monitor a large network also. All you need to buy is one all-inclusive package. Thus, you should consider this pricing plan.
These are some factors that you should keep while selecting a network monitoring software. It is still not easy to protect your network from attackers. You still need access to a good IT security team. If you don’t have access to a good IT security team, then you can’t protect your network. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in protecting your network from attackers. They will help you in setting up the best network monitoring tool. Thus, you don’t need to worry about monitoring your network. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.