A Guide to Network Monitoring and Management

Jun 7, 2023

What is Network Monitoring?

Network monitoring refers to tracking computer networks for availability, performance and security issues. Monitoring networks is essential for troubleshooting problems, ensuring optimal functionality and maintaining security.

Effective network monitoring relies on various tools and techniques to track network activity and collect data about network devices, traffic and applications. These tools also provide detailed reports and analytics, which you can use to identify trends and patterns in network activity, plan for capacity and performance improvements, and make more informed decisions about network management and optimization. Network monitoring is a critical component of network management, helping to ensure that networks are reliable, secure and performing at their best.

How Do You Perform Network Monitoring?

Network monitoring depends on your specific network requirements and available tools and resources. However, general steps you can take to execute effective network monitoring include the following:

  • Identify what you’re monitoring Determine which devices, applications and network components to be monitored based on their importance to your operation.
  • Select monitoring tools – Choose appropriate network monitoring tools suited to your needs, such as network performance monitoring (NPM), log analysis, intrusion detection systems (IDS) and security information and event management (SIEM).
  • Configure monitoring settings – Set up your monitoring tools to track and analyze specific network components and establish alert thresholds to trigger notifications when predetermined metrics are exceeded.
  • Monitor network activity – Continuously monitor your network activity and traffic to detect anomalies, performance degradation and security threats.
  • Analyze data Using the data collected by your monitoring tools, you can identify trends, patterns and anomalies that could indicate issues or opportunities for improvement.
  • Take corrective action – Respond to identified issues and patterns, such as reconfiguring network settings or implementing new security measures.
  • Optimize monitoring strategy Regularly review and refine your network monitoring strategy to ensure it’s working effectively and remains aligned with the evolving needs of your network.

What are the Types of Network Monitoring?

A comprehensive network monitoring strategy typically covers multiple measurements to ensure that the network functions optimally, securely and in compliance with organizational and regulatory requirements. Here are some common types of network monitoring:

  • Performance monitoring Performance monitoring ensures network devices, such as routers, switches and servers, function optimally. Additionally, performance monitoring tracks network metrics, such as bandwidth utilization, packet loss, latency and response time.
  • Availability monitoring – Availability monitoring ensures devices, applications and services are online, responsive and accessible to users.
  • Security monitoring – Security monitoring identifies and mitigates threats to the network by tracking traffic for suspicious activity and generating alerts or taking action to prevent or mitigate security incidents.
  • Configuration monitoring – Configuration monitoring tracks changes to network device configurations so they comply with organizational policies and best practices.
  • Capacity planning – Capacity planning involves monitoring network usage and trends to forecast future capacity needs and plan for network growth, ensuring that the network has the necessary resources to support normal business operations.

What are Network Monitoring Protocols?

Common network monitoring protocols for collecting data and monitoring network activity include the following:

  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is used to manage and monitor network devices.
  • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is used for sending error messages and operational information about network conditions.

What are the Benefits of Network Monitoring?

The major benefits of network monitoring fall under two broad categories:

  • Optimizing networks for capacity and uptime – By monitoring your networks, you gain valuable insights into activity and traffic patterns that you can use to make more informed decisions about your network, such as when you need to increase capacity. Additionally, monitoring helps ensure maximum network uptime by detecting issues early and proactively maintaining the network. High-performing and reliable networks enable you to increase employee productivity, deliver a better customer experience, drive revenue and grow your business.
  • Securing your networks — Cyberthreats are growing in number every day, making network monitoring essential. Using security tools, you can prevent, detect and mitigate security threats, such as unauthorized access attempts, malware infections and data breaches.

Which Network Monitoring Tools Should I Choose?

Not all network monitoring software will be the right fit for your business. You want tools that are:

  • Proven
  • Feature-rich
  • Customizable
  • Easy to use
  • Cost-effective
  • Scalable

Additionally, look for tools that:

  • Offer end-to-end monitoring
  • Integrate with your existing IT infrastructure

Also, consider any additional needs you may have, such as:

  • 24/7 support
  • Training

What is INSITE by APX Net Network Monitoring and Management?

INSITE by APX Net is an industry-leading network monitoring and management (NMM) platform powered by ServiceNow®, Zenoss®, LogicMonitor® and Sisense. INSITE is a cloud-based platform that blends:

  • Digital workflows
  • Full-stack monitoring
  • AIOps
  • Powerful analytics

INSITE by APX Net delivers:

  • Best-in-class tracking
  • Incident management
  • Business intelligence
  • Actionable insights

As IT complexity grows and your network needs to evolve, it’s critical to have comprehensive insights into your physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure. With INSITE by APX Net, you eliminate the need for siloed monitoring tools and get end-to-end visibility across all your locations in a single platform.

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