Article

How Flexible Alerting Helps Proactive Network Management

Posted:
February 22, 2017
Network monitoring software helps you detect your most common network problems


Our society no longer relies on the fixed 9 to 5 schedules of previous generations; after all, new technology allows us to work from anywhere at any time. While this has been a boon to productivity, it’s also raised expectations that employees must be available 24/7. Regardless of the culture of today’s workplace, for a busy IT manager, a network has continuously demanded that kind of “always-on” work schedule: unfortunately, a network never sleeps. A problem can occur at any time, and if you’re responsible for managing that infrastructure, you want to be notified about it as soon as possible—no matter where you are—to ensure it is remedied before users call to complain.

Luckily, Intermapper has the robust alerting and notification features IT managers require to successfully maintain healthy networks. Intermapper alerts you to potential bandwidth or device issues no matter where you are, eliminating the need for you to stare at a screen all day and night out of concern that you will miss an error or threat. Unlike other applications on the market, Intermapper displays color-coded alerts to quickly identify devices that are in troublesome states. Red, for example, can indicate a device that is down or critical, while yellow can be used to signify that a threshold is about to be reached. Intermapper also provides status badges as additional visual cues to help you determine the status of particular devices. IT professionals know that device behaviors can sometimes be unpredictable and erratic, but with Intermapper you have a way of seeing the device progression through the different status levels. The software also allows you to choose exactly how you’d like to be alerted—whether you want Intermapper to send a text message to your cell phone, send you an email, or page you, for example.

The Benefits of Flexible Network Alerting

This proactive monitoring and alerting frees up your team to focus on other tasks and alleviates the burden of having to stare at a screen to see when problems arise; Intermapper will alert you to threats or potential errors on-the-go, as they arise. Intermapper also offers the option for users to take ownership of problems by acknowledging alerts. Someone in your IT department can acknowledge an alert and prevent you from being continuously notified. You then have peace of mind that your fellow team member has claimed the problem as their own and is looking into it.

This creates a clear audit trail that allows you to identify who is working on a problem at any given time. Intermapper will tell you the IP address of the user’s workstation and let you enter comments based on what you’re doing so a manager has a clear record of what was done. You can also use the acknowledge feature to work within your maintenance window, so if you’re going to be doing maintenance on the devices you can let everyone know the device will be down, the alerts will be suppressed, and the notifications will be stopped until those devices are back up and running.  

Alerting with Splunk

A major benefit to Intermapper’s alerting system is the ability to send those notifications to the Splunk interface. Splunk is a system logging server or Syslog. Intermapper’s integration with Splunk allows you to automatically send your device logs to Splunk. Splunk then parses the data and provides you with more detailed troubleshooting metrics to identify what’s wrong with the device.

Instead of sifting through thousands of lines of logging information yourself, with Splunk you can search by keyword and quickly retrieve information on why that device is down. You can search by IP address and Splunk will tell you what probe is assigned to the problematic device, why the device is in this kind of state, and what your next steps in terms of troubleshooting should be.

Intermapper’s alerting and notification features—including its integration with Splunk—ensure that you take a detailed, proactive approach to monitoring and maintaining a healthy IT infrastructure. 

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