Today’s networks are surprisingly very resilient and can run remarkably well for very long periods of time. If you walk into most environments and ask the IT professional when the last time they rebooted a switch or server was, you might be surprised at the answer you get. Even the most robust network can oftentimes see an IT admin lulled into a false sense of security because there are no sirens or flashing red lights. Because of this, when unforeseen disaster strikes, they are ill-prepared and their networks often suffer longer downtimes, resulting in huge amounts of lost productivity.
Some of the most serious issues can be the ones that go unseen, or are happening in the background, almost brewing until that final culmination when you’re left reeling, searching for answers and solutions. There are two troublesome network problems that most IT professionals will have to deal with at some point in their career: the first is unexpectedly high bandwidth utilization, and the second are called “broadcast storms.”
How High Bandwidth Utilization Can Affect Your Network
High bandwidth utilization can drastically affect your network performance. A single user can be the consumer of much of your organization’s bandwidth—and you can have no idea. So much bandwidth is used up these days by simple peer-to-peer file sharing or even streaming audio and video files.
To really understand your organization’s bandwidth utilization you need to have a keen eye on who is using your bandwidth and how it is being used. It’s a very difficult task to comprehend everything that’s occurring on your network at all times, but it start by having a battle-tested bandwidth usage monitor in place. A comprehensive network monitoring and mapping tool like Intermapper provides you with the ability to not only monitor all your network components, but also monitor network traffic using a NetFlow analyzer called Intermapper Flows.
Intermapper Flows collects the flows packets from those edge or gateway devices and provides you with a graphical output of data showing you top hosts, top ports, and what the top 50 client-server sessions are. Without this insight, it would be impossible to know what steps to take to remedy your company’s high bandwidth usage.
How Broadcast Storms Can Wreak Havoc on Your Network
The second network issue that can turn into a major problem for IT administrators is called a broadcast storm. Broadcast storms are more serious and also more difficult to troubleshoot.
A broadcast storm occurs when a network is overwhelmed by continuous multicast or broadcast traffic. Some of the most common reasons this occurs include poor or faulty technology—such as low-end devices like hubs or repeaters running somewhere on your network—or poorly configured devices. To prevent broadcast storms, you need a solution in place that can ensure all your devices are properly configured, as well as tell you where problematic devices are physically located so you can fix them quickly.
Intermapper to the Rescue: Identifying Key Network Problems With Ease
Intermapper is an easy-to-use network mapping and monitoring software that is both affordable and extremely powerful. It can utilize auto-discovery to identify every device in your network, as well as give you more control over what to monitor by providing manual insertion of devices or subnets.
With Intermapper, you can create network maps that provide real-time insight into the health of your devices and your network. What’s more, Intermapper alerts you when a threshold is about to be breached—wherever you are—so you can take action to remedy the problem before it causes an outage. With our comprehensive network monitoring software, you can quickly identify the cause of high bandwidth utilization or broadcast storms: two of the most common problems IT administrators face as a part of their daily lives.
Not all networks are created equally, which is why we must protect our network from ourselves. Proactively monitoring your network is oftentimes the best way to prevent outages from happening.