Nothing's worse than getting a call that the network is down. Too often, IT lacks the visibility they need to get ahead of performance issues, meaning you're in the dark until a user or customer calls to complain. Once an outage happens, the clock is ticking. And the longer it takes to resolve, the more it costs you: in staff time, lost productivity, and end-user satisfaction.
Routers and switches, virtual servers, wireless devices, and applications of all kinds need a 24/7 network monitoring solution. Keeping tabs on all your critical network technology means you can spot and fix issues fast, before they get worse.
Here are seven reasons network monitoring benefits can lighten IT's load and make your life easier.
Related Content: The Network Professional's Survival Guide
Seven Top Benefits of Network Monitoring
1. Stay ahead of outages
What causes IT outages? Human error, configuration issues, and environmental factors can all contribute. Implementing network monitoring is one of the most basic and simple ways to prevent these outages from happening in the first place.
Network monitoring gives you the visibility you need to stay one step ahead of potential issues. By showing live network performance data in an easy-to-read interface, network monitoring software helps you identify outages that could cause bottlenecks.
2. Fix issues faster
In a down situation, time is money. Network monitoring makes problem-solving easier and faster for time-strapped network professionals.
Whether you're dealing with a configuration error or an abnormal traffic fluctuation, network monitoring software helps you get to the bottom of issues once and for all. Live network maps lead you to the origin of problems, and status windows give you performance metrics over time.
Also, network automation tools help you go one step further. Not only can you identify problems via network monitoring, but you can fix them automatically, without having to get a person involved.
3. Gain immediate ROI
IT teams face heavy workloads and increasingly complex projects, often without the ideal time, staff, or budget needed to complete them. The right network monitoring tool can deliver immediate ROI. Without the need to manually dig into network performance, staff have time back in their day to work on more critical projects. Seeing the source of issues cuts down on tedious troubleshooting time. And getting ahead of IT outages reduces the costs of outages to your organization.
4. Manage growing, changing networks
With technology innovation and the rise in connected devices, today's IT environments are growing in size. The number of Internet-connected things is expected to reach 20.4 billion by 2020, according to one Gartner report—and while most of those devices are consumer-focused, 3.1 billion of those total connected things will be business-related in 2017. Whether that's internet-enabled sensors, wireless devices, or cloud technologies, all this equipment needs to be monitored continuously for major fluctuations and suspicious activity.
Networks are also growing in complexity. Whether you're dealing with cloud migrations or IPv6 transitions, you need flexible, reliable tools to help you monitor all your IP assets and ensure smooth performance—even in the midst of change.
5. Identify security threats
When you don't have budget for intrusion detection software, but still want a tier 1 method to help protect against data breaches, network monitoring can help secure your business-critical data.
A network monitoring tool can provide that first level of security. The biggest benefit you get is a picture of what "normal" performance looks like for your organization, making it easy to spot anything out of the ordinary—whether that's a spike in traffic levels or an unfamiliar device that's connected to your network. By drilling in to figure out when and on what device an event occurred, you're able to take a proactive approach to network security.
6. Justify equipment upgrades
Having a gut sense that a server needs upgrading isn't enough to convince most bosses. But a historic report on how that equipment has performed over the last 12 months is much more compelling.
Network monitoring tools give you that historic insight into how equipment has performed over time. Trends analysis helps you determine if your current technology can scale to meet business needs, or if you need to invest in new technology.
7. Report on SLAs
Keeping your promises with regards to network availability is a top priority to IT consultants and managed service providers. With the ability to report on performance that network monitoring provides, you can more easily meet the requirements of SLAs and ensure the satisfaction of your customers.
Choosing the right tool
There's no shortage of network monitoring vendors to choose from, from open source to free network monitoring software to enterprise products with endless options to upgrade for more features. The best network monitoring and management software sets you up for long-term success by helping you understand the health of your network and identify performance bottlenecks. With a network monitoring tool, getting a snapshot of network health is easy and troubleshooting issues is more efficient.