Ever try to fix a network problem with a blindfold on? Do you wonder why users are complaining about crashes and shoddy performance without knowing where to look? This sorry state is because you can’t SEE the network, which makes it murder to DO anything about it.

For this entry in our ABCs of ITIM series, we are taking some liberties with the term WhY You MUST Use Network Monitoring and using it for our letter "Y". Read more about what the need for Network Monitoring and how it can help improve operational efficiency and business continuity.

1. Visibility

Ah, so you won’t be surprised if we name visibility as the first reason whY you should use network monitoring. After all, you can’t fix what’s broken if you don’t know what exactly is not working, how, why, and where things went wrong.

The best approach is to monitor all parts of your network, including all devices and traffic. This is the optimum way to track the health of your network and spot performance lags. “Just keeping track of everything on your network can be a challenge. Automated network mapping tools, as part of your network monitoring, can provide a complete view of even the most complex ecosystems,” the Benefits of Networking Monitoring blog explained.

2. Discovery

Seeing every relevant item on the network starts with discovering these components, devices and applications. Progress WhatsUp Gold has been doing this kind of discovery for decades.

WhatsUp Gold uses layer 2/3 discovery to build a detailed interactive map of your network infrastructure. It can monitor and map everything from the edge to the cloud. This means devices, servers, virtual machines, and applications. You can also track and analyze configurations and traffic flows across Windows, LAMP and Java environments.

3. Preventing Downtime

Downtime is not only a productivity killer, but it also costs gobs of money and puts IT under intense pressure from management.

Monitoring helps prevent these outages by spotting warning signs of a device failure or network problem.

While keeping the network up makes IT look good, getting it to perform makes IT look even better. Network performance monitoring allows IT teams to optimize performance for more efficient operations, happier end users and – even happier managers.

4. Finding and Fixing Problems Quickly

Think of network monitoring as akin to auto diagnostics in your local garage. These devices changed everything for the average grease monkey. Instead of manually checking every component, the diagnostic tool gains visibility by scanning or ‘discovering’ the car, and the mechanic is altered to the source of the problem.

Similarly, network monitoring helps isolate issues quickly. “Whether it’s a traffic fluctuation, a configuration error, or something more serious, network maps can help you quickly find the origin of the problem. Network automation tools, as part of your monitoring solution, can fix many problems automatically,” the Network Monitoring Benefits blog explained.

Meanwhile, finding and analyzing problems reduces Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), and lets your IT team focus on other issues. Knowing where problems lie saves time and money. Fixing them quickly minimizes losses related to outages and outages themselves. “Many businesses have specific applications, services, or servers they rely on for their employees to get their jobs done. In some scenarios, when these systems become unavailable, employees are unable to work and generate revenue for the business,” the IT Infrastructure Monitoring for Dummies eBook argued.

5. Monitoring Bandwidth

Bandwidth congestion can bring network performance to a crawl, leaving you with unhappy employees, partners and customers. By monitoring bandwidth utilization, IT gets an early clue that things are starting to slow. When bandwidth usage nears critical levels, IT is alerted so it can fix an issue, or reallocate bandwidth. And with a careful eye on bandwidth, meeting quality of service (QoS) goals is that much easier.

6. Capacity Planning

Network usage is constantly changing – most often in the direction of needing more capacity (when was the last time you needed less?).

By tracking and monitoring performance and utilization, IT can see when utilization is spiking, and add capacity to handle these high demands. Network monitoring reports can benchmark current performance, along with demand trends to predict future capacity needs and develop an intelligent plan to upgrade the network more accurately.

This data supports the case for network investments during budget time. When IT has clear evidence that the network performance is lagging due to increased use, it is easier to persuade the bosses to upgrade systems.

7. Deploying New Technologies

Network monitoring is critical in the deployment of new technologies. Monitoring can show if the network can handle the additional devices or applications. After deployment, monitoring can spot if the performance is up to par.

8. Freeing Up IT Teams

One often overlooked value of network monitoring tools is saving IT time. The unceasing growth of networks, and their increased complexity is a huge burden on network teams that are commonly understaffed – yet given high standards to meet. Network monitoring tools help IT teams control the network without manually finding problems, and getting to work fast on critical issues with the help of proactive alerts. Network monitoring solutions make it faster and easier to identify, isolate, and repair issues.

All this free time can be used to focus on IT projects that drive topline growth.

9. Producing Return on Investment

Network monitoring delivers a positive and measurable ROI. By saving a mere one hour of downtime a year, the monitoring more than pays for itself. There’s also tremendous value in reducing support calls, shrinking the time it takes to resolve problems, and providing a high level of network performance for organizational efficiency.

View All of The ABCs of Infrastructure Monitoring

Looking to start on the basics of IT infrastructure monitoring? Our alphabetized index is an excellent place to begin or extend your education. View all of our current topics.


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