How to Achieve End-to-End Visibility Within Network Infrastructure

In March 2021, Commander of the United States Cyber Command General Paul Nakasone testified before the U.S. Senate, summarizing a key organizational challenge, "It's not that we can't connect the dots; we can't see all of the dots."

The fact was, government workers in Nakasone's organization needed help achieving visibility for their network, a network visualization challenge faced by enterprises all over the country. Looking at a network infrastructure can be like staring down a foggy street and not being able to see the people or cars coming your way. It’s like not having a visualization tool for enterprise-level networks, which have only become more complicated as organizations adopt hybrid work environments, add more and more endpoints and use the cloud to store data.

This complexity calls for a solution with complete network visibility capabilities. End-to-end visibility is when an IT professional can locate and analyze data covering infrastructure, devices, applications and services. It also provides a holistic view of digital environments and describes how an end user's digital experiences and interaction with technology are affected.

The move to virtualization of servers, networks, storage and applications also makes it tough to achieve end-to-end visibility. Meanwhile, the number of devices connected to the network continues to explode. With all this going on, it’s best for IT teams to pivot away from siloed network monitoring tools and adopt a “single pane of glass” type solution.

End-to-end visibility represents letter E in our ABCs of ITIM series. This blog discusses how IT and network professionals can gain visualization into their networks.

End-to-End Visibility Provides Network Health and Security Insights

Network visibility is the ability to understand the components in your network. When achieving network visibility, administrators can analyze the following network aspects:

  • Network performance
  • Web and data traffic
  • Big data analytics
  • Applications
  • Managed resources

IT and networking teams face several infrastructure monitoring-related challenges: connecting data centers and cloud deployments and ensuring constant connectivity for hybrid or remote work environments.

Achieving end-to-end visibility gives your cybersecurity stack a much-needed boost, especially as cybercrime shows no signs of slowing. In its Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022, IBM found that 83% of the organizations surveyed experienced a data breach of some type. Most data breaches are caused by unknown vulnerabilities or blind spots that are the ideal gateways into your systems for bad actors. But it is when an IT team can finally see who and where the activity is coming from, especially if it is linked to bad actors, that they can act on it.

End-to-end visibility helps admins validate configurations and understand whenever network issues begin affecting the data of business-critical applications. As TechTarget puts it, “If specific applications are business-critical, a manager can use configuration techniques, such as quality of service and traffic policing and shaping, to optimize these important data flows. Visibility can then validate that the performance modifications are working or identify when further configuration adjustments are needed.”

A visibility solution allows you to monitor traffic. For instance, a monitoring tool might provide visibility by alerting you to unexpected behavior such as unacceptably slow response times. These alerts notify technicians and system administrators and enable them to take immediate action to resolve underlying issues.

One way to mitigate visibility roadblocks is to find an automated application monitoring solution that can come from an IT Infrastructure Monitoring (ITIM) tool. When using automated application and network monitoring tools, IT professionals should follow these tips:

  • Start Early: When you implement application monitoring as a priority, administrators understand component dependencies, what problems are being reported (or what isn’t being reported) and how long it could take to address any issue that comes up.
  • Set Up Automated Report Tooling: By alerting on-call administrators when a problem occurs, network teams can fix an issue before a significant application outage occurs.
  • Test, Test, Test: Make sure to test whether your automation tools provide alerts as fast as expected. Network teams should work on any automation issues early on.

But if you seek even greater visibility into your network and where your users’ activity is coming from, Progress WhatsUp Gold's application performance monitoring capabilities may be the solution your team is looking for.

Visualize Where the Traffic and Data Are Coming from by Deploying WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp Gold tracks all network assets' status and overall performance, from devices and applications to servers (both in the cloud and on-premises) while reporting back to the teams involved. More specifically, its Application Performance Monitor add-on provides end-users with a single overlay to monitor enterprise applications over multiple network devices, servers and systems.

With granular, end-to-end network visibility, IT gains invaluable insight into how applications are affecting network performance and connectivity. With this feature, you can filter critical application traffic and monitor who uses each application at specific points of the day. You can then make your application performance more efficient. For example, you can ensure email traffic is not sent to non-email gateways. This reduces, among other components, server processing power and bandwidth usage.

WhatsUp Gold also provides insights into performance statistics and the general application health of the network to IT professionals. Your NetOps team is alerted to application performance degradation and potential issues before they cause service outages.

Enable Visualization and Remove the Metaphorical Fog in Your Network

If your company is currently using a hybrid-cloud network, IT workers may face difficulties seeing where the data and/or traffic is coming from. However, with an end-to-end network visualization solution, professionals can finally see clearly what is affecting the performance of their business-critical applications.

Looking to test out WhatsUp Gold? Download your free trial version today.

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 our current topics.


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