The IT life was simpler when employees each had one desktop computer and one landline phone. Technology did not move. It was stationary. Nowadays we have laptops, smart phones, and tablets that are both mobile and connected. And they have no wires. You are told that applications are mission critical,  expected to be accessible by people at a speed that optimizes productivity, and available to people inside and outside the organization. And who else wants access all the time? Hackers and other online criminals. As if you had enough to worry about.

On top of all of this, your IT budget might be flat or lower than last year. It is not an easy situation to manage. Fortunately there ways to face these challenges in a way that makes your life easier without paying a high price.

Network monitoring systems for IT operations do not need to come from a Big IT Company to provide what you need. Ask yourself the following questions when determining the most efficient and affordable IT monitoring technologies:

Are you distracted?
If you spend hours, days or even weeks trying to chase down the source of a problem, your to-do list will get dusty and important tasks will get delayed. Many organizations accumulate multiple monitoring products over time and those products can’t generally "talk" to each other. As a result, you cannot see all the pieces and parts of your network infrastructure as they relate to one another -- from database applications all the way down to individual network components. Pesky intermittent problems can sometimes go unresolved for months. This is all way too much of a distraction.

Are you over-licensed?
There are products designed for networks with millions of devices that cost millions of dollars. You don't have to spend like a Fortune 100 company in order to get the functionality you require. Buy a license based upon the number of devices you need to monitor, regardless of the number of interfaces, volumes or applications per device. If you have license based upon elements - such as nodes, interfaces and volumes - you may pay less upfront but you will pay more in the long run.

Are you unified?
Can you view your IT infrastructure in a way that unifies the status of all physical and virtual attributes? If there is trouble coming your way, you probably want to see it quickly. If you are away from your desk, you might like to get a notification to check things out. Unify IT operations management under one interface and you can stop hunting and start solving.

Are you up?
A unified management screen helps maintain uptime because it will uncover the downtime culprit in the chain of technologies linked to any particular application. When the speed of access to applications starts to crawl, a unified system can identify the traffic jam by gathering information from every point on the network -- including virtual, physical and private cloud environments. Imagine identifying the root cause of a problem in minutes instead of hours,  and fixing it quickly enough that your users' experience remains unchanged.

That might be the kind of simplicity that makes the rest of your tough job a little easier to manage.

At the end of the day, a unified, simple and affordable network monitoring and management system will provide more uptime for your network -- and more upbeat moods from those who rely upon you to do their jobs.


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