A network isn’t just a technology backbone that supports a business. It is the business. When networks, servers or apps fail, things can come to a full stop. That is, except help desk tickets. Those will start showing up like a flash mob, descending upon the IT team full of complaints and concerns that take up time needed to solve the problem. It’s a vicious cycle that no IT pro wants to deal with.

IT teams clearly need highly available, high-performance networks in order to keep their businesses humming along and their users happy. Not to mention being able to accommodate for cloud, mobile and even the Internet of Things (IoT).

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Unfortunately, not every IT team can keep their network humming along when they’re struggling to do their jobs with a hodgepodge of network management tools.

You Can't Manage What You Can't See

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) asked network managers to identify their top challenges to successfully operating their networks. The details have been published in EMA’s 2016 Network Management Megatrends report and summarized within a free white paper entitled “How High-Performance IT Teams Monitor Their Networks”.

What was the number one challenge reported by network managers? A lack of end-to-end visibility. It makes perfect sense considering it’s pretty hard to manage what you can’t see.

Here's the full list of top challenges, in order:

  • Lack of end-to-end visibility (25%)
  • Lack of visibility and control of external clouds (23%)
  • Fragmented network management tools (19%)
  • A lack of cross-domain visibility (19%)

EMA reasons that IT teams will have a better go at it if they consolidate their network management tools and integrate fewer pieces of technology across domains. We tend to agree.

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Network Management Tools: An Over-Population Problem

A lack of end-to-end visibility across a network is partially the industry’s fault. Network management tools were developed with narrow functional scopes. For example, one tool gets designed to solely discover network devices, another tool maps those devices, while a third one monitors device metrics. Given this overcrowded software population, IT teams had to pivot from one tool to another to accumulate all the data they need to keep things running and meet SLAs.

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So what have vendors  done to fix this? They've developed consolidated, multi-function network monitoring and management systems that streamline operations.IT teams get the value of simplicity. Unfortunately, the legacy of discrete, narrow-functioned network monitoring and management tools operating within most businesses isn’t a problem that can go away on its own.

Tune in to our free June 15 webinar entitled "How High-Performing IT Teams Tame Network Complexity" to learn how consolidating network management tools can provide the visibility any IT team needs to do their jobs and keep their businesses from going off the rails.


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