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So, how can a company make the wisest possible network monitoring solution decision? IT administrators must first be familiar with their requirements and areas of application. It’s also useful to consult with a qualified reseller or service provider who is experienced in network monitoring and knows their customer’s network. Network monitoring software should free staff to perform useful tasks other than keeping a steadfast eye on infrastructure and all connected systems. Software selection ideally will also correspond to network size and what within it needs to be controlled, such as servers, switches and workplace computers and connections between these elements, to external locations and the Internet. Website and email communication must always be stringently monitored.
Network growth presents another important consideration. It’s always best to choose a monitoring solution flexible enough to accommodate growth, as well as for its ability to support the most common protocols and technologies given the fact that most networks are highly heterogeneous IT landscapes. Also, systems that support monitoring of remote locations or distributed networks inherently address eventual company growth.
For a long-term overview of operational trends and overall network performance, it is highly beneficial for IT personnel to choose software that both tracks and archives bandwidth, performance and availability data in detailed and clear graphs, reports and lists. Ready access to highly readable information highlight recognizable trends and serve as the foundation for required network improvements and changes.
In case of emergency, network monitoring alarms are essential for alerting personnel of existing errors and reached or crossed thresholds.
Irrespective of functionality or complexity, the best network monitoring systems are highly intuitive, user-friendly and feature clear and easily understood menus across Windows, Web and mobile interfaces.
Before making a final selection of a network monitoring solution, companies must assure that the vendor offers full transparency regarding costs, licensing and integrated upgrade options.
The most effective monitoring solutions support and protect networks, result in cost savings by enabling IT personnel to perform other tasks, and reveal otherwise unrecognizable optimization possibilities. However, only when they’re squarely attuned to overall network requirements can they be leveraged to their full potential.
As monitoring is often a new topic within a business, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced reseller or system vendor who not only helps one to find the best fitting tool, but who can also assist with implementation and setup of the new monitoring solution. Businesses should also be mindful not only of current operational requirements, but should also have an eye toward future needs.