Things that were once exceptions are now the norm and ironically a lot of organizations aren’t keeping with the pace of continuous change in network management.The quality levels at which a network operates and executes is extremely critical because these networks carry business-critical services and applications. Not only are they are expected to deliver high-performance, but ideallyno downtime, which drives the need for high network availability. 

Network availability refers to a network’s ability to respond to requests made by those accessing the network. Network Availability can decrease when data bottlenecks occur or when specific devices on a network use more resources than expected. Additionally, network availability is typically included in SLAs established for IT departments.Hence, monitoring your network performance on a regular basis becomes a necessity.


Ensuring high availability


The first step towards ensuring high availability is detectingnetworkissues, determining its cause and then troubleshooting it. It is important to keep a tab on various performance indicators, such as disk space, CPU load, memory utilization, bandwidth utilization, packet loss, latency, errors, discards, and quality of service for any SNMP-enabled devices.


Further, you also need to keep a tab on the performance of the hardware as it has a direct impact on the performance of your network. For instance, if your CPU is overloaded with tasks, its temperature might shoot up sometimes resulting in the malfunction of your devices. If you don’t monitor your CPU temperature, you not only run the risk of shortening the life of your device but also impacting the network performance. 


To ensure uninterrupted network monitoring, you need to have a contingency plan in case of a system failure or a site failure for that matter. Failover is a method employed by most enterprises to ensure that the system availability is resumed within an acceptable time-frame. ‘Disaster Recovery’ is a back-up strategy, especially when your failover plans fall apart. As the enterprise business largely depend on the availability of various services, uninterrupted network monitoring is the way to go.


Choosing the right network monitoring software

Even if you have a network management software in place, you need to ask yourself these basic questions:

  • Does your NMS provide a way to proactively detect problems?
  • Does your NMS automate network mapping when new devices are added to the network?
  • Do you have visibility of your network usage?
  • Are you covered for failures and disasters?
  • Does your NMS support monitoring your wireless devices?

You should look for a single integrated console makes it easy to quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve performance issues before outages occur. Choose a network monitoring software that delivers in a multi-vendor environment and provides:

  • Agentless performance and availability monitoring
  • Automatic network discovery
  • Intelligent network alerting
  • Reporting for hundreds of devices and vital hardware statistics
  • An easily customizable dashboard delivering scalability for even the largest environments with devices from various vendors.

Author: Brad Hale, Product Marketing Principal

Brad Hale is the product marketing principal for SolarWinds network management products.  He brings over 20 years of product management, product marketing, business developement and strategy experience in the software, systems and semiconductor industries.  Brad has a BS in Computer Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Butler University.