Network Monitoring solutions, much like the diagnostic and surgical tools of a medical professional, make it easier for the IT team to discover and locate devices installed within the network or operated via the cloud. These systems make it easier for the IT operations team to understand the ongoing issues in real-time, as and when they occur. Whether it is uptime, disk space, or any other performance issues.
The intensity of IT operations can be truly gauged only when you shadow an IT professional for a few days. For them, operations are truly mission-critical, here’s how intense it all can get.
Needle in the Haystack: Using Network Monitoring to Find that One Cause of Problem
Derek had just graduated from a major engineering program in Southern California. His summer job and great repute with the IT team had helped him get a role in the IT Operation Support team at a major automobile component manufacturer, which was already preparing for an IPO. Derek and his team needed to ensure that the IT systems ran as expected. If they failed to do so, they would end up causing major issues with the operations, and the lagged performance might also impact the ongoing valuation for the IPO.
The team had just finished integrating a comprehensive network monitoring tool in the office. Two months after its installation, Derek was still trying to figure out why was the network monitoring system needed. He got to see it in its full action one day when he was about to leave for home.
He was done with his work for the day and decided to take a daily note with his superior before leaving. The daily note-taking session lasted a little longer than Derek expected. When he returned to his desk, his system buzzed with SMS, emails, and other notifications about the network’s real-time monitoring alerts. The system had started lagging a while ago. The off-shore engineering team was having trouble accessing the data of remote testing being conducted in the factory near Derek’s office.
Taking a Structured Approach in an Emergency Situation
Derek got to work. He ran a comprehensive diagnostic test to see where the problem was – at the website, the web server, or the application level. After running a thorough root-cause analysis, the system helped him find an error in the webserver, which had automatically run a security patch that stopped the remote testing team from getting the factory testing data. Derek’s boss was initially furious about having seen the debacle, but after watching him systematically solve the problem, he was impressed by Derek’s structured approach. Derek himself got to see the value of having the network monitoring system.
Over the next few days, Derek started using the network monitoring system to closely observe the IT operations. The system gave him real-time notifications whenever there was a performance anomaly in the network’s hardware or software. With these functionalities, Derek was able to take proactive measures in keeping the system running and was also able to discover potential security threats. The business had been spending millions of dollars running the IT system, and Derek was finally helping the team keep it up.
There were also instances when Derek got the alert after having reached home or before he was about to leave for work. He monitored problems pertinent to workstations, servers, network devices, and applications by using the remote monitoring functionalities.
As a result of these, Derek was able to keep the system running as planned, and the company was able to get the valuation it desired. This was because Derek and his team members were able to fix issues and problems with instant alerts, and had eliminated to separately monitor each component takeconstant backups, antivirus systems, hard-disks, firewalland storage devices. This significantly reduced the IT costs and gave more space for the revenues to grow. Before the IPO was filed, Derek was promoted and even offered ESOP participation that significantly secured his future for the next few years.
Here’s what helped Derek add value to his team and role.
Derek’s story was one of the many incidents that people in IT Operations Teams have witnessed over the years to understand the value of network monitoring systems. With Network Monitoring IT Ops teams visually monitor and observe the performance of their network. With adequate data visualization, it becomes easier for the team to access the most critical information in the simplest way possible. While most dashboards seem identical, a few factors can contribute to effectiveness:
- Demarcated Metrics: The UI should be designed in a way that all the data is visualized in a decluttered format. It is easy for dashboards to overwhelm the user. In order to avoid it, the UI should simplify information communication and allow the user to adjust the metrics as and when necessary.
- Real-Time Updates: Historical data helps in strategic analysis, but that is done hardly once in a month or a quarter. Real-time updates ensure that the IT Ops team can execute its daily responsibilities with ease.
- Single-Screen Network Monitoring: Simplicity is the key metric here. Having too many dashboard screens can create analysis paralysis and make the IT team spend a ton of time in just navigating the screens. The system should be designed in a manner that more information can be easily communicated with fewer screens and clicks.
- Customization Options: Every business and every operation has the need for customizing. It comes down to the freedom and the ease the IT team has in customizing the dashboard as and when necessary.
- Root cause with context: All systems can generate alerts, but a platform that helps you understand the issue to the transaction level. This way, you can use the alerts in the right context to troubleshoot the problem quickly, we have blog on this topic
These features have great value not only in isolation but also on an aggregated basis over the long-run, they can systematically contribute to keeping a watchful eye on key metrics and add to business gains.
Network monitoring has evolved from being a back-office functionality for businesses to becoming a strategic tool to keep the business growing. Businesses are consistently facing technological challenges. If they are scaling and growing their IT infrastructure, not using network monitoring tools can make the same system a liability for the business.
A well-engineered network monitoring system deployed in partnership with a vendor who has a track-record and understands the space can help the business have proactive measures and real-time data helping the IT teams to optimize network availability, run-time, cost, and performance. Motadata Network Monitoring solution offers the most comprehensive offering for ITops to monitor, analyze and resolve incidents, to know more write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and try the product for free.