What is network monitoring?
Network monitoring is the process of capturing, processing, and analyzing data packets that are transmitted or received over a computer network. These data packets can be analyzed for various metrics like bandwidth utilization, packet loss rates, number of dropped connections, etc.
Network monitoring software is used to collect data on the network, analyze it, and provide information about the network’s operation. It can be used for many purposes including:
– Monitoring the performance of networks
– Detecting any performance issues
– Alerting network operators when an issue occurs
– Helping network operators to diagnose and fix problems
What do you need to monitor a network?
Monitoring a network is important to know how well it is performing. A network administrator can monitor different aspects of the network, such as bandwidth usage, server performance, and security.
Monitoring can be done manually or by using network monitoring tools that monitor various aspects of the network.
Monitoring mainly focuses on five key areas: availability, performance, security, capacity planning, and compliance.
How to monitor a network?
Monitoring network traffic can provide businesses with valuable information that can be used to better their IT environments. If there are problems or issues, knowing the network’s performance can let businesses better address them. It is generally done using a network monitoring tool like the Motadata network monitoring tool, which leverages built-in protocols in a network to collect and process data.
Significance of network monitoring tool
An administrator can use network monitoring tools to obtain a birds’ eye view of the entire network’s overall condition, performance, and potential concerns. Network monitoring and management can be set up more easily within a streamlined framework by having real-time network statistics available.
Network monitoring protocols provide essential stats and essential details about network activities, facilitating information flow to and from the network elements and links between them (host and customer).
Data gathered by the network monitoring tools using the protocols are presented graphically to enable administrators to interpret the data to aid with managing network activity.
Different types of technology for monitoring your network
There are many different types of technology for monitoring your network. The most common ones are SNMP, sFlow, NetFlow, and JFlow.
SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol. It is a set of standards that allow you to monitor your network components and devices remotely. SNMP is the most popular protocol for monitoring networks because it is free and open source.
sFlow is a protocol for network traffic analysis and is used to measure the amount of data that is flowing through a network. There are plenty of use cases for sFlow, such as monitoring bandwidth utilization, identifying network bottlenecks, and identifying which applications are using the most bandwidth on a network.
Netflow is a protocol that is used to measure internet traffic. It was created by Cisco Systems in 1996. Netflow can be used for many purposes, such as detecting network congestion and detecting malicious activity on the network. Netflow data can be exported to other software packages for more detailed analysis.
J-Flow is Juniper’s proprietary protocol for collecting and monitoring IP flows. It can be used to sample data on Juniper routers, like how Cisco Netflow works.
How to set up a network monitoring system?
There are many different types of network monitoring systems available on the market today. They vary in complexity and price. The most basic ones are usually free or have a low cost and provide only basic functions such as email alerts for device failures or bandwidth usage alerts. More advanced systems like Motadata offer more features such as graphing, reporting, and alerting on specific events like port scans or failed logins.
A network monitoring system can be set up by following these steps:
– Identify the network components and their respective roles.
– Identify what kind of data you want to monitor, e.g., bandwidth, latency, packet loss, etc.
– Choose a software or hardware solution for your needs.
– Configure the chosen solution according to your needs and requirements.
Network monitoring common practices
There are many different things to monitor, but the most common ones are:
Server Storage monitoring: Disk issues can become a serious problem for business continuity. Disk monitoring can identify I/O operations of logical disks and can help teams establish threshold limits to receive warnings when network metrics reach a critical level set by department or organization.
Availability monitoring: To guarantee organizational functionality, IT infrastructure needs to be available around the clock to meet the needs of contemporary businesses. For that reason, availability monitoring—the process of examining all the networking features and resources within an enterprise to ensure continuous operation—is vital.
Network hardware monitoring: The networking hardware supplies the structure for a whole IT infrastructure. Any issue with the internal network hardware will cause massive network issues. Therefore, it is essential for network hardware monitoring to ensure the stability of the whole network.
Future of network monitoring
It has been predicted that the cloud will play a major role in the coming years for enterprises. If that happens, the only connection that businesses will have with their infrastructure will be via a screen. What does it mean for all the devices like routers, switches, and servers in a network that are generally monitored using a network monitoring system?
The answer is that migration won’t be absolute for most enterprises. Some portion of their infrastructure would be on-premises. This will be a hybrid model where both the public cloud and on-premises work in synergy. At Motadata, we have anticipated this transition for a long time and launched us AIOps solution, which is a next-gen monitoring system that has an AI engine that turns metric, log, and packet data into actionable insight.
With regards to a hybrid infrastructure, our solution aggregates data from the public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises infrastructure to show it on a single dashboard.
Apart from hybrid infra, automation and proactive remediation is something that enterprises dependent on cloud applications would look for. To meet this demand, we offer some of these intelligent features to maximize optimization:
- Automatic discovery of assets across clouds and on-premises.
- Dependency mapping using topology mapping (network map).
- Advanced real-time alerts in the form of anomaly detection to quickly spot a malfunctioning device.
- Predictive capabilities to empower IT admins to do capacity planning.
- Automate setup and configuration using runbook automation.