Experts agree that monitoring is essential for maintaining overall network performance, health and security. But exactly which features should a network monitoring tool offer, and how should the technology be used to achieve maximum effectiveness? As both networks and network management goals advance and evolve, these questions are becoming increasingly difficult to answer, making it challenging to locate and deploy a monitoring technology that covers all of the essential bases.
The network underpins the entire business. "When it goes down, so does business productivity and, ultimately, business revenues," observed Kathie Lyons, executive vice president and general manager of ParkView, the automated support division of Park Place Technologies, a data center maintenance service provider. "It's vital to have a network monitoring tool for end-to-end visibility and management of the entire network," she added. Constant, reliable monitoring allows IT and other managers to understand how well the network is supporting critical applications and business goals.
A network monitoring tool should be flexible and easily customizable to meet the needs of specific types of end-users. "Through custom dashboards, analytics, and reports, IT organizations need to be able to manage what’s important to them," Lyons said. She noted that the tool should also be able to cover the entire IT network ecosystem, including servers, storage, and network devices, in both physical and virtual forms. "As a company grows, whether it's by organic or acquisition [means], the tool should offer easy, unlimited scalability and extensibility for the entire network," Lyons stated.
The key feature to look for in a network monitoring tool is coverage, advised Edmond Baydian, CTO of Optanix, an IT service assurance technology provider.