Virtualization Technology News and Information
6 Benefits of Network Monitoring for Network Issue Mitigation and Prevention

By Kate Priestman, Head Of Marketing, Global App Testing

network monitoring 

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The digital transformation has seen the internet become a central part of human life. It's how we access the latest news, entertainment, and keep in touch with loved ones. But the digital transformation changed the enterprise landscape too.

Internet access and computer technology revolutionized the working world from the 1990s onwards. Today, technology is a necessity for most businesses to function. This is why business networks must remain functional. According to Gartner, just an hour of network downtime costs $300,000 on average in losses.

With such catastrophic consequences, it's clear to see why network monitoring is vital for mitigating and preventing issues before they escalate. As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

What Exactly Is Network Monitoring?

Network monitoring is the overseeing of a computer network to spot performance issues, slowing or failing components, and other potential problems. Network monitoring is usually performed using specialized network monitoring software. This software constantly monitors your network's functionality and overall health, paying specific attention to severs, firewalls, switches, and virtual machines. 

Network monitoring software tracks and collects data across several network parameters, including availability, packet loss, throughput, and storage performance. If the data collected from these parameters fall below the required performance threshold, your monitoring software will perform an automated fix or notify you of the issue.

Large and growing businesses require larger networks, and monitoring can become a mammoth task. But a solid network monitoring system simplifies the process by automating most of the checks an IT administrator would perform. All this means you can focus resources elsewhere, leaving IT staff to work on other important tasks.

6 Benefits of Network Monitoring

The greatest benefit of monitoring your network's metrics is that when things are operating well, your business can run well. Employees become liberated from manual network troubleshooting, and customers can access your website and services hiccup-free. Win!

Then there's also the sheer cost of network downtime. Statista found in 2019 that 25% of businesses would lose between $301,000 - $400,00 for just one hour of network downtime.


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Let's look specifically at six of the greatest benefits of network monitoring for issue mitigation and prevention.

1.    Is It Always a Network Issue?

It's easy to blame the network when things go wrong, but that's not always the source of the problem.

Pinpointing an exact fault location can be tricky. Several other subsystems make up a typical service delivery environment, with some even being hosted in the cloud. Don't assume your network is to blame.

Say you've found a good and cheap VoIP service for your business. Unfortunately, you run into an issue. No problem, a quick check of your network monitoring can indicate whether there's an issue at your end. If not, your administrators can get in touch with the VoIP provider to see if it's an issue on their side.

Too often, these scenarios result in a back and forth with the VoIP provider claiming the problem isn't on their end, before simply blaming the internet connection. By utilizing network monitoring and deploying monitoring agents in strategic locations, it's possible to clearly lay out who's responsible. 

Essentially, your network monitoring provides an assessment of:

  • The cause and source of the network issue.
  • When and where it happened.
  • Who is responsible for fixing it.

In a sense, your network monitoring aids service providers in finding and fixing a fault on their end. It also protects you from receiving poor service. 

2.    Detect Issues Before Users Do


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One of the most important reasons for network monitoring is detecting issues before users do.

Offering a fault-free experience for users is paramount, but it can be a challenge to find problems from a user's perspective.

Traditional monitoring tools, like those that use SNMP polling, are not designed to give performance stats from the user's perspective. They're mostly reactive tools, and whilst helpful, are not so great at detecting potential user issues early.

But good network performance monitoring covers all the blind spots to collect detailed information about network performance issues.

A network performance monitoring tool will:

  • Simulate real user traffic.
  • Establish a network performance baseline.
  • Deploy monitoring agents.
  • Quickly identify and solve issues.

With suitable monitoring, you'll be able to spot and fix user issues before they're even noticed.

3.    Troubleshoot Network Slowdown and Not Just Failures.

Most monitoring solutions look for faults, often neglecting network slowdown in the process. But it's just as important to make sure things are running fast and smooth for users, even if there are no faults.

A continuous network monitoring system is the ideal tool for detecting slowdowns. It works by simulating real user traffic between several points in your network, allowing you to measure actual performance from the user's perspective. It's essentially like having an automated team of testers working around the clock.

Whenever a slowdown is reported, for instance, a slow website or a problem with email deliverability, the monitoring software will locate it and help resolve it.

4.    Provide Historical Data and Establish a Baseline

Several tools exist online for diagnosing network issues. For example, ping tests, traceroute, and web-based speed-tests all measure certain aspects of your network.

The problem is, to gain any value from this data, it needs to be compared to other data.

Performance monitoring tools use historical data as a baseline to measure your new findings against. For example, an increase in ping speed from last month could be a sign of network trouble. You're now able to make sense of your data.

Historical data can also help you solve past events. For example, a customer logs a complaint on Saturday about poor performance. When you arrive at work on Monday to respond, accessing historical data allows you to pinpoint the issue, inform the user, and prevent it in the future.

In summary, the benefits of historical data include:

  • A comparison site between optimal and weak network performance.
  • Alerts of performance degradation.
  • Able to troubleshoot past network events.

5.    Distributed Monitoring for a Smooth Cloud Transition


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With cloud-based solutions for everything, from CRMs and ERPs to office tools and mobile app testing services, it's no surprise to see businesses moving with the times.

Accessing services through a centralized internet getaway - often miles away- is no longer good enough in 2021. The milliseconds taken for each transaction are too slow, which is why businesses are reverting to using local internet gateways in each location. With IoT devices making access easy, the transition to the cloud makes sense.

But the transition to cloud-based services and its more distributed architecture can complexify data flows between users, thereby making traditional monitoring tools redundant. A good distributed network monitoring solution will monitor your network's performance, and ensure that your network's performance is monitored from all possible angles.

6.    Gain Maturity by Monitoring Otherwise Undetectable Parameters

Network performance monitoring lets you spot problems that traditional methods may overlook.

One reason is that they simulate real user scenarios. It's effectively like having IT staff running constant ad hoc tests everywhere. All this extra collected performance data can then be used to your advantage.

One of the best uses of this data is capacity planning, in a very broad sense. We don't just mean throwing in more bandwidth. Any bandwidth monitoring solution will do that.

True network performance monitoring tools let you make accurate diagnostics and ask further network questions about:

  • The inherent design of your network.
  • Necessary equipment and hardware.
  • The size of equipment needed and working space required.
  • The performance of your network providers (including their SLAs).
  • The operation and maintenance of your network.

The data collected from these can also be analyzed to help you:

  • Make decisions about custom-building or growing your network.
  • Provide invaluable insights for improvements and costs. 
  • Identify the need for additional internal or external resources.

Final Thought

In this guide, we've looked at what network monitoring is and some of the major benefits of deploying it for your business.

In summary, your network monitoring should:

  • Assure your network's performance.
  • Detect and fix network issues (often via automation.)
  • Address the needs of reduced IT teams with smaller remote resources.
  • Provide key data for making decisions.

A key takeaway here is that performance monitoring tools provide much more useful data about your network than traditional methods. This doesn't mean your trusty SNMP monitor is obsolete, but using it in conjunction with network performance monitoring is the way to go.

So, stay ahead of your problems and reap the benefits of network monitoring today.



Kate Priestman - Head Of Marketing, Global App Testing

Kate Priestman 

Kate Priestman is the Head of Marketing at Global App Testing, a trusted and leading end-to-end functional testing and smoke testing solution for QA challenges. Kate has over 8 years of experience in the field of marketing, helping brands achieve exceptional growth. She has extensive knowledge on brand development, lead and demand generation, and marketing strategy - driving business impact at its best. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Published Tuesday, December 14, 2021 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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