Networks connect crucial entities of your IT infrastructure. Managing the communication and transfer of a large volume of data between servers, virtual devices, applications, and workstations can sometimes cause network performance issues. Network performance monitoring is necessary to track, identify, and measure specific network performance variables and accurately anticipate potential outages. Specific automation tools can be used to assess network conditions and provide solutions for troubleshooting.
Understanding Network Performance Monitoring
The performance of various networks should be monitored because it allows businesses to understand how networks can be optimized to improve user experience. Professionals usually view the network from the perspective of users for better visualization and troubleshooting. Network performance monitoring helps to provide reports on the availability of networks and the health of the network as it is experienced by the end-users. Networking performance monitoring not only involves monitoring but also optimizing the network. While a cloud migration assessment tool for business can be used for the transfer of client data and company assets, a network performance monitoring tool is necessary for handling network flow data. Various tools for network performance monitoring involve the use of telemetry like device metrics, synthetic tests, logs, as well as packet data. The optimization of packet data is essential because the network can only carry data in packets. Various network flow data tools include NetFlow, jFlow, and IPFIX among others.
There are several benefits of using network performance monitoring for the analysis of flow data. While the network performance tool SNMP or Simple Network Management Protocol can be used, using one like NetFlow for monitoring flow data gives better benefits. SNMP usually focuses on the management and monitoring of all devices connected to the Internet Protocol networks. SNMP works well for the relay or transfer of management data, especially in a LAN or WAN environment with a single or multi-vendor setup. However, if businesses require insights based on traffic patterns, a network flow data tool is better for monitoring purposes. Network flow tools give a comprehensive and well-rounded view of the traffic network. Such tools allow professionals to monitor WAN traffic, network bandwidth utilization as well as support QoS validation. Professionals can also rely on these tools for performance monitoring and troubleshooting to provide better networking for users.
How can you achieve network performance monitoring?
To achieve the best network performance monitoring, businesses need to invest in the right technological solutions. These network performance monitoring solutions will be collecting various kinds of data from many different sources. These sources include flow data, SNMP, and network packets. Once the data has been collected, it needs to be segregated and then analyzed. Businesses often use data center migration planning tools to relocate their data center and change the operating environment without losing any data. This is done to enable better optimization and analysis and the metrics obtained help to create better services. Similar metrics are found after the analysis of network data. These help businesses understand the health of the applications running over the network and if the network is functioning properly. To achieve accurate network performance monitoring reports, the tools need to be applied to hardware as well as virtual software applications.
Several companies use cloud enablement services for software applications and business workloads. These companies usually host their resources and IT infrastructure in cloud environments. According to Gartner reports, disruption can be caused by the cloud and therefore, businesses should focus their network performance monitoring solutions on cloud software. All cloud software solutions in network performance monitoring help to provide complete transparency. They work well across multi-cloud or even hybrid environments.
When investing in network performance monitoring, there are two ways in which the most can be achieved for flow data and SNMP:
1. Network Performance Monitoring of Flow Data
Various network devices like switches, routers, and gateways generate huge volumes of data when accessed by users. This data is known as flow data and it is similar to the information one receives on mobile phone bills. The flow data helps network providers understand which devices are connected, which users are communicating with each other, and what data is being transferred. Flow data can also be analyzed to know the time and method of data transfer. However, no user information is compromised as the network providers cannot know what the data packet contains. For complete network performance monitoring, every aspect of flow data needs to be optimized. This requires a thorough collection of data from every device connected to the network.
2. Network Performance Monitoring with SNMP
Network performance monitoring includes the management of network devices as well as their functions. With a simple network management protocol or SNMP, it is easier to monitor and find out if there are any issues within the network. Network infrastructure failures or outages can occur at any time and users find it difficult to access and use the network. To detect such problems, SNMP can be used. SNMP provides data on 3 distinct aspects of the network: network diagnostics, interface availability, and performance indicators. Network diagnostics usually include the functioning of devices connected to the network. The interface availability helps to understand the user perspective and response to interface navigability. Performance indicators can include several aspects like latency, packet loss, discards, bandwidth utilization, and more. Various kinds of hardware support the application of SNMP. It can be used on routers, switches, the internet of things or IoT devices, as well as printers and scanners.
The best way to ensure network performance monitoring is to apply it to both flow data and network devices that support SNMP. This will help to effectively optimize the network and troubleshoot when necessary.
Network performance monitoring solutions run routine tests to detect anomalies in the network. Due to rapid technological advancements, analysts and researchers are developing models and simulations that can assess the performance without any negative impact on the network service. This is essential to manage IT outages that could hamper business service availability.