What Are the Latest and Greatest Network Monitoring Best Practices?

If you want to keep your network running at its best and reduce network downtime, then network monitoring is vitally important. It allows you to monitor the network for any signs of slow, failing, or otherwise substandard performance. Using this information, you can track down the component that’s not working correctly and fix it or replace it.

This means that you get a network that is always running at its peak performance. This allows your business and employees to stay productive. It’s a vital link in the chain: don’t neglect it.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some network monitoring best practices that can help you make the most of your network monitoring software and keep your network running properly. Are you ready to learn more and start improving your business’ technological capabilities? Then read on!

1. Establish Your Baseline

Network monitoring is all about spotting abnormal behavior on your network. Yet how can you recognize abnormal behavior if you don’t know what normal behavior is?

The first thing that you should do is monitor your network over the course of a few weeks and build up a picture of what your network normally looks like. Which components are the fastest and which are the slowest? Where are there predictable increases in temperature?

Knowing the answers to these kinds of questions are absolutely vital, as many normal networking behaviors can cause changes that look, to the untrained eye, like there’s something wrong. For instance, there may be a component of yours that runs hot during peak hours when it’s under a heavy load. If you didn’t know this, you may think that there’s a problem with this component’s cooling.

Before you start to look for problems, learn what your network looks like during normal operation.

2. Configure Your Network Monitoring Tools Properly

Configuring your network monitoring tools is vital. The tools will only create an alert and notify you that something is wrong if you’ve set it up to do so, which means that this is a top priority.

Think about the specific parameters and network KPIs that you want to monitor: trying to monitor everything will likely result in an information overload, so you need to specify what you’re going to monitor and set the notification thresholds. For instance, a CPU going to 100 percent for a few minutes isn’t necessarily anything to worry about, but if it’s running at capacity for hours at a time, then you should be concerned.

You’ll also need to tweak your notification settings. You need to be able to receive an alert at any time, should something go wrong, so make sure that the settings are configured to do just that.

3. Notifying the Right Person

Of course, you shouldn’t be expected to deal with every aspect of the network if something goes wrong, unless you’re only managing a very small network. So, how can you make sure that the right person is notified?

You need to create an escalation matrix. Think about who is in charge of different parts of the network. For instance, if you’re spread over two different offices, then you need to make sure the other administrator is notified if something goes wrong in that office.

If something goes very seriously wrong, you need to be able to notify someone senior, if a small issue occurs in your office, you need to be notified, and so on.

Creating an escalation matrix can cut your company’s reaction time down dramatically. You won’t be wondering who to contact and how to get in touch with them, as you’ll already have configured this into the software. This means that smaller issues won’t escalate into more severe ones.

4. Create a Failover

When you manage and monitor devices on a network, the last thing that you want to happen is for the network monitoring system to fail. Yet without a failover solution, if the network goes down, then so does your network monitoring.

This can make it far harder to resolve any issues that have occurred, as you won’t be able to access the network monitoring tools and check reports. Your network monitoring system should have a backup system that will start up if the first one goes down.

5. Monitor Every Layer of Your Network

When you’re dealing with something sophisticated as an IT network, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. The components of the network can overheat, they can experience a lack of bandwidth, there could be a RAM bottleneck.

To manage this, you need to monitor every layer of your network, from cables, to IP addresses, to the services that are running on a particular server. Doing this allows you to more effectively diagnose the cause of any issues, which means that you can fix them faster too.

6. Plan for and Expect Growth

Your network will grow over time, provided that your business is successful. Network monitoring tools often come with a limit on the number of resources that you can monitor, which means that over time, you may need to switch to bigger and better network monitoring tools.

If possible, you should look to transition to a new tool that allows you to import historic data, too. The older components of the network still need monitoring and will still need to meet the same thresholds as before.

Use These Tips for Better Network Monitoring

For the most effective network monitoring, you need to make use of these tips. They can help you notice and solve issues a lot faster, which can stop them from escalating.

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