As we move closer to business models where organisations’ overall business functionality, efficiency, and security are progressively more reliant on the network infrastructure, the importance of a tool to keep the network’s health and performance in check becomes paramount. A network failure or outage, now more than ever, can have severe consequences for businesses as it affects both the day-to-day internal operations and the external functions like websites and sales.
A professional NMS can be well worth the investment, keeping in view the damage that comes with a network outage or momentary downtime.
NMS should help ensure that the digital infrastructure functions smoothly by providing network administrators with immediate and actionable information to manage the several individual components of a network. A proficient NMS should provide monitoring and management options for both software and hardware components in a network.
Listed below are the four core functionalities expected from a profitable NMS:
NMS should help speed up the troubleshooting process by facilitating data correlation across the innumerable components of a network infrastructure. A visual representation of key system performance metrics on a common timeline can streamline the troubleshooting process and take hours off of damage control.
NMS should also provide network packet path visibility from source to destination to analyse network latency to help troubleshoot issues related to network connectivity.
IT professionals can save time on looking through event logs when they can establish whether the issue being faced is from the network itself or an application bug. This helps with pinpointed troubleshooting and accelerates the problem-solving process.
Configuration changes are daily events in dynamic, multi-vendor networks. Tracking these changes is a tedious task for most network administrators, especially since the effects of a configuration change are not always immediately visible. A reverse-engineered approach works much better here as it allows for backtracking and rolling back onto older configurations.
Therefore, an NMS must provide options such as taking configuration backups, rolling back to older configurations, uploading configurations to devices, etc. and should support a multitude of vendors for such devices. This is especially important for critical devices or applications that may experience downtime as a result of a bad configuration change. An NMS should help reduce downtime by making it easier for a network administrator to switch between configurations and accelerate recovery.
Flow data offers an incredible understanding of establishing the nature of one’s network infrastructure. Each flow generating device can produce overwhelming amounts of data, which makes analysing it a staggering task.
Network flow continues to be one of the most proficient methods to gather and store data about the endpoints, applications, and clients that make up the digital infrastructure, thereby making its role in network security a rather significant one.
Each flow analysis tool will pull out different sets of data from the flow traffic collected. Listed below are some of the core functionalities that a flow analyzer should be able to provide:
Network monitoring, network management and flow analysis come together to form the backbone of network infrastructure monitoring. Combined, these can help resolve complex network issues, making root cause analysis, fault isolation and downtime reduction a much more achievable goal. A flexible and robust NMS is a must for any organisation seeking network automation, monitoring and management.
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