Challenges of Network Monitoring

Below are the top eight challenges involved in network monitoring—to understand why it's so imperative to have a good network monitor.

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Every organization looking to ace their network-dependent business needs a feature-rich monitoring tool that not only monitors the basic metrics but goes an extra mile in supporting the needs of the enterprise. However, there are some frequent challenges that network admins face while monitoring their networks. Below are the top eight challenges involved in network monitoring—after reading them, you’ll understand why it’s so imperative to have a good network monitor.

Top 8 challenges of network monitoring

  1. Achieving fuller network visibility
  2. Setting performance baselines
  3. Adapting to amalgamated monitoring
  4. Comprehending network diagrams
  5. Planning capacity
  6. Eliminating network blindspots to avoid network downtime
  7. Implementing proactive fault notification
  8. Managing distributed networks

1. Achieving fuller network visibility

The first step to understanding your network better is gaining deeper visibility into it. Better visibility allows you to monitor traffic patterns closely and helps identify any suspicious behavior within the network. A clearly presented network architecture gives actionable insights to help you evaluate and improve performance metrics like availability, latency, bandwidth, and packet loss. Smart visualization techniques help improve performance, efficiency, and security. A network monitoring tool that provides holistic visibility into the architecture empowers you with information across various functions of the organization. 

2. Setting performance baselines

Setting a performance baseline is the first step to monitoring your network effectively. Every enterprise has different expectations for a network monitoring tool, so a performance baseline shouldn’t be an estimated value. You should track everyday performance to understand what level is optimal, which usually requires a series of iterations to set a performance baseline. This helps your network-dependent enterprise scale performance and boost productivity.

3. Adapting to amalgamated monitoring

There are two types of monitoring: active and passive. Active monitoring involves monitoring the active devices present in the network in real time, and resolves all performance bottlenecks instantly. On the other hand, passive monitoring involves creating a simulated version of the network with simulated performance hogs to safeguard the network against any threats in the future. Active monitoring makes sure your network is immune in the present, while passive monitoring prepares your network for the future. This comes as a challenge because most enterprises believe in practicing only one type of monitoring. However, deploying both types of monitoring is essential to keep your network running at all times.

4. Comprehending network diagrams

Network diagrams empower you with a clear picture of the entire network. With the help of symbols and arrows, these diagrams map out an idea of how the organization’s network actually looks. With this as a framework, it’s much easier to virtually refurbish your existing network without actually bringing about any physical change. This way, you needn’t stop your services until you actually revamp your network, saving a lot of time and money. With the network growing each day, it would be difficult if you had to update it manually every time. Agile network diagram software that updates on a periodic basis is all that’s needed to reduce the human effort and save time and money.

5. Planning capacity

With new devices evolving, the network architecture becomes more complex—and forecasting the capacity of each setup is even more complex. An ambitious network is always meant to grow. Keeping this in mind, it’s necessary to forecast the capacity. Metrics like traffic and utilization have to be evaluated over a period to understand the capacity. This helps you plan right and build a vision for your organization. Improper planning leads to exhausted resources and increased costs. A network monitoring tool with intuitive capacity forecasting can help overcome this.

6. Eliminating network blindspots to avoid network downtime

Network downtime directly eats up the money you have invested in your business. Network failure or outages impact productivity and brand reputation, in turn affecting business leads. It’s important for network admins to keep all metrics in check at all times to ensure continuity of services. Metrics like latency, CPU utilization, and bandwidth utilization require regular monitoring, whereas some other metrics require only periodic monitoring.
However, the part of the network that isn’t monitored becomes a blindspot; these blindspots make it difficult to comprehend the exact status of the network. A network monitoring tool with automatic device discovery eliminates this situation.

7. Implementing proactive fault notification

Network security is yet another challenge in monitoring the network. A proactive network monitoring tool should bridge the gap between your network and security breaches. Notifications can help keep you informed about any threshold being infringed. A customizable notification system that alerts you via SMS, emails, run programs, system commands, sound alerts, syslogs, log tickets, and more makes these tools a forerunner in notifying about faults, and in ensuring that you don’t miss any notifications. A monitoring tool with a smart notification system that has adaptive thresholds can help you maintain a healthy network and ensure you’re alerted about every breach.

8. Managing distributed networks

With businesses growing, a potent network monitoring tool that manages distributed networks across different geographies is crucial. A distributed network isn’t an independent framework but a subset of the entire network. Multiple offices in different locations and a hybrid working model can make monitoring very challenging. In such cases, each network has a different expectation out of monitoring. Not every organization operates on a large scale with a separate IT arm. Hence, a network monitoring tool that can manage this distributed ecosystem from a centralized setup is essential. Network admins looking to ace their network monitoring should look out for tools that have features beyond the basic metrics.

How OpManager helps overcome the challenges of network monitoring

ManageEngine OpManager, robust network monitoring software, helps resolve the challenges faced by network admins everywhere with its enterprise-standard smart solutions. OpManager supports out-of-the-box monitoring by actively monitoring basic metrics along with satisfying specific monitoring needs. Its dynamic SNMP traps perform passive monitoring, and the innate capacity forecaster eliminates the challenge of improper capacity planning. Its adaptive thresholds help recognize any hogs in performance and instantly alert you through smart, actionable notifications. The color codes help you understand the criticality of the threshold breach in seconds.

OpManager’s smart visualization techniques include Layer 2 maps, business views, custom maps, topology diagrams, and 3D floor and rack views to help network admins understand the network architecture effortlessly. OpManager’s automatic device discovery and crisp inventory page help your network uncover blindspots instantly. With OpManager becoming more adaptive to newer work models, its frequent feature updates make it one of the most desirable network monitoring tools. Sign up for a free, personalized demo today and learn why over one million network administrators chose us. Also, you can explore on your own with OpManager’s free, fully functional, 30-day trial version.

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Aiswarya Giridharan

Aiswarya Giridharan

Aiswarya works as technical content writer at ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corporation. On a typical day at work, you can see her breaking the networking domain nuances into stories that anyone can read over coffee.

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