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How Monitoring and Analysis Changes for Remote Offices

Most organizations today are geographically distributed. As a result, these companies are no longer able to handle network issues the way they used to, that is to say, network engineers are no longer able to physically visit a site to test or analyze the network.

Why? It’s either extremely far and remedying the problem would take way too long or companies need to save on cost. Why send a network engineer to Timbuktu, if you had a tool that could easily capture at these remote offices?

Instead, organizations require distributed network management and analysis solutions that can seamlessly extend to remote locations so network administrators can monitor, analyze and troubleshoot their entire network, no matter where they are located in the world.

Deploying a distributed network management and analysis solution both within a company’s network operations center and at each remote office allows network engineers to capture network data for analysis.

Network visibility from remote locations is easy to achieve. Most remote locations have a slower backbone, usually only a 1G link at best, so you have more options for dedicated network monitoring appliances, and even an option of a cost-effective software-only solution with WildPackets. Simply monitor at the ingress/egress point for the remote location’s traffic and you’ll have complete visibility into not only the traffic for that site, but also the latencies between the remote location and your main network operations center.

In addition to selecting the right device for each specific remote location, you also need to have the right overall distributed network solution for the job. Below are three characteristics to look for to ensure you’ll be getting the most out of your complete network monitoring and analysis solution.

Real-time data and analysis
The solution should have a simple data capture agent, so network engineers can begin analyzing critical issues the instant they are reported. Attempting to recreate issues is time consuming. Customers want resolution immediately!

Visibility into all parts of the network
Real-time visibility into every part of the network simultaneously from a single interface is essential. Data must be capable of being aggregated, allowing network engineers to quickly analyze, drill down and fix performance bottlenecks across multiple network segments.

Easy data capture for the non-technical types
Some locations are more critical than others when it comes to monitoring, but it’s important to have at least some visibility everywhere. For offices with less critical data or a small number of employees, having a tool or plug-in in place that allows non-technical users to perform packet captures for remote analysis might just be enough. With a simple capture plan and tool in place, there’s no need for a field engineer to go directly on site; they can simply have a user at the remote office send them all the packets they need to make an assessment and resolve the issue.

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