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How to Choose the Right Network Monitoring Solution

The global network monitoring tool market continues to grow. Now more than ever network managers need to be able to maintain complex networks around the clock, creating an increased need for network monitoring solutions.

Although the need for network monitoring is clear, once you actually start searching for the right one, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are many options to choose from, and it’s important to find the right solution to fit your company’s unique needs. A good place to start is with the basics. Be sure to choose a network monitoring solution that offers these key features:

Clear reporting: A user-friendly network monitoring solution provides details about performance, bandwidth, traffic, and availability in multiple formats that are easy to review, understand, and analyze. Reports might take the form of graphs, charts, lists, or detailed written reports. Reports should also be able to be saved and stored, giving IT an overview of the network and its issues over the long-term to inform improvement and maintenance efforts.

Scalability: A robust solution will grow as the business expands and network traffic increases. As a company grows and adds more offices, machines, and devices, the demands on the network will increase as well. A good network monitoring solution is based on flexible appliances that can be upgraded as network demands increase (vs. rip and replace) with easy addition of software licenses as the management team grows.

Integration: A comprehensive network monitoring solution will unite all the different parts of the network under a single umbrella, enabling a holistic, real-time view of the network and clear communication between all parts and components. This ensures no critical information gets lost, and ensures continuity of access and optimal network performance even if there’s a problem in one area of the network.

Alerts: Alarms and alerts are critical functions of a network monitoring solution, as they let network managers know when there is an error or problem, such as an over-subscribed device, exceeded thresholds, bottlenecks, or other network issues. IT should be able to configure alarms to suit the department’s needs and preferred methods of notification.

Efficiency and productivity: The main goal of network monitoring is to streamline IT and network management, boosting productivity, avoiding problems, and saving time and money. By using a network monitoring solution, IT can waste less time putting out fires in multiple locations and monitoring various parts of the network separately. Instead, the entire network can be monitored at a glance by an individual engineer or network manager, even when the network extends to remote or mobile offices. This reduces the chance of errors and lost information, as well as reducing IT hours and dollars spent.

Simplicity and user friendliness: Above all, the right network monitoring solution is the one that is easiest to deploy, use, and understand. IT personnel should be able to learn and operate the tools with ease, and customize certain aspects to suit individual preferences and the needs of the business.

The perfect network monitoring solution keeps both the network in optimum working condition and simplifies oversight and management, making managing a complex network simpler and more efficient.

Looking for a solution that meets these criteria? Check out WildPackets complete solution at http://www.wildpackets.com/products/network_appliances.

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