10 Best Practices for Network Monitoring in the Face of IT Complexity

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2016-05-03
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - 10 Best Practices for Network Monitoring in the Face of IT Complexity
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    10 Best Practices for Network Monitoring in the Face of IT Complexity

    New tech helps make companies more productive but can complicate IT pros' jobs. We look at 10 tips for network monitoring in an increasingly complex IT world.
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    2 - Accept That IT Complexity is Growing Faster Than Your IT Team
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    Accept That IT Complexity is Growing Faster Than Your IT Team

    According to the Ipswitch survey, top sources of increased complexity include mobile devices and wireless networks, cloud applications and virtualization, BYOD policies and high-bandwidth applications such as video and streaming.
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    3 - Develop a Monitoring Strategy Aligned With Business Priorities
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    Develop a Monitoring Strategy Aligned With Business Priorities

    From the perspective of customers, partners and employees, your IT infrastructure and applications are your business. Your reputation is on the line every time they access it. Few things affect user experience and perception more than the availability and performance of your applications and network.
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    4 - Implement a Real-Time View of Network, Server Performance
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    Implement a Real-Time View of Network, Server Performance

    IT teams should proactively identify and resolve issues before they hear about them from the help desk. This should include a range of monitors, alerts and escalations so your team can isolate and resolve issues as fast as possible. Stay ahead of a wide range of issues with a unified view across applications, networks and servers.
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    5 - Use Common Tools Across IT Teams to Minimize Finger-Pointing
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    Use Common Tools Across IT Teams to Minimize Finger-Pointing

    End-to-end integrated monitoring gives you the power to coordinate—and arrive at a single version of the truth. Your solution has to do it all: wired and wireless networks, physical and virtual servers, applications and databases. It needs to support SNMP, WMI, SSH, SQL Query and Scripting, too, so you can monitor almost any device and application.
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    6 - Avoid Alert Storms
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    Avoid Alert Storms

    Alert storms can be eliminated if your network monitoring systems are automatically dependency-aware. You would get a single alarm for the failed device only, and not from every downstream device that's connected to it.
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    7 - Ensure Bandwidth Is Optimized for Business Apps, Services
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    Ensure Bandwidth Is Optimized for Business Apps, Services

    Business applications, unified communications, video, mobile devices, rich media, big data and the Internet of things all place new and growing demands on your infrastructure and increase the challenge of maintaining uptime.
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    8 - Be Prepared to Scale Up and Out
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    Be Prepared to Scale Up and Out

    Scalability is a must. Think of how difficult your job becomes when your solutions simply don't have the bandwidth to grow—network monitoring or otherwise. It's not just a management problem for your bosses. It's vital to everyone’s day-to-day peace of mind to have a solution that can grow just as quickly and massively as your organization, whether you've got 25 devices and are expecting to grow to 250, 2,500 or even to 25,000.
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    9 - Beware of Monitoring Software that Licenses by Elements
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    Beware of Monitoring Software that Licenses by Elements

    Lock in device-based pricing, rather than port-based pricing, which drives up total cost of ownership. It's better to be charged a reasonable amount for a single device than for each of the 256 ports on the device. Also, beware of vendors who under-configure during evaluation: If they don't map all dependencies, you may spend enormous amounts of time and money as you continually remap to keep up with network evolution and expansion.
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    10 - Try Before You Buy
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    Try Before You Buy

    Just like you wouldn't buy a car without test-driving it, choose IT management software that you can try for free in your environment. This is the best way to evaluate software and ensure that it meets your needs and addresses the complexity you care about.
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    11 - Choose Software With Flexible Licensing
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    Choose Software With Flexible Licensing

    IT can be difficult enough without the added artificial complexity some software vendors impose with restrictive licensing models. Avoid IT management software with inflexible licensing models that force you to overbuy or pay significant upcharges at renewal time. Look for IT management software that allows flexibility in how you use your monitoring licenses across all flavors of network devices, applications and servers.
 

IT teams—old-school and new-generation alike—must rely on the availability, reliability and performance of their daily production networks, servers and business applications. That's a given. But deployment, orchestration and maintenance complexity is growing fast as these teams face seemingly unending waves of new technology. There's a lot more to learn about and juggle when it comes to the cloud, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices, virtualization, the Internet of things (IoT), wireless and mobility. While these waves of new tech generally have brought increased productivity and cost savings, 66 percent of surveyed IT professionals stated in a recent survey by IT management software vendor Ipswitch that increasing IT complexity is making it more difficult for them to do their jobs successfully. Based on our own reporting plus insight provided by Ipswitch Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Loeb, this eWEEK slide show offers 10 best practices for network monitoring in today's complex IT world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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