Monitor Networks to Ensure Performance and Security

 In Network, Security

Despite the budget cuts many IT teams operate under, paying less attention to your network isn’t a good choice. Today’s cloud-based, collaborative work environments rely on stable network connections to support business functions, making network monitoring both more important and more challenging. In fact, it’s likely you should look for ways to pay more attention to networks, not less.

Reasons to Increase Network Monitoring

The biggest reason to increase network monitoring, of course, is the rise of cloud. Traffic to public cloud providers now constitutes nearly half of most business’s network traffic. Ensuring this traffic is delivered is essential to keeping the business operating.

The second biggest reason for increasing network monitoring is the ever-increasing number of security threats. Making sure security solutions such as firewalls don’t block valid traffic requires the ability to monitor and inspect data, as well as a close communication between network and security teams.

Guidelines for Effective Network Monitoring

As you think about how to make your network monitoring and management more effective, keep these thoughts in mind:

  1. Collecting data is as important as managing faults. Keeping network faults under control is important, but it’s reactive. Making network management effective requires taking a proactive approach. That means collecting data that lets you set performance goals, identify when those goals aren’t being met, and analyze the root of the problem to discover cost-effective solution strategies.
  2. Be sure you collect the right data. Having data is important, but if you don’t have the right data, you won’t be able to draw appropriate conclusions. Don’t limit yourself to utilization metrics. Monitor real traffic to assess real response times.
  3. Don’t shortcut the analysis process. Adding bandwidth is easy, but it isn’t always the fix to your network performance problems. Be sure to allot the time you need to analyze the data in order to identify a fix that really does fix the problem. This also means keeping historical data so you can identify when a problem first occurred and determine what changed.
  4. Understand what your users need to do. Blocking ports to block undesired traffic can sometimes keep employees from doing their jobs. Don’t just rely on lists of bad ports and dangerous sites; make sure you understand how the business works to be certain you don’t block something that’s needed for business.
  5. Recognize that different systems need different management and monitoring strategies. While it’s easier to identify one approach to management and monitoring and apply it everywhere, that isn’t the most effective way to go about network management. Your Software as a Service workloads need a different strategy than those running on cloud. Systems that run in the data center and are accessed only over LAN need a different approach than those in cloud that are accessed over the public internet. Take time to tailor your monitoring to the environment.

Prescient Solutions offers network support including design, implementation, and monitoring of your network. Contact us to learn how Prescient Solutions delivers network performance and security to Chicago and Schaumburg area businesses.

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