Every network is unique, and many administrators wish they had a one-step checklist to ensure they’ve taken every step to maximize the health of those networks. Your network’s infrastructure and company’s needs will determine the way the network is configured and monitored but following a few best practices will help you oversee things effectively. Read on to learn which steps to follow when monitoring a computer network’s performance.
Map the Existing Architecture for Accuracy
The first and most important step in the network monitoring process is to determine what type of server and network infrastructure are in place. How many switches and routers are in use? Along with an inventory of devices, it’s important to know where those components are located and how they connect to the remainder of the network. Without a full picture of the hardware, it’s almost impossible to monitor a network. Visit a site like https://www.viavisolutions.com/en-us/ptv/solutions/network-performance-monitoring to learn more about network monitoring.
Collect and Monitor the Right Information
For many companies, the loss of a central device such as a core switch stack will eliminate internet and email access for end users. It’s crucial to know which network devices could cause backups if they fail and to know the signs of an impending failure. Any network monitoring solution should allow you to gain these metrics from mission-sensitive devices.
Identify Network Performance Baselines and Stick to Them
Before taking any steps to improve a network’s health, users must know how it’s behaving. The network’s current performance can serve as its baseline. From there, it’s easy to set ranges for acceptable performance. While these thresholds will alert you to potential problems, it’s wise to be aware of scheduled exceptions. Running a nighttime backup, for instance, would significantly increase traffic levels. However, if you’re expecting that increase, you can tell the software not to trigger an alert at that time.
Upgrade Crucial Hardware to Support the Performance Monitoring Program
Where network infrastructure is concerned, most of a user’s time will be spent replacing hardware rather than optimizing it. If routers, core switches, and firewalls don’t support your performance monitoring program, the data gathered will be rather limited, which will affect your ability to oversee, respond, and mitigate the effects of network issues.
Implement a 24/7 Monitoring Plan
Monitoring the network from 9 to 5 is a crucial first step toward optimal performance but setting up an ongoing monitoring program will help support the network’s health at any hour of the day—especially in certain industries where services and products must be constantly available. Continuous network monitoring doesn’t have to take up all your time at the office. With a good network monitoring solution, you’ll be able to observe device statuses and receive real-time notifications when problems arise.
A successful office has many moving parts, but its computer network is one of the most essential. By following these five simple steps, you’ll get the maximum advantage—a healthier network, faster response times, and heightened visibility—from your chosen network monitoring solution.