A discipline in continuous evolution, the goal of this page is to review what network monitoring is, what are the different types, and where NetBeez comes into play …
What is Network Monitoring?
Network monitoring is a software application that verifies the correct functioning of networked devices (e.g. routers, switches, and servers), services, and applications. The goal of network monitoring software is to minimize service downtime by detecting problems as soon as they occur. A network monitoring tool runs periodic checks on monitored devices to gather information on their status and on their resources’ utilization. When a device doesn’t respond to a check, or reports degraded performance on one or more resources, the network monitoring tool alerts the network administrator.
What types of network monitoring tools are available?
There are three main categories of network monitoring tools: SNMP-based, passive, and active.
The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an Internet standard used to request information from a device like a router, switch, or server, about the status of its resources, such as CPU, memory, and network interfaces. A SNMP query is executed from a server to an agent running on a network element. The type of information that can be obtained from a specific network device varies based on vendor and model. Each vendor publishes a set of management information base files (MIB) that describe the parameters or resources that can be queried.
Follow-up topics: SNMP, SNMP MIB.
This technique relies on “listening” to user traffic to determine network utilization. By doing so, a passive network monitoring tool can reveal which users, applications, and protocols are using the available bandwidth. There are three ways to passively monitoring a network: network TAP, SPAN port, and flow-based protocols. Network TAPs are dedicated devices that are installed in-line where the traffic has to be analyzed. A SPAN port is created on a switch by instructing it to send a copy of the traffic to another port switch port that is connected to a collector. Flow-based protocols are implemented by network hardware vendor and provide protocol statistics about network traffic.
Follow-up topics: NetFlow, packet capture.
This type of network monitoring implements real-time testing performed by software or hardware agents that verify network connectivity and application performance. The tests report real-time data such as end-to-end connection, packet loss, jitter, bandwidth, DNS and HTTP/S response time. One of the most common tests run by active network monitoring tools is the ping command, which verifies round trip time to a remote host as well as packet loss. Active network monitoring tools are also used to provide service assurance, network testing, and capture the end-user experience on SD/WAN, WiFi, and remote networks (e.g. WFH).
Follow-up topics: Active network monitoring, distributed network monitoring.
What are the pros and cons of each type of network monitoring tool?
- Open standard
- Monitors the status and performance of individual network devices, servers, and other systems
- Sends alerts when a node is unreachable or having performance issues
- Limited to individual devices
- Unable to capture or troubleshoot the end-user experience
- Monitoring only performed from the server’s location
- Limited visibility to managed networks
- Identifies top talkers and applications that consume bandwidth
- Used to detect anomalies in user and traffic behaviors (SIEM)
- Used to debug client-server communication issues
- Consumes a large amount of data storage and bandwidth for analysis
- Can’t detect application outages or performance issues if no users are on the network
- Visibility limited to managed networks
- End-to-end testing and monitoring
- Proactive and continuous
- Distributed, monitoring performed from multiple sources
- Extends visibility beyond manages networks
- Captures the client experience
- Requires installation of agents
- Not meant to replace an SNMP monitoring solution
Enters NetBeez …
NetBeez is a network monitoring platform that enables IT teams to quickly troubleshoot issues with Internet, SaaS applications, Wi-Fi networks, and more. The solution provides granular data to accurately isolate the time a problem occurs, retains historical data to identify the trend of recurring issues, and facilitates diagnosing problems from the user’s perspective. With NetBeez, network administrators and tech support get faster time to resolution and simplify troubleshooting.
NetBeez Game-Changing Capabilities
Granular Performance Data
Capture granular digital experience metrics to application or service.
- Gather performance metrics up to one second interval
- Isolate with accuracy the exact time and moment when a problem occurs
- Retain historical data to identify trends and recurring issues to perform root cause analysis
Proactive Incident Detection
Real-time testing, end-to-end, and from the user perspective.
- Continuous active monitoring against networks and applications
- Quick detection and alerting on service failures and performance degradation
- Enforce and guarantee quality of service and SLAs
- Verify and validate configuration changes during maintenance windows
Flexible deployment options for on-prem, cloud, and remote.
- Deploy the server on-premises as a virtual appliance or in the cloud as an instance
- Support Ethernet, Wi-Fi, virtual, Docker, and Linux based agents
- Support Windows and Mac clients
- Easily orchestrate and deploy at scale