Every successful company needs a plan for the success of their network. To stay operational and competitive in the market place, you have to have a network you can rely on. Data integrity and connectivity are two of the most important resources your company has. If you lose your data or suffer a loss of connectivity you could quickly find your company is losing sales and customers. No one wants to lose either of these important things, so network connectivity and data protection are of the utmost importance and need to be monitored and reported on. Networks have to stay up for customers to make purchases and for employees to stay productive. A solid plan of network monitoring and reporting will enable you to keep your network running smoothly.
The Health of your Network
To keep a network healthy and running at peak performance, you have to take steps to perform checkups on a regular basis. You should have scheduled tasks that regularly monitor network performance and data backups. There should also be an incident logging system that allows end users to report any problems that they might encounter. If too many little incidents go unchecked, it won't be long until they snowball into massive network problems. Never underestimate the impact that a seemingly minor glitch can have on your network. Every incident should be investigated and root causes should be determined as often as possible.
Getting started with network monitoring can seem like a huge task. It's easy to look at all that needs to be tended to in order to keep a network running and get overwhelmed. The best way to avoid being deluged with too much information is to break down all of your monitoring into easily manageable sub-tasks. Even though network monitoring utilities can provide you with a huge amount of useful data they are really just performing very simple diagnostic checks. You've probably run ping or other command line utilities before. Most network monitoring utilities simply run these types of commands and collect data related to them to display useful metrics to network administrators. Granted these utilities run the commands in such a way that no human could duplicate the effort, but they are just doing very basic checks for the most part.
You might even find that you can do a great deal of your network monitoring on the fly by using a few command line utilities. Being familiar with ping, tracert, nwstat, and some of the other basic commands can go a long way in diagnosing every day network problems that plague most networks. Become familiar with using these commands in order to do some quick monitoring when the situation calls for it.
As you work with network monitoring tools, you will want to find the applications that can provide robust reporting. The best programs should offer you a glimpse at real time network activity and historical network activity. You will need to use both types of data to effectively diagnose problems and implement fixes. Using real time data can help you spot a problem while it is happening; while historical data can help you pinpoint trends and get to the root cause of network issues. Be sure to have both kinds of network reports at your disposal to have a full understanding of problems that may be occurring on your network.