What is your first reaction to a network failure? Logging in directly to the device is not a recommended method of initiating troubleshooting on an alert. Providing access to each team member for all devices on the network has associated risks and is an option that does not scale in expanding teams. With that said, it is clear that you would like your computer to be equipped with the required tools to enable you to quickly detect and fix any problems on the network. Instant access to troubleshooting tools helps you quickly isolate faults and begin taking action to resolve them as soon as possible.
Five things to consider while selecting a network monitoring tool
Network monitoring and diagnostic tools provide basic monitoring requirements such as bandwidth, availability, and usage. The details to observe in an efficient network monitoring tool are the extensive support for protocols (SNMP, WMI, CLI) and common technologies (NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow and Packet sniffing). Some of the features to consider for ease of use and accessibility are configurable alert notifications, notification features, and customizable dashboards. You need to understand the basic requirements and work on the basics when choosing the right network monitoring solution. But apart from these functions, there are other critical aspects to consider when selecting the right tool.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Network monitoring tools make it possible to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning, as both thrive around data. With machine learning, network monitoring tools can adapt to the network environment and provide suggestions based on available data.
Network monitoring possibilities with AI and ML:
- Usage-based upload sharing.
- Smarter notification profiles.
- Network adaptation and the ability to take corrective action automatically.
With the rapid development in artificial intelligence, automation is at a tipping point. In network monitoring, automation helps network monitoring tools to react based on thresholds or a set of rules / criteria that must be met. With automation, the monitoring tool can automatically detect and fix problems (proactive monitoring), send alert notifications, and also provide suggestions for better network performance and maintenance based on usage and priority.
Benefits of automation in network monitoring:
- The ability to automate repetitive tasks.
- Automated configuration and backup on devices.
- Automatic discovery and monitoring of new devices.
- Detection and solution of problems and taking corrective measures proactively.
- Generation of scheduled reports.
A common problem faced by IT system operators and administrators is lack of visibility. A network monitoring tool that provides comprehensive and detailed visibility into various aspects of network monitoring in a consolidated way that also allows you to choose what to display will help you stay abreast of the status of your network. The information from these different tools should be presented on a common screen with simple tables and intuitive graphics. A network monitoring tool can be enhanced to perform more advanced operations and it is important to be able to implement add-ons and integrations to monitor a broader aspect of the network.
Network scalability is an important aspect to consider when selecting business network monitoring tools, especially now that networks are perpetual. A network monitoring tool is considered scalable when it adapts to the changing needs or demands of the business or users. Scalability helps the network keep up with increasing productivity, changing needs trends, and new adaptations, and ensures that overall network performance is not significantly degraded, regardless of the size of the network.
OpManager Network Diagnostic and Monitoring Tools
The following tools help you perform first- and second-level troubleshooting based on the nature of the network failure, making it robust enough to be chosen as an enterprise network monitoring tool.
When you receive a ‘device down’ alert, the first condition you would want to assess is whether the device is accessible. From the device capture page in OpManager, perform an instant ping and verify the response. You can troubleshoot additional problems with the other network monitoring tools if the ping for the device fails or if the response time is very long.
If you are trying to troubleshoot an idle device alert with a ping and the device is not responding, you can use the Traceroute feature to determine if the device cannot be accessed due to a path failure. Trace the path from OpManager to the target device, check the number of hops to the monitored device, and find the exact point where the delay or interruption occurs. Again, this serves as first-level problem solving and is response-based; You can also use other monitoring tools to drill down to a fault.
Switch Port Mapper
This tool helps you view port connectivity between devices and switches on your network, which is necessary to help you solve high-traffic problems. Switch Port Mapper is a network monitoring tool that gives you the MAC address, IP address, and DNS names of the devices connected to the switch.
When there is high use of system resources, an instant check of current resource performance helps to assess how significant the performance impact is. Failure to address a resource failure can lead to serious delays. Suppose you receive a memory usage threshold violation alert on a critical server. The first step would be to determine if it is a transient peak or if it has been around for some time. OpManager’s real-time network monitoring tool is useful in such cases. The administrator can access it instantly and resolve it quickly.
Remote process diagnostics
This network monitoring tool is very specific to observe server performance. Use this tool to generate the top 10 processes by CPU or memory usage list from the device capture page. This option allows you to stop the process involved immediately and to prevent a server failure.
SNMP Mib Browser
The MIB Browser tool is a complete SNMP MIB browser that allows loading and browsing of MIBs and allows you to perform all operations with SNMP. You can also view, manage, and configure the data available through the SNMP agent running on a managed device. The integrated trap viewer allows you to view all incoming traps, including devices that OpManager does not manage. MibBrowser is a comprehensive network monitoring solution to solve all SNMP related monitoring problems.
The Syslog Viewer in OpManager allows you to view syslog packets sent by devices to the OpManager server. This network tool helps the administrator to determine if the monitored devices are correctly redirecting messages to the configured syslog server (OpManager server in this case). You can also choose to monitor specific syslog messages by configuring syslog monitoring rules and filtering the rules that match specific criteria.
Telnet / SSH
Establish a CLI session with Unix devices for quick troubleshooting. You may want to run some CLI commands on the device to verify which one is increasing CPU usage on the device and decide to stop a process or kill a service to free up the resource. This tool serves as a first and second level troubleshooting service, allowing you to act immediately on certain alerts with CLI commands.
Remote desktop connection
Similar to the CLI sessions for Unix-based devices, you can authenticate remote Windows devices from OpManager with the remote desktop connection tool and perform the allowed operations on the device.
Another option to check if a device can be accessed. It is a quick way to know if a device, your web server for example, is responding to an http / https request. Next-generation network devices come with a built-in GUI to telnet to devices. You can connect to the GUI with the access ‘http / https’.
Access OpManager anytime from anywhere with the new OpManager mobile app. Available for Android and Apple , this application allows you to view your infrastructure, act on alerts, delve into the root cause of the problem without having to be physically present in your server room to resolve the failure.