In a digital world where everything is interconnected, frequent system failure can be disastrous in disrupting business operations. Take the retail world as an example. Networks are the central nervous system of interconnecting point-of-sale, inventory and financial systems. They also provide a direct line to employees, stores, suppliers and customers. Without granular visibility into your network environment, you will always be in a reactive mode responding to incidents after the fact. The same scenario is true regardless of industry.
That is why more and more organizations are turning to managed service providers to provide real-time IT monitoring across their multiple locations so they can avoid downtime and revenue loss due to unreliable network performance.
Let’s take a deeper look into the essentials of keeping your network “always on” and performing at peak performance.
What Is Real-Time IT Monitoring?
Network monitoring and management monitors the health of all network, servers and devices in real-time to increase network reliability and performance. Managed service providers have rapid response engineers who watch an organization’s infrastructure around the clock to ensure the health of the network environment meets pre-defined service levels. They will identify, validate and respond to issues before they become large downtime events.
Key capabilities of real-time IT monitoring include:
- Full visibility into the network, applications and devices,
- Proactive alerting and troubleshooting before problems impact the organization,
- Early-warning detection and response to prevent downtime or outages,
- Improved network availability and performance, and
- Real-time tracking of overall network and application health.
Importance of Being Proactive to Stay Ahead of Network Failure
Today’s networks are highly complex with endless applications, both structured and non-structured data, and a wide range of endpoints … all demanding network connections and access. To stay ahead of network disruption, the trick is to proactively detect and respond to small-scale issues in your network environment before they lead to system-wide failure.
The advantages of a fully managed network monitoring solution help:
- Reduce downtime and service outages,
- Reduce labor and capital expenses,
- Increase reliability and system performance,
- Free-up time for IT staff to manage other projects,
- Proactively monitor network health and performance,
- Gain access to a team of experts and engineers, and
- Obtain help desk services available 24/7/365.
What To Expect with Experts Monitoring Your Network
For best results, look for a managed service provider who can offer various service levels customized to your specific business needs.
Managed service providers will proactively monitor network and device performance, uptime and connectivity, and provide ticket portal access and notification for critical issues. Basic IT monitoring services typically include 24/7 monitoring, connectivity monitoring, performance monitoring and usage reports. Upgrade options might include hardware, anti-virus, backup, application and event log monitoring, VPN monitoring, ISP issue notification and escalation, and monthly service review meetings.
An important part of ensuring high network efficiency is regularly keeping servers updated and running smoothly. Preventive maintenance involves reviewing the server’s performance as well as any potential security risks and backup protocols at regular intervals. Managed service providers will regularly check server log files, hard disk space, folder permissions and redundancy, as well as security and application functionality. A key component is reviewing server logs for evidence of computer intrusion attempts or security alerts. In addition, they will oversee patch management to ensure vulnerabilities and security gaps are identified, and updates are scheduled to stay current.
IT Support and On-Demand IT Services
Outside of basic monitoring service, managed service providers can provide vendor management, Windows patches, firmware updates, self-healing/remediation and other day-to-day tasks required by IT staff. They can also help with planned or unplanned situations, such as projects falling behind, skill set gaps, ISP issue notification and escalation, and monthly service review meetings.