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What Should Be Monitored on Your IT Network?

In our last blog, Why Real-Time IT Monitoring Plays a Pivotal Role in Preventing Unplanned Downtime, we defined IT network monitoring and its advantages in an “always on” digital era. This blog will look at the various types of IT network monitoring and the importance of full network visibility.

Today’s IT network monitoring in the cloud uses a wide range of tools to proactively watch and manage the health of the infrastructure. Advanced portals provide central visibility into critical IT components, allowing real-time monitoring and alerting for complete control over network reliability and performance. Engineers can oversee granular administration over cloud applications, network devices, servers and security tools to ensure reliable uptime and high availability.

IT network monitoring can be done across multiple cloud platforms and in hybrid environments. Typically, monitoring agents are installed on servers, routers, firewalls, switches and applications to correlate data and alert IT administrators or a third-party managed service provider when monitored devices dip below health and performance baselines.

Types of IT Network Monitoring

Looking under the hood of your network environment, it is important to keep a constant eye on several key elements. Here are some basic types of IT network monitoring.

  • Server resource monitoring – Monitors server resources (physical and virtual) such as memory, disk space, and CPU utilization to ensure servers are performing at their highest capacity and using resources effectively.
  • Website monitoring – Checks the availability, performance and function of a website or web service to ensure uptime and functionality are always up to standard. Website monitoring typically covers network connectivity, website availability, database connectivity, SSL certificate expiration, bandwidth and computer resources like free RAM, CPU load, disk space, and events.
  • Cloud resource monitoring – Reviews the operational workflow and processes within a cloud-based IT asset or infrastructure, such as Azure or AWS. It looks at availability of services, latency and throughput, application performance and more. It also looks at how the cloud network manages pressure and heavy data loads. Some metrics may be related to levels of use or traffic load on a network.
  • Database monitoring – Measures the performance of a given database in real time to determine problems and other factors that may cause problems in the future. It reviews processes, queries, availability, data integrity and consumption of cloud database resources to show usage data.
  • Network device monitoring – Monitors network appliances (physical and virtual) such as firewalls, switches and routers to manage traffic across the web. The purpose is to detect slow or failing network components. In the event of a network failure or outage, the network monitoring system alerts an IT administrator to troubleshoot the issue.

Full Network Visibility – Seeing the Big Picture

Network visibility refers to having awareness over all the different elements within your network. With a 360-degree view of all your virtual, physical and cloud environments, you can proactively detect and respond to system failure or network performance issues in real time. Prevention is the name of the game. Centralized visibility alerts you immediately to network problems so you can avoid costly downtime before it happens.

Perhaps the biggest appeal of improving network visibility is the boost it provides to security efforts. Better network visibility allows you to monitor network traffic for malicious behavior and potential threats more closely. According to a survey from Vanson Bourne, roughly two-thirds – 67 percent – of organizations say that network blind spots are one of the biggest challenges they face when trying to protect their data.

Here is a sample list of digital assets that should continuously be monitored to guard against malicious activity on your network:

  • Web applications, services, and APIs
  • Mobile applications and their backends
  • Cloud storage and network devices
  • Domain names, SSL certificates and IP addresses
  • IoT and connected devices
  • Public code repositories such as GitHub, GitLab and BitBucket
  • Email servers
  • Endpoint devices

Continuous IT network monitoring helps minimize costly unplanned downtime events. With full network visibility across multiple locations, you are in the driver’s seat to improve network performance and uptime.

Do you need trained eyes monitoring your network around the clock? We can help. Download our Network and Monitoring flyer to learn more.