If you've ever read the “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you're probably familiar with some of the plot contrivances. They usually entail a highly complex scheme that involves different machinations, takes twists and turns, and requires the skills of none other than The World's Greatest Detective to solve.


Today's government networks are a bit like a Holmes story. They involve many moving parts, sometimes comprising new and old elements working together. And they are the central nervous system of any IT application or data center infrastructure environment – on premise, hosted, or in the cloud.


That's why it's so important for IT pros to be able to quickly identify and resolve problems. But the very complexity of these networks can often make that task a significant challenge.


When that challenge arises, it requires skills of a Sherlockian nature to unravel the diabolical mystery surrounding the issue. And, as we know, there's only one Sherlock Holmes, just as there's only one person with the skills to uncover where the network problems lie.


That would be you, my dear federal IT professional.


Your job has changed significantly over the past couple of years. Yes, you still have to "keep the lights on," as it were, but now you have even greater responsibilities. You've become a more integral, strategic member of your agency, and your skills have become even more highly valued. You're in charge of the network, the foundation for just about everything that takes place within your organization.


To keep things flowing, you need to get a handle on everything taking place within your network, and the best way is through a holistic network monitoring approach.


Holistic network monitoring requires that all components of the network puzzle – including response time, availability, performance and devices -- are analyzed and accounted for. These days, it also means taking into consideration the many applications that are tied together across wireless, LAN, WAN, and cloud networks, not to mention the resources (such as databases, servers, virtualization, storage) they use to function properly.


Network monitoring and performance optimization solutions help solve the mystery entwined within this diabolical complexity. They can help you identify and pinpoint issues before they become real issues – security threats, such as detection of malware and rogue devices, but also productivity threats, including hiccups that can cause outages and downtime.


And, let's not forget a key perpetrator to poor application performance: network latency. Network monitoring tools allow you to automatically and continuously monitor packets, application traffic, response times and more. Further, they provide you with the ability to respond quickly to potential issues, and the ability to do this is absolutely critical.


As Sherlock said in “A Study in Scarlet,” "there is nothing like first-hand evidence." Network monitoring solutions provide just that – first-hand evidence of issues as they arise, wherever they may take place within the network. As such, implementing a holistic approach to network management can make solving even the biggest IT mysteries elementary.


Find the full article on Defense Systems.